Will Getting Married Affect My Credit Score?By Veronica Ott in Credit
Marriage can be a very exciting time in your life but it also comes with many changes, how you handle your finances is one of the most important changes. It may not be romantic to discuss your finances with your significant other but it’s absolutely necessary considering you will be sharing your lives with one another. In addition to your financial goals, one topic you should discuss with your partner is credit as it can have a serious impact on your financial goals together.
Check out our top tip for having the “credit talk” with your partner.
Credit Scores in Canada
A credit score is a three-digit number that tells potential lenders how good you are at managing your finances. Your credit score is a number based on your financial history, for example, payment history and debt management. Scores typically range between 500 and 780 for the average Canadian consumer, but credit scores can actually range anywhere from 300 to 900. The higher your number is the better your credit. Better credit means that lenders are more likely to give you better credit products, such as lower interest rates on mortgages. In Canada, there are two major credit bureaus who collect and distribute credit information, they are Equifax and TransUnion.
Check out this infographic to learn about how your credit score is calculated.
Does Getting Married Impact Your Credit Score?
We get asked credit-related questions on a daily basis at Loans Canada. We understand the need to understand credit health, particularly when it comes to how relationships and marriage may or may not have an impact. So, we decided to compile, and answer, our most frequently asked credit and marriage-related questions.
Does getting married impact my credit score?
No, getting married will have no impact on your credit score.
When I get married, will all my bank accounts become joint with my spouse?
No, you and your spouse’s bank accounts will not automatically merge upon marriage. If you and your spouse want to share your finances, there are options with banks to apply for loans, credit cards, and bank accounts together. Alternatively, you can add your spouse as an authorized user to your existing accounts.
Does my credit report merge with my spouse’s once we’re married?
No, you and your spouse’s credit reports don’t merge when you get married. Because your credit report is linked to your Social Security number, your report will only display information related to you. That being said, if you and your spouse have a joint credit product, the information pertaining to those joint products will be reflected on both of your credit reports.
Will changing my name affect my credit report and history?
No, personal information, such as your name and address, will be updated on your credit report once the Social Security Administration, creditors and credit bureaus are notified. Your personal information will change on your report but the information pertaining to your credit score and history will remain unchanged.
My spouse and I keep our finances separate, will my spouse’s past bankruptcy impact my credit score?
No, your credit history will always remain separate unless you and your spouse have shared credit products. However, it may be challenging for a spouse with a past bankruptcy to be approved for lending in the future. Usually, a bankruptcy will remain on your report for seven to ten years depending on the nature of the bankruptcy.
Learn more about filing for bankruptcy when you have a spouse, click here.
My spouse has poor credit, will that have an impact on my credit?
No, being married to someone with poor credit will have no impact on your credit score. Although, there are scenarios where your spouse’s poor credit could impact you. If you and your spouse have joint credit products and the lender reports to a major credit bureau, the information related to those products will show on both spouse’s reports. Also, if you and your spouse are considering applying for a credit product together, the lender will typically pull both spouse’s reports during the risk rating process.
This is not my first marriage, will having my maiden and married name on my report have an effect on my credit?
No, personal information has no impact on your credit.
If I file a dispute with one of the major credit bureaus regarding inaccurate or incomplete information on my credit report related to a joint account with my spouse, will my spouse’s credit report automatically be disputed too?
No, you and your spouse’s credit reports still remain separate despite your marriage. If your spouse wishes to dispute an error on their credit report, they will be required to file their own dispute.
Now that my spouse and I are married, is it required to apply for credit together?
No, marriage does not mean that you and your spouse are required to apply for credit together. You can apply for credit entirely by yourself which may be an ideal option if one spouse has a higher credit score than the other.
Are my spouse and I still entitled to one free copy of our individual credit reports each year from all three major credit bureaus?
Yes, both you and your spouse are entitled to a free copy of your credit report every twelve months from all three major credit bureaus. Requesting a free copy will have no impact on either spouse’s credit.
Is getting married financial beneficial? Learn more here.
The Importance of Your Credit Health
Getting married will have little to no impact on your credit score. This means that the health of your credit score is entirely in your hands despite your marital status. In the future, you and your spouse, or you alone, may want to apply for credit, your credit score will have an impact on your ability to do so. To ensure your credit score remains healthy, make sure to use your credit cards and loans responsibly and monitor your credit score annually.