When you get married, you agree to share your life with the one you love. However, does getting married mean that you’ll also share other parts of your life, like your credit score?
If your partner has a poor credit score, do you know if that impacts your credit? Here’s what you need to know about your credit after getting married.
Do You Share a Credit Score with Your Spouse After Getting Married?
Even after you’re married, your credit score only reflects your personal debt usage. Remember, a credit score is tied to one specific Social Security number. It doesn’t change after you get married. A credit score can only reflect the debt history of a single individual. Your debt history is tied to your specific SSN, and your spouse’s credit score is linked to their SSN.
Does My Spouse’s Bad Credit Impact My Credit Score?
Since your spouse’s behavior is tied to their SSN, it won’t impact your credit score. Only your debt management can influence your credit score. One exception to this guideline is if you and your spouse apply for and use a joint account, like a mortgage, credit card, or auto loan.
A joint account looks at both your and your spouse’s financial information. You and your spouse are both responsible for repaying the debt, so it appears on both of your credit reports. If your spouse is responsible for paying a joint debt and forgets to make the payment, this late payment can be reflected on your credit. Or, if your spouse has asked you to co-sign for a loan, this means you’re now legally responsible for the debt. Again, it can appear on your credit report.
Individual accounts don’t automatically become joint accounts after you get married. They remain individual accounts unless you refinance or replace them with joint accounts.
What Happens to My Credit Score When I Change My Name?
If you change your name after getting married, know that it won’t impact your credit score. Your credit history under your old name remains on your credit report. When you report your name change to your creditors, they report your information using your new name.
It’s common to see both your old and new names on your credit report.
One way to help positively impact your credit scores is actively monitoring your credit. A credit monitoring service can help you keep an eye on your credit report of any inaccuracies or suspicious activity that can be the first sign of identity theft. Credit report monitoring also provides tools that analyze and make recommendation on how to reach your credit goals.