An occasional blog to accompany the business news on BBC Breakfast.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Where you live

Roger, Worcester:
Why are some people refused credit just because of someone who once lived in the same property had bad debts?

Jill:
They're not. Your application for credit is not linked to anyone else except your partner if you have joint credit or a joint bank account. The people who lived at your address before you can have absolutely no effect on your credit worthiness.

Declan:
Is this a great urban myth? I hear people say it over and over again - that your credit worthiness can be hurt by previous occupants.

Jill:
Yes it's a myth. When people are refused credit they desperately want to know why. Only the lender who has turned down the application can tell them. Very often it can be because you are not registered to vote on the electoral roll. This is the most common reason for people who have just moved house but because they're not aware of this they often assume that the past occupants are affecting them.

Declan:
So you could have a whole year - the electoral roll is only updated once a year - where you can't get credit if you've just moved?

Jill
No. In the UK we now have a rolling register. Our records at Experian are updated every month. As soon as you move house, let your local council know. Lenders use the electoral roll to check that you live where you say you live.

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