Marriage is a common reason why people change their name. But there’s lots of reasons why you might want something new. Entering into a civil partnership, transgender name changes, switching a child’s surname from one parent to another, reclaiming your original name after divorce or legal separation, or just not liking your birth name. But does changing your name affect credit scores in the UK?
Your credit report includes personal details like your name, current and previous addresses, and joint accounts linked to yours. To get the full details on what your credit score is check out this page. If you’re thinking of changing your name, it’s natural to worry that it will hurt your credit score, or the credit score of a partner. Don’t worry, if you want to make a name for yourself Loqbox is here to help!
Does changing my name affect my credit score in the UK?
No, legally changing your name has no effect on your credit score and it doesn’t impact on a partner’s credit score either. In fact, even if you get married or enter a civil partnership your credit score doesn’t change or link with your other half’s unless you intentionally take out a joint account or apply for joint credit (which includes utility bills too). This is called co-scoring and you can read all about how your credit score can affect your partner’s here.
The personal information held on your credit report like your name or date of birth has no impact on your credit score. Your score is a reflection of how creditworthy a lender would view you based on your credit report, and that’s largely based on your financial history (how you have previously managed loans, credit cards or mortgages) and consistency in your details (e.g. address history).
That consistency is really important, so be sure to update all of your creditors with your name change (and actually any change in your personal details!). Having incorrect information or inconsistencies on your credit report can create problems and reduce your credit score. We’ll look at what you need to do to change your name on your credit report below.
How to change names on credit reports in the UK
Whether you’ve changed your name during a wedding or civil partnership ceremony, after a divorce or legal separation, or by deed poll, all you need to do to change your name on your credit report in the UK is to:
i) Update your legal documents (like your passport and driving licence)
ii) Tell your creditors your new name (they may ask for your new legal documents as evidence to prove this)
Your new name will automatically be added to your credit file the next time your creditors report to the top three credit reference agencies (CRAs) in the UK; Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. This usually happens at the end of the billing cycle. Opening a new account in your new name will also update your credit file.
Any of your previous names will remain on your credit file as an alias but your new name will become your primary name. You need to make sure that when you take a new name you are consistent. Updating any of your existing accounts with your new name and only using that one for new accounts will make sure that there isn’t any confusion on your report.
It’s a good idea to take a look at your credit report a couple of months after a name change to make sure that everything is shipshape.
Does changing your name clear your credit history?
No, unfortunately you can’t clear, wipe or reset any of the ‘bad marks’ on your credit history just by changing your name. When you change your name you are simply adding that new information to your existing credit file. All of your financial history stays the same.
And on the other hand, changing your name won’t improve your credit score either. However, if your credit score is lower than you need it to be at the moment, don’t worry, there are much easier things you can do to improve it than changing your name! So if that’s the only reason you’re considering a name change, why not think about getting started with Loqbox instead?
Loqbox can help you to build your credit score and your financial know-how at the same time. With Loqbox Grow, our members see a 125 points increase in the first six months on average.
Here are a few questions people frequently ask when changing their names on their credit reports:
1. How do I change my name with Experian, Equifax or TransUnion?
You don’t need to contact your credit reference agencies (CRAs) with a name change. That’s true for all three of the main CRAs in the UK; Experian, Equifax and TransUnion.
When you legally change your name and update your lenders with your new name, that will automatically report the change to the credit reference agencies.
2. Can I keep my credit card in my maiden name?
If you have changed your name on your credit report, it is important that it’s consistent across your financial records. Having a credit card in a different name won’t necessarily matter day-to-day, but if you are asked for identification it could cause a problem.
3. Will changing my name affect my mortgage?
Your mortgage and your chances of being accepted for a mortgage will not be affected by changing your name, as long as you update all of your lenders with your new name.
4. Can debt collectors find me if I change my name?
Changing your name doesn’t wipe or reset your financial history. Your name change will still be connected to your old name, and to your loans, credit cards and mortgages.