For most people, getting married means life is about to change in a million ways—some major, and some less significant. You might be moving into a new home, merging families, and deciding who’s in charge of everything from turning out the light at night to paying all the bills.
You’re planning all the details of the big day and filing for a marriage certificate. And among all of the hustle and bustle, you may find yourself wondering: does getting married affect your credit?
There are many misconceptions about what happens to your credit score when you get married, and we’re here to set the record straight. Check out our guide to learn how marriage affects your credit.
Will You Share Credit History When You Get Married?
Marriage will affect your credit score differently depending on how you decide to manage your finances as a couple. You’ll both come into the marriage with your own credit history, and that history will remain your own. Even if you’re marrying someone with bad credit, it won’t bring down your own credit score. And you won’t be held responsible for your spouse’s credit score or any debt they owe.
So what if you apply for a mortgage, car loan, or some other type of credit together? When applying jointly, the lender will take a look at both of your credit histories to determine whether you are eligible for the loan and what the terms will be.
Can Getting Married Help Boost Your Credit Score?
Here’s a bit of good news. Though marrying someone with a poor credit score won’t bring your own credit score down, marrying someone with a higher credit score can eventually help to boost your own score as you learn from their good habits. Your spouse has probably worked hard to develop financial discipline, and they can teach you their ways so your credit score improves over time.
You can also ask your spouse to be a co-signer on a credit card if you have a low credit score. You’ll still be paying a higher interest rate than those with a more favorable credit score, but the rates will be lower than if you were applying for the credit card alone.
Does a Name Change Affect Your Credit Report?
Those who change their name when they get married may worry about how this affects their credit report. Will the name stay the same on the credit report? Does it need to be changed with your credit bureau, too? Or will the name change completely erase your past credit history?
Conveniently, when you file for a name change with the Social Security office, your credit bureau will get the notice and update your account. So there’s no need to worry about any confusion there—your credit card company will certainly still know who you are. For better or for worse, your credit history will remain the same, and you won’t have to go to any extra effort to change your name with the credit bureau.
What Happens If One of You Has Filed for Bankruptcy Before Getting Married?
If you or your spouse has filed for bankruptcy before getting married, this won’t have any effect on your spouse’s credit score. Just like credit card debt, your history is yours alone. However, bankruptcy can make it harder to get a mortgage, get approved to rent an apartment, or get any other type of loan with your spouse. Be aware that while past bankruptcy won’t affect the other partner’s credit score, it could affect your finances in the future.
Get a Free Debt Assessment Today
Though getting married won’t affect your personal credit score, it is important to discuss money with your partner and make sure you’re setting yourselves up for good financial habits. If you or your partner has accrued debt before marriage, CreditAnswers can help. Contact us to get a free debt assessment today and learn how we can help you pay a fraction of what you owe and become debt-free as quickly as possible.