23 Jan 2012

IF YOU SHARE FINANCES - DON’T KEEP DEBTS SECRET

IF YOU SHARE FINANCES - DON’T KEEP DEBTS SECRET

Equifax reminds couples that shared finances can have an impact on their ability to get the best finance deals

www.equifax.co.uk

London, 23rd January 2012 - Leading online credit information provider, Equifax, has released new research on the ‘money secrets’ partners and spouses keep from each other as it reminds couples that shared finances can have an impact on their ability to get credit.

The latest Equifax research*, conducted amongst users of the Equifax Personal Solutions credit report services, reveals that almost 1 in 5 consumers admitted to previously keeping details of a personal loan or credit card debt secret from their partner. And when Equifax customers were asked if they had ever gone on a spending spree and kept the shopping bags and receipts hidden, over 21% said yes.

That’s why Equifax is urging consumers to share details about all credit commitments, including any debts, with their partners - especially if they share any joint financial accounts.

“If you have a joint financial agreement with a partner, then their credit information will be linked to yours for as long as that agreement exists”, explained Neil Munroe, External Affairs Director, Equifax. “That’s why if you are planning to take out any joint financial agreements - whether it’s a mortgage, finance for the family car or just a joint loan for white or brown goods - it’s really important to be upfront about any financial agreements. And if you already have joint finances, it’s especially important to be honest about any late payments.”

“This is because lenders look at all the financial commitments someone has when new credit is applied for - and if there are joint financial agreements they are more than likely to look at the credit history of the partner too.”

However, the Equifax research revealed there appears to be a greater realisation that if you are in a relationship you need to be completely honest about any financial difficulties you might face. Over 87% of respondents said if they started to fall behind on credit repayments in the future they would tell their partner. And although nearly 20% of respondents confessed to hiding some of their debts, over 90% said they would expect their partner to be completely honest about their personal debt.

“Of course, only the individual concerned can access their credit file - however our research revealed that more than 1 in 4 of consumers would ask their partner to share with them their credit report before applying for a joint credit agreement such as a mortgage or loan” continued Neil Munroe.

Equifax offers a free online credit check, where you can view your personal credit report, including any joint agreements you may have. The Equifax Credit Report, with the facility to access credit information for the first 30 days free, gives consumers a valuable insight into their credit status. Accessible simply by logging onto www.equifax.co.uk it is designed to help individuals understand their credit file and see what lenders see to assess new credit applications. It also includes expert tips and advice to help consumers take the right steps to manage their finances and navigate through life’s challenges.

If the customer does not cancel before the end of the 30 Day Free Trial, the service will continue at £6.99 per month, giving them unlimited online access to their credit information and weekly alerts on any changes to their credit file. It also includes an online dispute facility to help them correct any errors on their credit file simply and quickly.

*1051 adults who were married or in a relationship responded to the Equifax survey, December 2011

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For further press information please contact: Louise Fowler, Clare Watson or Wendy Harrison at HSL on 020 8977 9132 / Fax: 020 8977 5200 or Email: louise@harrisonsadler.com

About Equifax

Equifax is a global leader in consumer and commercial information solutions, providing businesses of all sizes and consumers with information they can trust. We organize and assimilate data on more than 500 million consumers and 81 million businesses worldwide, and use advanced analytics and proprietary technology to create and deliver customized insights that enrich both the performance of businesses and the lives of consumers.

Headquartered in Atlanta, Equifax operates or has investments in 17 countries and is a member of Standard & Poor’s (S&P) 500® Index. Its common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the symbol EFX. For more information, please visit www.equifax.com.