What Happens To My Credit Report If I Change My Name?

March 14, 2018

There are many reasons why you might change your name; getting married, joining a new family, after a divorce, changing your name to something that you feel more appropriate or if you are simply looking for a fresh start. However some people may see changing their name as a way out of problem debt.

How does changing your name affect your credit history?

If you have a bad credit history then it might be tempting to simply change your name and see if you can leave all of your bad credit behind. However if you do change your name then you won’t have any credit history at all attached to you, which can actually be just as bad as having a poor credit rating, as lenders can’t see if you’re a responsible borrower or not.

So if you change your name, you should then indicate on any lending etc. applications that you have changed your name in the last 5 years. This will then allow your lender to link your current (potentially empty) credit report with your previous one (whatever state it is in). Lenders or anyone else who is checking your credit report will then know that both reports are linked and will be able to get a full picture of your credit history – whether you want them to or not.

Once you have changed your name you should also ensure that this has been updated on the electoral roll, by registering to vote. If your new name doesn’t feature on the electoral roll then anyone checking your credit record won’t be able to confirm your identity and will most likely refuse your application.

So, if changing your name isn’t the answer how can you rebuild your credit score?

Unfortunately there is no quick fix to rebuilding your credit score. Missed payments, defaults, CCJ’s or any debt management programmes that you have entered into will be held on your credit score for 6 years. However if you are coming up to the end of that period then there are a few steps that you can take to improve your position with lenders:

  • Ensure that you make all of your payments on time
  • Set a realistic budget and do your best to live within your means – showing a responsible attitude to your finances will make you more appealing to lenders.
  • Regularly check your credit reports held with the 3 UK credit reference agencies. You can access your credit report for free from Experian, Equifax and Callcredit. If you notice any errors, contact the company immediately to get them rectified.
  • Ask for a ‘soft credit search’ from any lenders that you approach. This is a preliminary search that won’t leave a trace a on your credit report. If this comes back positively then go ahead with the full application, however if you get a negative response at least a black mark won’t be left on your credit record.

Northern Ireland Debt Solutions are licensed insolvency practitioners and debt management specialists. We have helped thousands of Northern Ireland residents to deal with their problem debts, allowing them to look forward to a safe and sound financial future. The first step to getting on top of your debts is accepting that you need help; the second step is calling the friendly team at Northern Ireland Debt Solutions on 0800 470 0461.

Lawrence O'Hara

Insolvency Adviser

Tel: 028 2132 6269

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