Is my name affecting my credit score?

Dear James,

Could my long name be the reason why my credit check failed? I have five surnames, in total 26 characters. Usually banks, service providers etc have a hard time fitting all my surnames on their systems. They pick and choose to make them fit, resulting in a variety of combinations. This was never much of a problem until I applied for a bank account with another bank and failed their credit check. Could you tell me if this could in fact be a reason to fail the credit check? And what can I do to "collect" all the variants of my name into one person (if at all possible)? 

Tiago, London

Dear Tiago,

It is very likely that that the length of your name and variations in how it has been recorded are causing a problem with credit checks. I think the best place for you to start is by getting hold of a copy of your credit report and reviewing it thoroughly. If you haven’t done so already you can get a free report by either trying our CreditExpert service, or ording a copy of your statutory credit report

Once you’ve done this, I suggest you call us and ask one of our customer service agents to go through your report with you and, importantly, to check that your report is not missing any data due to discrepancies in how your details have been recorded. What we can then look to do for you is tie together your data by linking up any different versions of your name – but I think that will only be a short-term fix for you. So what I suggest you also consider is simplifying your surname going forwards, perhaps by just using your first three surnames for example.

If you are entitled to register to vote here – UK and EU citizens certainly are – then you need to make sure that whatever shortened name you settle for is the one you use on the electoral register. If necessary, we can liaise with your lenders on your behalf to help straighten things out. At the same time, it would also be wise to ask the bank that refused your application to explain their decision as fully as they can. It is possible, of course, that your name wasn’t the reason for the refusal at all. (November 2012, updated April 2018)


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