On your wedding day, when you recite your “I do’s,” you’re not only agreeing to a life together for richer, for poorer, through sickness and in health, but also to a life in which you share nearly everything. You’ll share your house, cars, friends, and family, and you may even inherit your spouse’s Chihuahua and last name.
While some of those instances may be for better or for worse, the good news is that when it comes to your credit score and credit report, sharing isn’t an option. Your credit will remain yours, and only yours, regardless of whether you tie the knot.
The following explains just a few facts about your post marriage credit, so that you can spend more time focusing on your wedding day, and less time worrying about the state of your credit score.
Last Name Change
Some people worry that changing their last name after marriage will erase their credit history. However, because the credit reporting agencies associate your credit report with your Social Security Number, you’ll retain all of your credit information even after you change your last name.
With that being said, it’s your responsibility to report your name change not only to the Social Security Administration, but also to all three of the credit reporting bureaus. This is an important step you should take after getting hitched to ensure that your credit history remains with you despite the change in your last name.
Separate Credit Reports
Once you have a ring on your finger, nothing will change on your credit report, except for maybe your last name. Your credit report will still store all of your past and current credit information, but it will remain separate from your spouse’s credit report. Your credit reports won’t merge after marriage.
The only time in which your credit report may reveal anything related to your spouse’s credit report is if you open a joint account together, in which case, the account information and payment history will appear on both of your credit reports.
Individual Credit Scores
In the same way that your credit reports won’t combine after marriage, neither will your credit scores. So you don’t have to worry about your spouse’s terrible credit score altering your stellar score in any way.
However, do keep in mind, that if your spouse has bad credit, it won’t lower your score in any way, but it could negatively affect your chances of applying for joint accounts. Generally when you want to apply for a loan, mortgage, or credit card together, the lender will run a credit check on both you and your spouse. So even if you have excellent credit, your spouse’s low credit score could lead to higher fees and interest rates on the loan.
Regardless of whether you’re planning on getting married, or still enjoying the honeymoon phase, you shouldn’t worry about the future of your credit post marriage. If you’re concerned about the differences between you and your significant other’s credit scores, use it as an opportunity to discuss ways in which you can improve your credit score and handle opening joint accounts as a married couple.