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Joint credit
Joint Credit and
Financial Associations

From time to time, you may decide to combine your finances with those of another person and apply for credit jointly such as purchasing a property. This creates a financial association between you and the other person called joint credit. You may also include your spouse's name on a credit application and this will also create an association of joint credit. The result is that a financial link to this person exists and will be shown on your credit report and will remain even after the account is settled or closed.

When you next apply for credit, information from both your credit reports may be searched and evaluated before the lender decides to grant you credit and this search will be included in the other person's report, but may not affect his/her ability to receive credit.

There are occasions when individuals, who are not a permanent financial unit, join together to purchase or rent something over a short period of time. An example might be students jointly purchasing a fridge. In these cases, there is no permanent financial link and the association will be removed once the account is closed.

Note: You will not automatically be linked with individuals with the same surname living at your address.

Joint Credit Searches and Financial Links

Although you may be associated with a person, you have the right to be considered as an individual. You may choose to opt out and the lender will only use your data to assess you for credit. If you choose to do this, you will be asked to confirm that you do not know about any problems with the other person that would affect the lender's decision to grant you credit. The lender will receive an alert if there are problems with the other person's information and does have the right to decline you for credit. This ensures that as financial unit, you do not over commit yourselves.

Searches will show on your credit report as:

  • Opt in: your associate's information will be considered

  • Opt out: your associate's information will not be considered but an alert issued for any derogatory information found on his/her report

  • Joint: you and another person both applied for credit together and both of your credit reports will be reviewed

  • Transient associate: your information and associates information will be used as long as the account linking you is open.

Removing Financial Links

You can disassociate yourself from anyone with whom you have a financial link (and joint credit) once the link is no longer active such as the accounts have been settled. Here's a quick test to determine whether you can disassociate from someone.

  • Do you have any open or active credit agreements in both names?  If yes, you may not be able to disassociate.

  • Do you share a bank account or hold an account in both names?  If yes, you may not be able to disassociate.

  • Do you have a mortgage in both names or have any current liability under a mortgage agreement together?  If yes, you may not be able to disassociate.

  • Do you have any shared financial arrangements or links?  If yes, you may not be able to disassociate.

  • Do you have a separate income which is not dependent on the other person? If no, you may not be able to disassociate.

If you'd like be disassociated from another person with whom you've shared joint credit, you may complete a Notice of Disassociation form, available through a credit agency like Equifax.

Check out credit report providers

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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