Getting married is a huge life decision, so it’s natural to have concerns about how marriage and your spouse’s financial history will impact your finances. Let’s explore some of the facts about the impact of marriage on your credit.
No Credit Merger
One of the most common myths about marriage’s impact on credit is that a married couple’s credit reports become merged—this is false. Each person’s credit is linked to their social security number, which means that even after you marry your credit report will remain separate from your spouse’s.
Name Change Only
If you’re taking on your spouse’s surname, your credit history won’t simply disappear. Both your new name and your old one will display on your credit history. It’s important to watch for errors when changing your name. Sometimes credit information from someone else may mistakenly end up on your credit report during this process. If this happens, simply contact the credit bureaus to have them correct the errors.
“If you’re taking on your spouse’s surname, your credit history won’t simply disappear.”
Interest Rate Impacted
If you’re planning to open a joint credit account or take out a home loan with your spouse, interest rates will be determined by looking at your credit score and the credit score of your spouse. If your spouse has a low credit score you may need to pay more interest on your loan. Your existing credit accounts are not impacted at all by your new spouse’s credit score.
Your credit accounts remain yours alone, even if you’re married. Your spouse will not become an authorized user or joint account holder on any of your credit accounts unless you specifically add them.
Before getting married, you should talk openly with your spouse about credit. Discuss your expectation about how the family will approach credit and finances. If there are outstanding balances on your new spouse’s credit accounts or negative entries on their credit report, it’s important to candidly address how this may impact the family, and develop a plan for resolving any credit issues you may face.