They say in marriage, two lives become one. Does this include your credit? How will your new civil status impact your score?

The short answer is nothing will happen. You and your spouse will each continue to have separate credit reports containing your credit history. Nothing from your spouse’s credit history will appear on your report. Even if he or she has a negative credit report, it will not be visible on yours.

Your credit score will also not drop just because your new spouse has a bad credit history. Conversely, yours will not improve based on your partner’s excellent credit.

How a name change affects your credit
If you change your name and report it to your credit card issuers or apply for new credit with the new name, it will be listed as a name variation on your credit report. This means that your credit history remains intact. Marriage will not erase past credit history. Besides, the information on your credit report draws from your social security number and marriage does not affect that.

Instances when marriage directly affects credit
Your credit score will play a role if you make any joint application with your spouse, for example, a credit card or loan. Both of your scores will be checked. You may be rejected if one spouse has a negative score or you may face high interest rates and fees even if you get approved.

Both spouses are responsible for paying credit card balances or making loan payments on joint accounts. Creditors or lenders can also collect from both of you in case of delinquencies.

However, if you have an authorized user account, the primary account holder is the only person responsible for paying the credit card debt, but the account history will affect everyone listed on the account.

The most important thing to consider here is the approach to credit-based applications. Will you get better rates if the spouse with the better credit apply instead of doing a joint application? Will you apply jointly and accept higher interest rates to improve the other spouse’s credit score? Discuss your options and make decide based on your priorities.