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Get married, change name, lose credit rating

Couple getting married

The new Mrs Windsor may not realise it, but there’s a lot of paperwork to complete after changing your name. You could even lose your credit rating – so how can you keep control when you go from Miss to Mrs?

I’m sure the last thing the new Mrs Windsor is concerned about at the moment is changing her name.

What’s more, she probably won’t need to worry about it too much: no doubt she has ‘people’ to sort it out. But it does involve a lot of sorting.

Post-marriage paperwork

Five months after getting married I’m still working on it. There are so many things to change, and I’ve still not finished! Despite having moved only a few months before the wedding I didn’t realise quite how many.

But a name change is more complicated and involved than moving house: and incredibly inconsistent. Some companies want your original marriage certificate; some are happy with a certified copy and others accept just a letter or email.

Then there’s the cost. To change your name on your passport you have to buy a new one. Plus the cost of photos, Check & Send at the Post Office, having any documents returned by Special Delivery, stamps to send letters, and (because I’m overly cautious) sending everything by Recorded Delivery.

New name, new credit rating

Of course you always forget something, like the electoral roll – and that can affect your ability to get credit.

Yes, you heard that right: credit. I didn’t anticipate the effect changing my name would have on my credit rating. I’ve always had a pretty good credit rating, never borrowed loads and I’ve never defaulted on payments and or been declared bankrupt.

I only realised my name change was a problem when I got turned down for a new 0% interest credit card. One of the guys in the Which? money team explained it too me: my new name has a ‘thin file’ with the credit reference agencies – i.e. no, or a limited, history of borrowing – hence the lender’s reluctance to give me credit.

To repair my credit history I had to contact all the credit reference agencies – CallCredit, Equifax and Experian – to set up aliases linking my new name with my old name.

So, a word of caution: when moving house – or changing your name – make sure you keep your details up-to-date. If you get turned down for credit unexpectedly or there’s any unusual activity on one of your accounts, contact the agencies for a copy of your statutory credit report. They’re only £2 and could save you a lot of hassle in the long run.

Is there anything I’ve missed? A new married name is wonderful, and I’m sure Kate’s relishing hers right now, but it does come with a lot of hassle. I just hope there aren’t any more name-changing surprises still to come…

Comments
Guest
Mikhail says:
7 May 2011

The changing name tradition is ‘out of date’, pointless and bring a lot of paper work. Why bother?

In regards to New Mrs Windsor credit score, now she has the British tax payers’ credit card which no longer requires having good credit score nor paying the bill, in other word she has the fun, we foot the bill.

Guest

Jeez, cheer up!

Guest
jue says:
8 May 2013

[This comment has been removed for breaking our community guidelines. Thanks, mods]

Guest
Jeremy W says:
7 February 2018

Be interested to see how the GDPR regulations due at the end of May 2018 will effect the Finance and Credit scoring industry. The penalties for not protecting personal identifiable information (PII) are very harsh. Multi million pound fines will be the norm. We could see a new credit scoring system evolve as a result. One thing is for sure having a large file on everyone in the country from cradle to grave is extremely risky business.

Guest

I see this convo is controversial even so an old , non PC guy like me will post a comment as I am usually controversial anyway. I personally dont care whether a female who married me kept her own name or not . In this instance I actually agree with feminists , my wife is a feminist and yes we do have arguments but its an intellectual debate( mostly ) . Each person on this planet is born an individual with their own personality , it has been admitted by females in the past that once they get married they “change ” their husbands that to me is like saying – well I like you enough to marry you but I will change your personality . This is exactly what feminists resent males doing and they get very angry about it , well so do I as I believe in real equality not a one-sided-one . I would NEVER want to change the person I married as I married her because of HERSELF . If my wife wanted to use her maiden name I would have no problem with that . Where I do have a problem is where females are able to use the advantage over males of using both names when it suites them . This usually happens when the male is somebody well known in society – very rich/actor/ big time financier , MP etc . Males dont have a choice . As regards the convo its not males that are causing the problem but this new , modern business run society where money comes before social concern , its them that made these regulations and nowadays many females are CEO of big firms so its not a male influenced thing but a money one.

Guest

My better half retains her own name and never changed it. Why should she? She was always a professional woman, very highly regarded in her own right and her own field and it made no sense to change her name. I don’t see the point, frankly. And her surname is from a bigger clan than mine…

Guest

Would you feel the same way if your wife insisted your offsprings took her name instead of yours?

Guest

How interesting you should ask that, Beryl. Indeed I would, but we always made decisions regarding the children together (wouldn’t be a very good marriage if either partner ‘insisted’), so we decided to give the children different surnames again: we hyphenated our different surnames for the children. Plays havoc at the travel agents when we all go somewhere together, but otherwise it’s proved quite useful.