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How Marriage Can Affect Your Credit Score

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Discover how marriage impacts your credit score. From handling debt to merging accounts, explore the financial implications of tying the knot.


So, you’ve tied the knot and said “I do” to your partner. Congratulations! But did you know that marriage can also have an impact on your credit score? Yes, that’s right – saying “I do” doesn’t just mean sharing a last name or a home.  It can also mean sharing credit histories and financial responsibilities. Let’s take a closer look at how marriage can affect your score.

Does Marrying Someone With Bad Credit Affect Your Score?

When you marry someone with bad credit, it doesn’t automatically mean that their credit score will drag yours down. Your credit histories remain separate even after saying “I do.” However, if you apply for joint accounts or loans together, lenders will consider both of your credit scores. So if your partner’s bad credit affects your ability to qualify for loans or credit cards together, it could indirectly impact your credit score.

It’s important to have open and honest conversations about finances with your partner. Transparency allows you to work together to improve their credit score if needed. By maintaining good financial habits and communication, you can protect your own credit score while also helping your partner increase theirs. Remember, marriage is a partnership in all aspects of life, including finances. So it’s crucial to work together towards a healthy financial future.

Will Changing Your Name Impact Your Credit?

One common question that arises after getting married is whether changing your name will impact your credit score. The short answer is no, changing your name alone won’t affect your credit score. That said, it’s important to update your personal information with creditors and credit bureaus to ensure that your new name is reflected accurately on all accounts.

Changing your name can sometimes lead to confusion or errors in credit reporting if not updated properly. This issue could affect your ability to access credit and may lead to discrepancies in your credit report. To avoid any problems, make sure to notify all creditors, lenders, and credit bureaus of your name change. Double-check that your new name is accurately reflected on all accounts and monitor your credit report regularly to catch any errors early on.

Do You Share Debt When You Get Married?

When you say “I do” to your partner, you’re not just saying yes to a lifetime of love and companionship. You’re also saying yes to sharing financial responsibilities. But what about debt? Do you automatically inherit your partner’s debt once you get married? The short answer is no. Your partner’s debt remains their own responsibility, even after tying the knot.

That doesn’t mean, though, that debt won’t have an impact on your marriage. If your partner’s debt is substantial, it could affect your ability to qualify for joint loans or credit accounts in the future. It’s important to have open and honest conversations about existing debts and create a plan together to address them. By working together to pay off debt and manage finances responsibly, you can protect your credit score and build a strong financial foundation for your marriage.

Should You Merge Your Credit Accounts?

After you’re married, you may wonder if it’s a good idea to merge credit accounts with your partner’s. While merging credit accounts can make it easier to manage finances and track expenses as a couple, it’s important to consider the potential impact on your credit score.

If one partner has a significantly lower score than the other, merging credit accounts could drag down the higher-scoring partner’s credit score. Additionally, if one partner has a history of late payments or high levels of debt, it could hurt the other partner’s credit rating.

Before deciding to merge credit accounts, it’s essential to discuss financial habits and credit scores with your partner. Consider the potential risks and benefits of merging accounts and weigh them against maintaining separate credit histories. Ultimately, the decision to merge credit accounts should tun on what is best for both partners’ financial well-being and future goals.

How do joint credit card accounts impact your credit score?

So you and your partner have decided to open a joint credit card account together – that’s great! But how will this decision impact your credit score? Well, when you have a joint credit card account, both you and your partner are equally responsible for making payments on time and managing the balance. This rule means that any late payments or high balances on the account could affect both of your credit scores.

If one partner overspends or misses a payment, it could drag down the other partner’s credit score as well as their own. On the flip side, if you both use the card responsibly and make payments on time, it can actually boost both of your scores over time.

Having a joint credit card account can also impact your credit utilization ratio — the amount of credit you’re using compared to the total amount available to you. If you have a high balance on your joint account, it could increase your utilization ratio and lower your credit score.

How to raise your credit score with help from your spouse

Once you’re married, you’re ready to tackle your credit scores together as a team! A key to success is communicating openly and working together towards a common goal. Start by reviewing both of your credit reports and identifying any areas that need improvement. Are there any late payments or high balances that need to be addressed? Make a plan together to tackle these issues and set achievable goals for improving your credit scores.

Next, consider ways you can raise your credit score with help from your spouse. One effective strategy is to become authorized users on each other’s credit accounts. By doing so, you can both benefit from the positive payment history and credit utilization of the account holder. This can help establish or improve your credit history, boosting your credit scores over time.

Another way to raise your scores is to work together to pay down existing debts. It’s key to manage your credit balances responsibly. By making on-time payments and keeping your credit card balances low, you can demonstrate good financial habits to creditors and improve your scores. At the same time, consider making a budget together — and sticking to it to avoid overspending and accumulating more debt.

It’s also important to check both of your credit reports regularly to ensure there are no errors or discrepancies that could be negatively impacting your scores. If you do find inaccuracies, be sure to dispute them with the credit bureaus to have them corrected.

In conclusion

Marriage can have a significant impact on your credit score, for better or for worse. It’s important to have open and honest conversations with your partner about your financial habits and credit scores before deciding to merge accounts. While joint credit card accounts can help boost both of your credit scores when used responsibly, they can also drag them down if mismanaged. By working together as a team, setting goals, becoming authorized users on each other’s accounts, and managing debts and balances wisely, you can make sure both you and your spouse establish and maintain good credit scores. Remember to check your credit reports regularly for errors and discrepancies and to take steps to address them promptly. If you need help checking your report for errors, don’t hesitate to reach out to Dovly for help. Dovly is a free AI credit engine that can help (re)build, manage, and protect your credit report. Get started HERE.


Tedis Baboumian is Dovly’s Co-Founder and Chief Credit Officer. With over 20 years of experience in the consumer credit industry, Tedis is an authority on the credit industry and has cultivated deep relationships with the major credit bureaus and has developed extensive practical expertise in matters relating to credit reporting, regulatory compliance, information security, and fraud mitigation. Following a distinguished career in the U.S. Marine Corps as a specialist in intelligence gathering, legal services, and weapons training, Tedis returned to civilian life, joining Rapid Credit Reports (RCR), an independent credit reporting agency. Tedis managed compliance and operations for RCR, and eventually assumed leadership as the company’s CEO. In 2018 he founded Dovly, alongside Nirit Rubenstein, Dovly’s CEO. Tedis holds a bachelor’s degree in management information systems from California State University, Long Beach.