Despite what some critics might say, marriage is alive and well in the United States. In fact, around 2 million couples tie the knot every single year. Yet, while a wedding day might prove the happiest day of people’s lives, many couple jump into a marriage without fully considering all of the ramifications.
For example, many people never ask themselves, “What happens to your credit score when you get married?” It might not seem like an important question at 22, but it becomes increasingly important as you get older.
So, if you’re wondering what your upcoming nuptials might do to your credit score, keep reading for our quick guide.
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What Happens to Your Credit Score When You Get Married?
There is some good news or potentially bad news on this front, depending on your perspective. The credit bureaus make no consideration of your marital status in determining your credit score. They will maintain a separate file for you and for your spouse.
So, if you were worried that your bad credit would drag down your future spouse’s credit score, you can stop worrying. If you hoped your future spouse’s good credit would boost yours, no such luck.
Of course, things are not quite as simple as they might seem on the surface, as you’ll see in the next section.
At some point, almost all couples will look for some kind of shared debt. One of the most common examples is a mortgage. While your credit score won’t hurt your partner’s score, it can end up costing them in other ways.
If you apply for a mortgage together, the lender will consider both credit scores in making a decision about things like the interest rate. In that case, your bad credit can drive up the overall interest rate on that shared debt.
Your score can even make getting an apartment difficult, as you often need a minimum credit score to rent apartment.
Limiting the Damage
One of the best ways of limiting the damage from your poor credit score rating is looking for ways you can improve it. Wondering what affects your credit score? There are a handful of high impact areas you should look at, including:
- Payment history
- Derogatory marks
- Credit Utilization
If you have outstanding collections, do what you can to resolve them. If you make a lot of late payments, work on paying on time. If you carry high balances on cards, pay them down.
These activities will improve your credit score range over time.
Marriage and Credit Scores
The question of what happens to your credit score when you get married comes with a deceptively simple answer: nothing at all. Getting married won’t boost or lower your score or your spouse’s score. That doesn’t mean there are no long-term consequences.
Your low score can make it tougher for you to get an apartment and drive up the interest costs for shared debt like a mortgage.
Looking for more personal finance tips? Check out the posts in our Personal Finance section.