Did using the short form of my name mean I was refused?

Dear James,

I was recently refused a mobile phone contract. I obtained a credit report from Experian and could find no explanation. Could the explanation be that I had made the application in the shortened form of my second name, not my full first name?

Thomas, Salisbury

Dear Thomas,

Credit reference agencies usually allow for common name variations and contractions, to help make sure the reports we produce are comprehensive for people. However, if you dramatically changed your name on this application, it might be the case that the credit check didn’t match it to your credit history and, as a result, your credit score may not have been calculated based on your full details.

If you plan to use your second name on a regular basis then you should consider adding an alias to your credit report. However, the best place to start is checking your credit reports with all three main credit reference agencies to see if the mobile phone company’s credit check shows up. If it doesn’t, then it’s probably worthwhile asking each agency to add an alias to your report, which means the two names will be linked in the future. You might also consider going back to the phone company and asking them to review your application, explaining what you think the problem is.

It’s a good idea to use your full ‘official’ name on all credit applications so there’s no confusion and your credit score is always based on your full credit history. Companies sometimes ask for proof of identity, so it’s sensible to try to make sure all your details match up. (February 2018)


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