Are Credit Scores Combined When You Get Married?
January 24th, 2013 | Author: Ethel Wilson
[M]any of those considering marriage ask the question; “Are credit scores combined when you get married ?” Marriage is a wonderful institution; it’s an exciting time in a person’s life. Getting married will influence many things in your life, and one of those will be your credit. There are steps you can take to ensure you maintain your strong credit report while dating and after you get married so that you and your spouse can avail of the credit you will need. Let’s dig deeper in to the question “Are credit scores combined when you get married ?”
When a couple gets married, neither person’s credit score will be affected by their spouse’s. Every person maintains their own credit score, even after marrying. It is not a name that affects your credit rating; rather it is activities associated with your name. Your credit score will only be affected by something that is reported in your own name. In the case of a woman who marries, when her name is changed, creditors will report accounts in the new name and the credit bureaus will match it to your existing credit history.
Joint Accounts and Your Credit Score
In the case of joint accounts the action of one spouse
will affect the credit rating of the other. This is true even if the name of one spouse is added to an old account of the other. In that case, even things such as a prior bankruptcy of your spouse could affect your personal credit score. Many assume the best credit score and report in the marriage will counter the worst, but that is not true. This is especially the case if applying for a mortgage.
The required average credit score for a home loan in America really depends on the lender you apply to, but the fact is that both credit histories will be taken into account if you jointly apply for a mortgage. Even though one spouse has a stellar credit score, a bad credit score by the other could cause your application to be declined. It will at least require you to pay higher interest rates.
It is a good idea to find out the credit scores of both partners before applying for any new loans or accounts together. The companies offering the best credit score and report for each partner will be one of the three major credit reporting agencies – Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion. You can order your credit history from them for free once a year, after which they will provide you with your credit score for a fee.