Getting married is a big milestone that can change your life. You may face what seems like a million decisions ranging from where to live, who pays the bills, to who takes out the trash. But as you plan for your new life, you may wonder if getting married affects your credit.
Perhaps you are worried that your future spouse doesn’t have a credit history. Or you may be concerned that poor credit can prevent you from buying a home in the future.
What happens to your credit when you’re officially married?
Credit files aren’t merged when you tie the knot; Instead, they remain separate. Neither spouse will see a bump or drop in their individual credit score just because they get married.
The only notable difference to your credit file happens if you change your name. It would help if you let lenders or creditors know that your name has changed so that they can update their records.
Does changing your last name remove your prior credit history?
Your credit history is tied to your Social Security number. Even if you take your spouse’s last name, there will be no impact on your credit score. However, it is a good idea to ensure that your new name is accurately noted at credit reporting agencies.
Will my bad credit score affect my spouse?
The good news is that even if you have a less-than-stellar credit score when you get married, it won’t affect the credit file for your spouse. Credit activity before you tie the knot stays on each of your credit reports.
Keep in mind that if one of you has a bad credit score, it can affect your ability to obtain credit as a couple in the future. If you want to borrow money together or plan to open a joint bank account, the credit history for both you and your spouse is considered. In other cases, lenders may charge a higher interest rate or ask that you put more money down before they extend credit, even if one of you has a good score.
Do joint credit reports exist?
Joint credit reports are a common misconception surrounding credit scores and marriage. There is no such thing as a joint credit report. Your credit history will always be based on your Social Security number.
However, if you plan to borrow money as a couple in the future, joint account activity will affect your individual credit score. If you miss a minimum payment on a joint credit card, each spouse’s credit score could suffer.
What if you live in a community property state?
Although joint credit reports do not exist, you may live in a state that holds both you and your spouse responsible for any debt you take out. Known as community property states, both spouses become responsible for any debt incurred when they are married. This is true even if the loan is in only one of your names.
If you live in Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, or Wisconsin, both spouses have held equally responsible for any credit taken out while they are married. This is the case even if the other spouse doesn’t know about the debt.
The remaining states follow common-law rules allowing spouses to take out debt as individuals.
Boost your credit before tying the knot
To limit unnecessary stress in your future marriage, it is a good idea for both partners to be open about their financial health and history. This includes sharing information about your bank accounts, loans, investments, and credit. Talking about your credit score before you tie the knot may be uncomfortable, but you can avoid unwanted financial surprises in the future.
If one, or both of you, has a credit score that could use a boost, there are plenty of ways to improve your credit health. An affordable 12-month loan could give you a quick infusion of cash and help improve your credit score. You can also build credit with Credit Builder Plus from MoneyLion. With no hard credit check and no upfront deposit requirement, you can start rebuilding your credit before you tie the knot.1
Start your marriage with great credit
Marriage signals a fresh start for a new couple. As a newlywed, you may want to buy a new home or invest in a family car. But if your credit score isn’t great, these dreams may seem out of reach.
A poor credit score doesn’t have to sour your marriage. You can get to work now on rebuilding your credit score. Credit Builder Plus from MoneyLion lets you borrow up to $1,000 with no hard credit check.1
Rebuilding your credit has never been easier. In just a few simple steps, you can be on your way to building your credit score.
To get started:
- Download the MoneyLion app
- Create an account
- Link your bank account
- Apply for a Credit Builder Plus loan
- Upon approval, quickly receive your money
You receive a part of the funds that day. MoneyLion holds onto the remaining loan proceeds and deposits these directly into an interest-bearing Credit Reserve Account. Once you have fully repaid your loan, you’ll have access to the money you saved.
Credit Builder Plus membership not only helps you rebuild credit but you might be able to build a little nest egg, which can be a welcome addition to a newlywed couple. Sweeten your financial future today as a couple, by building your credit with MoneyLion.