It's one of the most common misconceptions about credit: knowing how the finer points of joint accounts work. Many people think that as you start to merge your finances as a couple, your credit scores also blend together. Like cosigning, having a joint account is a paired activity where the results of how you meet your responsibilities can affect the credit scores of both people. But that doesn't mean that your scores become just one, shared score.
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Welcome to Credit 101. Simple answers to the most common credit questions like… Are there benefits of filing taxes individually versus jointly?
In most cases a couple may come out ahead if filing taxes jointly — but there may be instances where filing separately may be beneficial. For instance, do you earn a similar income to your spouse? Filing individually may help you avoid what some people tax professionals refer to as "the marriage penalty." This happens when filing jointly results in a higher joint income, and moves you up to a higher tax bracket. Remember that every situation is different, and you'll likely want to contact a qualified tax professional. How you file can determine whether or not you get a rebate. A rebate can be an opportunity to add to your savings, or pay off some debt — and that could impact your credit score.
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This article was originally published on June 19, 2017, and has been updated.