What Happens to My Credit When I Get Married?

| Tedis Baboumian |

When you plan to get married, you’re probably most focused on wedding planning and creating a shared life. But, what about your credit? If you’ve worked hard to build good credit, you may wonder if your new spouse’s credit might have an impact on yours.

In marriage, many things become blended, but credit reports and credit scores aren’t among them. You’ll each continue to have your own credit score and credit report, so if your spouse has had some credit problems in the past, it won’t show up on your credit report. If you’re the one who has had some credit missteps, marrying someone with good credit won’t fix your credit either.

How Does a Name Change Affect Your Credit Report?

If one spouse changes his/her name after marriage, the new name and any new accounts opened in the new name will be merged with the existing information under that social security number. The name change should be reported to your creditors and to the Social Security Administration.

A name change doesn’t create a brand new spotless credit report. Check your credit reports a few months after a name change to make sure it was updated correctly and file a dispute if it hasn’t been updated or if you find errors. If the credit bureau makes a mistake and splits a credit file after marriage, that’s an error that should be fixed right away. Contact the credit bureau if this happens to you.

How Marriage May Affect Your Credit

Marriage doesn’t automatically make you responsible for your spouse’s past debts. However, some states do allow couples to opt into community property rules, which means both spouses are responsible for all assets and debts.

While your credit information isn’t automatically merged with your spouse’s, your credit may eventually be affected once you jointly apply for a loan or credit card. If one of you has bad credit, your application may be denied, or you may end up with a higher interest rate than you expected.

If one of you already has a mortgage, you’ll need to refinance if you want to both be on the mortgage going forward. Whenever you open a joint account, both of you are responsible for making payments. If a joint account becomes past due, the creditor will contact both of you, and delinquencies will be reported on both credit reports.

Making Sensible Decisions After Marriage

Marriage doesn’t affect your credit until you begin to combine loans and credit cards. If you have worked hard to have good credit and your spouse hasn’t, keep your head above your heart when making financial decisions. Make sure you and your partner discuss finances and credit before you tie the knot and carefully consider whether consolidating all your finances is the best decision.

Dovly can help you learn about all things credit, and we offer an automated credit engine that tracks and fixes errors on your credit report. Contact Dovly today and find out how we can help get you on the path to financial success together. Try it risk-free with our free membership tier.

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