A failed romance is costing ex-lovers more than a broken heart as millions are being credit blacklisted as a result of their former partner's money troubles too, new figures suggest.
Analysts Experian CreditExpert estimated that up to 6.8million Britons have suffered money troubles because of a relationship.
Of the 3,000 people surveyed, 47 per cent had been affected by an ex-partner's problems and 33 per cent were still feel repercussions up to three years later.
It is possible to file for a "financial disassociation" a monetary version of a divorce, but Experian said few people chose to do this.
Peter Turner, Experian managing director, said: "Financial ties, such as a joint mortgage, a joint bank account or a partner's name on a credit card, will be viewed on a credit report as an 'association' to your spouse or partner.
"This association will stay on a credit report - regardless of whether the relationship has ended or not - unless a request to have it removed is made.
"It can be painful to have to think about finances in the middle of a break-up but it can be the first step towards regaining your financial independence."
Telegraph Money says:
Your credit score has enormous impact on your personal finances, affecting the amount you can borrow and the rate which you will be offered. That's why you should defend it vigorously.
As Experian suggests above, your priority should be to break the link between you and your ex-partner. When you apply for credit, the lender will also check the credit history of your spouse or anyone else with whom you have a joint bank account or loan.
In some cases lenders make mistakes and also check the history of those who live at the same address, or may have in the past. This is why it is important to get a copy of your file to ensure that no one else's poor credit history is dragging your score downwards.
If you are divorced or separated, make sure your ex's details are expunged as soon as possible.
There are other ways to protect and even improve your credit score...
1. Assert your right to vote
If you aren't on the electoral roll, or haven't updated your details after moving house, lenders are likely to give you a wide berth. They use this register to protect themselves against fraud and check that you are who you say you are. You can find out how to register at www.aboutmyvote.co.uk.
2. Cancel out-of-date credit cards
Many people switch cards frequently but fail to cancel old agreements. But these lines of credit will still appear on your file, which can make lenders wary about the potential size of your debt some may fear you will "max out" these cards then struggle to meet repayments.
Make sure the arrangements are terminated and that this is on the file. If you do not need a card's full credit limit, ask your lender to reduce it. It may make you look a better risk.
3. Get yourself a reputation
Lenders want to see that you can manage credit sensibly. If you're a first-time buyer, consider taking out a credit card six months before making your mortgage application. Of course, you'll need to make sure that you pay off the balance in full each month, and on time, to avoid interest payments.
4. Scour the small print
Ensure that you take a close look at all the information on your file to ensure it accurately reflects your current circumstances. Lenders may not always inform agencies of any changes straight away, so if you notice information is outdated, ask your lender to inform Experian or Equifax immediately or contact them yourself.
Keep a watchful eye for rogue accounts or charges caused by identity theft or fraud and for duplicate entries of your unpaid balances.
5. Never miss a mortgage payment
This is a cardinal sin as far as lenders are concerned, and viewed more seriously than missed credit card or loan repayments. If you are struggling to make a mortgage payment, talk to your lender as early as possible; it may be able to switch you to an interest-only loan or lengthen the term to lower the monthly payment (although this will mean you pay more interest in total).
6. Ensure details are the whole truth and nothing but the truth
Make sure that information you provide on applications is accurate and truthful. Inconsistencies can have a negative effect on your credit score and may be considered fraudulent.
7. Inquire without a trace
Make sure that you don't unwittingly allow lenders to search your credit report. Some websites will allow you to compare loan prices, for example, without conducting a full credit check. Lenders should not access your history until you expressly request them to, and when they do, it will leave a trace on your report. Lenders can get nervous if they see too many "footprints" on your file and may refuse credit as a result. They can interpret multiple checks as evidence that you are desperate for as much credit as possible, or that fraudulent activity is being planned.
8. Settle old debts
If you have defaulted on credit or had a county court judgment (CCJ) against you, it will be on your file. Even once "settled", some lenders will be reluctant to make loans to those with a CCJ in the past 12 months. Therefore it is important that, as soon as the status becomes settled, you ensure that your lenders inform the credit reference agencies and that your report is updated.
9. Include additional information
Where necessary, add details about previous credit problems. If such problems were after redundancy or divorce, for example, and your financial situation has since improved, you can add a note explaining this. If you have been a victim of identity fraud, make sure that any credit problems caused by this are removed from your file.
Remember, your credit file changes constantly, so it's important to check regularly that it is accurate.