For Better, For Worse, In (Financial) Sickness and In (Financial) Health

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Popular myth states that you should be careful who you marry, because you’re marrying their credit report.  That’s not true.  Getting married in no way impacts your credit report.  However, many decisions that married couples make can impact their credit reports.

Marriage Does Not Impact Credit

Marriage records are not collected by the credit bureaus, and do not appear on credit reports.  There is no place on a credit report where it lists a spouse – in fact, there is no place on a credit report where another person’s name appears.  Your spouse, partner, roommate, child, or any former relationships are not known by or reported by the credit bureaus.  Reports are never combined or joined in any way, and your credit history is always for you and you alone.

Joint Accounts Do Impact Credit

Marriage does not impact credit; however, it’s extremely common for married couples to open joint accounts and those accounts do impact credit.  When more than one person is added to an account, then that account will appear on each of those persons credit reports.  Common examples of this include:

– Married couples buying a house together

– Parents adding their children as authorized users on their credit cards

– Friends co-signing on loans

In each of these situations, the relationship between the two people (spouses, parent/child, and friends) does not matter.  What matters is that two names are listed on the account.  In those situations, both people have committed to jointly managing the account and the account will appear on both people’s credit reports.