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Credit Implications of Marriage

I just got engaged, my boyfriend has great credit. I do not. If we get married, how will this affect his credit?

I just got engaged, and my boyfriend has great credit-I on the other don't. If we get married, how will this affect his credit?

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Bill's Answer
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Bills.com | Find Learn Save
Highlights

  • Understand who is responsible for a debt, when the debt is in one spouse's name.
  • Review some steps that can improve the credit rating of a spouse with bad credit.

Thank you for your question about how getting married could affect your boyfriend’s good credit rating, given that your credit rating is not good.

You don’t need to worry about your boyfriend’s credit going bad because of yours. There is no such thing as a marital credit score. The only time your credit would be reported jointly would be if you applied for joint credit in the future. Even then a credit report would still identify those credit items that you were solely responsible for and those that he was responsible for.

You will each continue to have your own credit file. If you apply for loans/credit as an individual, they will only look at your credit record. If you apply jointly for a loan as co-borrowers, they will look at both your reports, but they would do the same thing if you weren’t married and applying for a joint loan.

Generally speaking, simply marrying a person with a poor credit history will not damage the spouse’s credit. The only way that I can foresee your poor credit affecting your boyfriend’s credit is if you added him as an authorized user on any of your accounts with a less-than-perfect payment history. If you add him to any of your accounts with a delinquent payment history, these accounts could appear on his credit report, thereby damaging his credit score.

On the other hand, your boyfriend may be able to help you improve your credit score by adding you as an authorized user on some of his credit card accounts, or by co-signing on a small loan with you, such as an unsecured personal loan. He can use his good credit to help you establish new credit lines, which should have a positive influence on your credit score. Anyone who is considering co-signing on a loan should read about the effects of co-signing on a loan.

If you would like to find out more about credit, credit scoring, and ways to improve your credit, I encourage you to visit the Credit Solutions and Resources page at Bills.com.

I hope this information helps you Find. Learn & Save.

Best,

Bill

Bills.com

3.5
/5.0
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6 Comments

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  • BA
    Sep, 2010
    Bill
    First of all, please review the Bills.com posting on Pennsylvania debt laws. Secondly, if threats are being made against you or your husband's assets, consult with an attorney in your state to learn if you have a cause of action (a legal reason to file a lawsuit) against the creditor.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Sep, 2010
    soontobe
    I live in PA, a commonwealth, and I heard somewhere that if I have bad debt (private student loans)they can seize mine and my new husbands joint assets so satisfy the debt.
    0 Votes

  • BA
    Jan, 2009
    Bill
    As long as you do not open any new account in joint names, you should be fine. They cannot come after you for stuff that was done prior to the marriage, even in a community property state, as this happens only on property that you accumulate once you are married.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jan, 2009
    rhooper
    my boyfriend is a victim of identy theft and we want to get married but i am affraid that the creditors will come after me i live in nyc and would like to no if this is a true fact
    0 Votes

  • BA
    Oct, 2008
    Bill
    I don't think it should affect your husband's credit.
    0 Votes

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