Money. It isn’t all that romantic. And in fact can be the source of many an argument. Dave and I don’t fall out often but when we do, financial stress is often the root cause of it.
For a good while after we moved in together our finances were kept separate bar the mortgage (which is obviously in both our names) and we just paid halves on everything with whatever was left over in our own accounts being our own money to spend as we wished. Over time our financial relationship has evolved, mainly as a result of my being on maternity leave and then leaving full time employment as our incomes were no longer equal and pressure on our outgoings was high. As such all money is now “ours” and we budget carefully each month with whatever we know we’ve got coming in to ensure that all our financial commitments are covered and that we have money available for things that we need or have planned. At some point, we’d both like to have a little “spending fund” budgeted for within that as, apart from anything else it’s impossible to plan surprises or treats for each other when you’ve got entirely shared funds!
Despite having been together for the best part of 15 years and living together for 10 of them, we have only just opened a joint bank account, it hasn’t really been necessary before now but we needed to open a new savings account so decided we might as well put both names on it.
According to research from credit checking service ClearScore, 11.7 million Brits have taken out a joint financial product with a partner they’ve now separated from. A joint bank account can be a significantly bigger commitment than you might think – in fact you will remain financially “linked” for six years, even after the joint product has been closed down.
I’ve been burned in the past after having a shared bank account which ended up severely affecting my credit rating and almost preventing Dave & I from getting our mortgage and I’m not alone in this. According to ClearScore, millions of us risk being turned down for mortgages, credit cards or other financial products because we are unknowingly “linked” to people with poor financial histories.
Justin Basini, ClearScore CEO commented, “Millions of people risk being haunted by the financial ghosts of partners past. Even if your own credit report and score are in rude health, the way you are viewed by lenders can be negatively affected by your ex partners. When a relationship ends, it’s your responsibility to ‘de-link’ your financial records. I’d advise anyone applying for credit to check their credit report and, if you’re still linked to someone whose financial behaviour you suspect could be detrimental, contact the credit reference agencies to request that your connection is severed.”
Have you experienced being refused credit as a result of being financially linked to someone else?