Credit reports are not merged when you get married.
Each spouse maintains their own credit report with the accounts they had prior to entering the marriage. If only one of you has responsibility for the debt prior to marriage, it would not appear on the other's report unless you are added as a joint account holder, or in some cases, as an authorized user.
If you share responsibility for a debt, that account will appear on both credit reports. You will always have your own individual credit reports; however, both of you will be responsible for any debt incurred on joint accounts, even if you aren't the one who made the charges.
Regardless of who's incurring debt, a missed payment on a joint account will negatively affect both of your records.
Some states have community property laws where virtually any debt incurred during marriage is automatically considered joint. You can contact your Attorney General to find out which states have community property laws.
See more on Marriage and credit reports on the Ask Experian blog.
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Scoped on: 4/04/2017