Credit Advice » Life Stages » Marriage


Marriage joins two lives and that means the good and the bad, the wildly romantic as well as the ordinary and everyday. Typically, couples who wed also merge at least part, if not all, of their financial lives, too. You may wonder how marriage will affect your credit now that your financial future is entwined with your spouse’s. It’s important to understand that parts of your credit lives may be linked, while other aspects will remain separate.

How Marriage Can Affect Your Credit

  • If you apply for credit together, the lender will likely check both of your individual credit scores.
  • Some states have community property laws that can treat any debts you incur in marriage as joint debt.
  • If your spouse adds you to an existing credit account, it could impact your personal credit utilization ratio.

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Dear Experian, I have been married for many years and have always had credit with my husband. If I ever need to apply for credit on my own, will I...

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Dear Experian, If I have a very good credit score and I marry someone with a bad credit score and previous debt, does that affect my credit score? - DTR

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January 4, 2012

Dear Experian, My fiancé is divorced and lost his house to foreclosure. He has a bad credit history including bankruptcy. When we marry what are the pros and cons of...

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