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Getting married?

Picture: wedding
There's the dress, the ceremony, the guest list, the cake, the bridesmaids, the catering, the honeymoon - the jobs involved in organising a wedding seem endless. You've probably remembered that you need a new passport in your married name but you might be surprised to know how many other organisations should be told. This checklist will help.

Even if you're not moving house, there's a mountain of paperwork to tackle if you're about to change from Miss Single to Mrs Married.

Before the wedding, you need to deal with:
1. Identity documents - as well as your passport, you need to update your driving licence and car registration, national insurance number and NHS card, club memberships and any security passes you use at work or for the gym.

2. Insurance - make sure your correct new name is on everything from the car to travel, home, health and contents insurance.

3. Financial services companies - tell the bank, the building society and anybody with whom you have a mortgage, loan or credit card. If their records aren't accurate and you miss any payments as a result, you could end up with a troubled credit history and a lower credit rating than you really deserve.

4. Health - your doctor, your dentist and any specialists you visit regularly.

5. Local registrations - ask your council for a change of name form (also known as a change of circumstances form), which can also cover a change of address, and they'll help you through the process. They need your details for council tax and you should re-register to vote, or your credit rating could be affected.

Lenders use the electoral roll to check that you are who you say you are and live where you say you do. Any discrepancies could lead to a delay or even a rejection the next time you apply for credit, such as a card, mortgage or loan.

6. Utilities - gas, electricity, water, land-line and mobile telephone providers all need to know who to bill. If you've satellite or cable television and/or broadband, those companies need to know as well.

7. Catalogue companies and anybody who might send you direct mail shots. This is a good opportunity to opt out of unwanted post, so you could register yourself with the Mailing Preference Service, in both your maiden and married names.

8. Finally, apply for your credit report and provide both your married and maiden names on your application. This will create an alias on your credit report that will ensure your good credit history stays with you and lenders are able to authenticate you when you make credit applications.

If you're moving home, you should also:

1. Give everyone on the list your new address.

2. Redirect your post for at least a year under both old and new names. This is an important way to protect yourself from identity fraud, which is one of Britain's fastest-growing crimes. Criminals have managed to adopt false identities using just one unsolicited piece of mail - if they get hold of genuine correspondence too, they can run up large debts in your name, claim benefits and destroy your credit rating.

Lenders look at your credit report when you apply for a loan, credit card or mortgage - and you may need all of these in the next few months. This is the personal history of your loans, cards and other credit, your repayment history and information such as bankruptcies or court judgements against you.

Any mistakes or contradictions between the information in your credit report and on your application form can make it difficult for you to get the credit you need and result in tougher terms, such as a higher rate of interest.

Look out, too, for your husband's name as a financial associate. If you share any joint accounts, such as a mortgage or credit card, he should be mentioned. Lenders may look at his credit report as well as yours, even if you are not making a joint application. If there are any inaccuracies on either report, you may not get the best offers. So it's worthwhile getting him to check his credit report too.

You can get unlimited online access to your Experian credit report free for 30-days with CreditExpert, you will also receive alerts when there is a major change to your report.

Click here for more information.

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