Credit 101

How Will Marriage Impact Your Credit Profile?

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Couples who keep their respective credit accounts healthy will be in a better position to receive favorable rates on joint accounts.Despite some popular misconceptions, marrying somebody does not mean becoming tied automatically to their credit profile.

After marriage, you and your spouse will always have separate credit reports and credit scores. The mere act of getting married will have no bearing on either (aside from any name changes, which are accounted for in credit reports). That means information listed on your credit report, including student loans, credit cards, or any mortgage you might have, will not be merged with the information on your spouse’s file. However, if you and your spouse open a joint account or add one another as authorized users on a particular credit card, this information will be listed on both of your credit reports and payment history will impact your respective credit scores.

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Your Credit Score Will Not Be Impacted By Your Spouse’s Credit History

Overall, your credit profile will not be impacted by your spouse’s credit history. Your credit score will only be influenced by how you manage the accounts in your name. However, if your spouse has a poor credit rating and you apply for a line of credit jointly—including a mortgage, auto loan or credit card—your spouse’s credit score will be considered alongside yours, and you may not receive the most favorable terms.

Your Credit Card Accounts Will Stay In Your Name Unless You Say Otherwise
It’s a common fallacy that once you tie the knot, you and your spouse are automatically listed as an authorized user on each other’s credit card accounts. The reality is that unless you contact your credit issuer and ask that your spouse be added to your credit card account, you will retain sole usage rights.

Maintaining healthy credit scores and reports will help you and your spouse build a stronger foundation when you apply for lines of credit jointly and separately.

[Related: Credit Reports, Scores & Monitoring]

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