If you just got married, chances are good that emotions are running high. After all, you have found the love of your life and everything is looking good. You just have to make sure that you keep things going smoothly. And that means making sure that you understand the way your credit is affected by your marriage.
In many cases, your credit is not positively or negatively affected by your spouse. You get to have a separate credit report and only your information is there on that report. The marriage itself is public record, which means that lenders will know that you are indeed married sooner or later.
If you’re a woman worried about losing your financial history upon marriage, relax! Your credit history is actually tied to your Social Security number, not your name. This means that if you change your name in any way, you’ll still be able to enjoy all of the hard work that you’ve put into maintaining your credit. If your credit isn’t great, you still have a few ways to improve it.
The top way is to add yourself to your spouse’s credit card as an authorized user. This step only makes sense if you are both a good saver as well as someone that has a spouse with a good credit history. If you are the one that has a good financial history, then apply this knowledge in the other direction.
There are times where the credit bureaus will accidentally split your credit file in half following a name change. If this happens, it needs to be re-merged right away.
Your credit score can go up as you get married, because you have two incomes to work with when it comes to debts.
Joint accounts of all kinds will be handled by both of you. This means that if one of you is considered late on a payment — you are both considered late, and both of your credit histories will reflect this. This means that if you don’t marry someone that has the same financial view that you have, you will end up always spending money in a negative fashion. This will affect your credit and keep you from other products that matter to you — like a home loan.
If you are going to take the step towards joint accounts with your spouse, you need to make sure that both of you are aware of how the accounts will be used. You might have a policy of being able to charge only what can be paid off during that same reporting month. This would effectively mean that you don’t have any interest charged, and thus you get to simply have extra time to pay the cards back. Any card can be an interest free card if you know how to work the terms and conditions of the credit card.
If your spouse has a bad credit history, it’s something that you need to discuss. They might have a valid reason why their finances were so bad in the past. If they are taking steps to pay everything on time and avoid being late, then you will have no problem building a solid financial future together. Good luck!