Is my credit report stopping my wife and mother opening accounts?

Dear James,

I’m struggling to understand why I cannot open an account for both my wife and my mother. I have been trying for some time now, at a number of different lenders, but have not yet been successful. I have even provided additional documents as requested. I had a bad financial time almost a year ago where I applied for a number of payday loans and credit cards, so I’m wondering if this is impacting their applications? I do sometimes go overdrawn but I’ve read the Experian website and it appears this shouldn’t my landlord didn’t pay the water bill for a whilst and I’ve had a couple of letters for other people coming to the house, so maybe this is causing a problem? Can you please advise me on what to do next?

Laszlo, London

Dear Laszlo,

Although you mentioned that you previously had some financial difficulties, this should not affect credit applications made by your wife or mother unless you share a financial link with either of them, for example a joint account. You’ll be able to check this on your credit report in the ‘Financial Associations’ section. It’s important to remember that applications for credit accounts must be made by the person opening the account, and not by a third party on their behalf. A bank account is classed as a credit product because it usually includes some sort of overdraft facility, so applying for one will usually involve a credit check. As your wife and mother have both failed credit checks recently it would be sensible to get them to apply for copies of their own credit reports to see what credit history they have. They can order a copy from all three credit reference agencies for £2 each. To help, I suggest you make sure that they are both registered on the electoral roll if they are eligible. Being registered helps you pass ID checks and may improve your credit score. If one or both of them have little or no credit history there are products available designed for people with low credit scores, to help them build up some history.  On the water bill, as long as this is registered in your landlord’s name then this shouldn’t affect your personal credit ratings.


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