Does getting married affect your credit? This is a great question, especially if you are planning to tie the knot soon? You may be wondering if your credit score will change.
You may also fear there will be negative consequences if the two credit profiles become one. The good news is much of what you may have heard about how marriage impacts credit scores probably isn’t entirely accurate.
Read on to learn more about what happens to your credit score when you get married.
What happens to your credit when you’re officially married?
In short, nothing. The act of marriage itself has no impact on your credit score. Credit bureaus maintain separate profiles for both you and your spouse. Also, know that your marital status isn’t reflected on your credit report. So, the only way for lenders and creditors to know that you’re married is if you change your name.
Your new name will be reflected on your credit report once you notify creditors and lenders. However, your credit score still won’t be impacted.
Do joint credit reports exist?
Unfortunately, many have been led to believe that joint credit reports are created when you tie the knot. This isn’t legally possible, though, as credit reports are created based on individual Social Security numbers.
Does changing your last name delete your credit history?
No. The update is made to the section of your credit report that includes personal information. Your credit history will remain intact, but it’s best to check your report to ensure the name change is reported correctly and the information in your report remains accurate and timely.
What if you or your spouse has bad credit?
It won’t impact you unless you decide to open a joint account with your spouse. As co-borrowers, the creditor or lender will evaluate both parties’ creditworthiness to make a lending decision.
This means the application can be denied, even if one credit profile demonstrates sound debt-management practices over time. Or the application could be approved, but with a higher deposit, down payment (for a home or car) or steep interest rate.
What if you live in a community property state?
Do you live in Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington or Wisconsin? These are considered community property states, and the rules are slightly different for married individuals seeking credit.
Credit reports aren’t merged. However, even if only you or your spouse apply for credit, lenders and creditors will also view your spouse’s credit reports. Why so? Community property states hold both partners responsible for any debts that are incurred while they are legally married.
So, if your husband or wife takes out a car loan and defaults on the agreement, you are still on the hook for the outstanding balance plus any applicable fees. The same rule applies to credit cards, personal loans and all other forms of debt.
How to boost your credit before tying the knot
It’s important to be up front with your spouse about finances before getting married. This helps ensure that both parties are on the same page and can avoid a lot of confusion, frustration and disappointment later on down the line.
If you or your partner want to start improving your credit health, consider a credit builder loan from MoneyLion. Unlike secured credit cards or other credit builder products, there’s no up front deposit requirement.
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Here’s how it works:
- Download the MoneyLion mobile app to your mobile device.
- Create an account.
- Link your bank account.
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- Receive your cash.
- Get weekly credit score updates on your credit progress
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Payments are automatically deducted, and account activity is reported to the 3 credit bureaus. Assuming you manage your other debts responsibly, your credit score will start to improve as positive payment history is added. More than half of loan takers with MoneyLion improve their score by over 60 points in their first 60 days.
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