Your credit rating
Your credit rating is a report about how likely you are to pay back any debts you owe.
Will changing my name affect my credit rating?
No — not if you tell all record holders about your new name. When someone needs to run a credit check against you, they should ask you for any previous names that you’ve been known by in the past 6 years. The credit reference agencies can correlate your credit history from your old and new names.
However, you should make sure that you tell all financial organisations — banks, credit card companies, lenders, etc. — about your change of name. They should inform the credit reference agencies about the change. If your personal information is incorrect or out of date, it could lead to you being unfairly refused credit.
Note that credit reference agencies check your name and address against data from the Electoral Roll — they have access to the full, unedited register. The Electoral Roll is updated every month and you should tell your Local Authority about your change of name straight away so the credit reference agencies also have access to the updated data. Don't just wait until the next election.
Get a copy of your credit file
If you want to check that credit reference agencies hold your correct personal information, you can write to any of the three credit reference agencies and ask for a copy of your statutory credit report (or credit file). You have the right to do this under the GDPR, but you’ll have to pay a fee of £ 2. If any of your data are incorrect, you also have the right to have them corrected, and the credit reference agency must tell you what correction it’s made within 28 days of receiving the information from you.
In your application, you should include:
- your full name
- any other names you’ve been known by in the last 6 years
- your full address (including postcode)
- any other addresses you’ve lived at in the last 6 years
- your date of birth
- a cheque or postal order for £ 2 made payable to the credit reference agency
Unless the agency needs more information, they should send you a copy of your file within 7 working days from receiving your letter.
Sometimes the credit reference agencies need more information from you to verify your identity — before they can send you your file. For example, they may need proof of your name and address from a utility bill or bank statement. This is important to make sure that no one else gets your file by mistake or to check that no one else has applied for your credit file fraudulently. They don’t have to send you your file until they get this information.
Credit reference agencies
There are 3 credit reference agencies in the U.K.:
- Customer Support Centre
- Experian Ltd
- P.O. Box 8000
- NG80 7WF
- Customer Service Centre
- Equifax Ltd
- P.O. Box 1140
- BD1 5US
- Consumer Services
- Callcredit Ltd
- P.O. Box 491
- LS3 1WZ