What is a Credit Blacklist?

Am I on a credit blacklist? - ID 93130298 © Kiosea39 | Dreamstime.com

Lots of people who are refused credit worry that they’re on a ‘credit blacklist’, especially if they’ve missed payments or received a court order, such as a County Court Judgement (CCJ). But are they real, or just a product of our imaginations? 

Is there a credit blacklist?

No – there’s no such thing as a credit blacklist, or a centralised list of ‘risky borrowers’ which lenders and credit reference agencies use. 

Lenders may use the information on your credit report to determine how creditworthy you are, however, some factors, such as filing for bankruptcy or having a CCJ, might mean you could be rejected. 

Can an address be blacklisted?

No – not even if the people who lived there before you had multiple debts and were on shaky financial ground. It doesn’t matter who lived at your address in the past – their financial mistakes won’t be linked to you just because you live in the same house or flat. Your credit score is based on your financial history, not your address. 

If I live with someone with bad credit, will it affect my credit score?

It doesn’t matter if it’s a spouse, family member or housemate – unless you’re ‘financially associated’, their money issues won’t affect you. 

A ‘financial association’ is a link that is created if you have a joint account or have made an application for joint credit with someone else. You don’t need an existing joint agreement to be financially associated. A financial association can also be created if you just applied for credit jointly – but you weren’t been successful and will remain on your report if you have since closed a joint account. 

Having a financial association with someone with poor credit shouldn’t impact your own credit score, as this is based on your own credit history. However, lenders could take a financial associate’s financial behaviour into account even if you’re applying for new credit on your own. If the person you’re linked with has a poor credit history, for example has CCJs registered against them, or they’re struggling to pay back their creditors, it could be harder for you to successfully apply for credit. 

Do credit reference agencies (CRAs) influence lenders?

CRAs don’t tell a lender if it should offer you credit – this is for the lender to decide. 

CRAs gather, from a variety of sources, information about your financial history, such as how many existing credit agreements you already have, and any judgements issued against you in court. They then use this data to provide credit reporting services to their clients. For example, a lender or creditor may check with a CRA when an individual applies for credit, and the lender or creditor needs to make a credit decision.

The scoring tools and data CRAs provide are often a valuable tool in the lender’s overall processes which help them make their decisions. A lender’s own data, knowledge, processes and practices will also generally play a significant role in their business decisions - and lender decisions will always, ultimately, be for lenders to make.

All credit providers are different and have their own lending criteria which can vary for different products.  Some can be very strict, and won’t lend to people who have a history of missing payments. Others may be more relaxed and they may accept an application from members with a missed payment or CCJ – however, these may often these may be at a higher interest rate. 

If you’re planning on making an application for credit, you may want to check your Equifax Credit Report & Score beforehand, which is free for the first 30 days and then £14.95 monthly.

This article was updated on 27 April 2022; all information was correct at the time of writing.

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