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How does marriage affect credit score

Debt Management

Bringing Debt into a Marriage: What You Need to Know

2022-03-02

Your wedding is on the horizon. The invitations have been sent. The guest list is finalized.

All you need to do is make it to the big day and say the infamous words:

“…’til debt do us part.

Wait a second. That can’t be right…can it?

As it turns out, debt plays a very big role in marriage. In fact, 86% of newly married couples start out in debt. So if you or your spouse-to-be are in the red, you’re not alone.

But before you tie the knot, it’s important to have total clarity about exactly how much debt you’re bringing into the marriage, which debts you’re individually (and collectively) responsible for, and how best to tackle them as a team.

Let’s shed some light on debt and marriage.

Does Marriage Affect My Credit Score?

The short answer is no!

Marriage does not directly affect your credit score, as the three major credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, all assess credit histories on an individual basis.

In the same way, VantageScore and FICO® scores also do not include any information about one’s marital status.

However, if you and your spouse jointly apply for a credit card or loan, both of your credit reports and credit scores will be taken into account. So if you or your spouse has less-than-perfect credit, one particularly low score could affect your ability to borrow money together.

The same rules apply if one spouse amasses considerable debt on a shared credit card. Even though only one spouse incurred the costs, both partners will be responsible for paying the total outstanding debts.

In that case, any late or negative payments on the jointly shared card will directly affect the credit reports and scores of both spouses.

Communication: The Key to Tackling Debt

Financial strife is one of the leading causes of divorce. Money issues rank after incompatibility and infidelity, respectively. This data isn’t meant to frighten fiancées, but instead, it’s intended to encourage the most important element of any relationship: open communication.

Such honesty is key to tackling debts and promoting prosperity in marriage. While conversations about money and debt aren’t necessarily enjoyable, they help ensure that every financial secret is out in the open.

Make no mistake: having debt is a normal part of life. After all, the average American has over $92,000 of it. In fact, as of 2018, over 74% of couples planned to go into debt because of their weddings alone!

Debt can certainly be a burden. But, undisclosed debts could cause even bigger dangers which could lead to dire financial straits and potential divorce.

You know your spouse-to-be better than anyone. Make it your mission to create an environment that empowers you both to freely discuss financial matters. And once everything is on the table, you can create a plan to pay debts, save money, and build the future you’ve always imagined.

Put Your Best Credit Foot Down the Aisle

Debt may not be the first topic you want to talk about with your significant other, but it’s necessary and responsible. Honest communication about finances may give you the opportunity to find solutions together and build a stronger bond. And possibly...stronger credit.

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