Credit scores: Does marriage make them one, too?

“If I have a very good credit history, but marry someone with a poor one, will it change my credit rating?”

Don’t call off the wedding! The answer is no. Every person has their own separate credit history, which stays the same even after they get married.

However, your spouse’s poor credit history may be a hindrance in some situations. For example, if you apply for a loan together, you may be rejected because of his/her poor credit score. On the flip side, if you apply for a large loan on your own, it may be rejected based on your single income.

It may be important to know about your intended’s credit history before marriage. Discussing financial goals and attitudes toward money will help you agree on future money matters, and help build a stronger relationship. (Fights over finances can be pretty devastating to a marriage.)

If your fiance does have credit problems, there is no need to panic. It could be due to an isolated period of illness or unemployment, which will improve with time and commitment. If it’s an ongoing issue, that may be a bigger problem that you can hopefully resolve together.

One way to work in this problem is to keep separate accounts until his/her credit has improved. If you have a loan or credit card that you own jointly, and don’t make timely payments, this will reflect on both of your credit histories.  The most important thing to do is try to pay all your bills on time! Good luck!