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Marraige and Credit

Valued Member

Marraige and Credit

Hi everyone,


I got engaged back in december and I have a lot of questions about how getting married affects your credit. I have pretty decent scores over 750 usually. I have four cards with CLs of, 7,8,9 and 10K. My fiance has limited credit history and can't get approved for a prime card. She has a cap 1 (credit steps) which indicates the eventual max cl will be 750. She also has a CU card with 1500. Is her lower score and shorter credit history going to bring down my scores?


How does it work? When we (someday) apply for a mortgage will they check both scores? Do your CRA reports get combined?

Should I add her as an AU on my cards (will it boost her scores)??





Message 1 of 7
Senior Contributor

Re: Marraige and Credit

Marriage does not combine your credit at all.   You each have seperate credit report and always will.


Any credit that you get jointly of any kind will show up on both reports and get included in scoring.   If either of you add the other as Authorized User, then usually that account will show on both reports and affect scores. 


It is generally recommended that you keep most of your credit as individual accounts and you can use the AU to allow for the other to use.   You can also use it to improve the score of the other by adding AU on good accounts with long history. 


When applying for mortgage together, they will look at both of your scores.






Message 2 of 7
Established Contributor

Re: Marraige and Credit

Congrats on your engagement.  You still have individual credit reports and scores when you get married, the reports don't get merged.  The only way you will have the same accounts reporting is if you get a joint account (which is typically discouraged except for mortgages).  If you do apply for a joint mortgage, they will go by whoever has the lower scores, but her scores will have no bearing on your scores.  She should get a score bump if you add her to your oldest CC account, but you want to make sure that account has no negative information and always maintains low utilization.  However, a manual review of her report (such as what occurs during a mortgage app) will reveal that her score is being propped up in part by an AU account.  Beyond that, she should continue to build her own credit history, maintain low balances on her credit cards and avoid late payments on her accounts. 

Message 3 of 7
Regular Contributor

Re: Marraige and Credit

No, her lack of a good credit history will not bring down your scores.  Your credit is yours, your fiancee's is her own.  Getting married does not mean your CRA reports are combined, however, many couples choose to apply for credit jointly after marriage and thus many accounts would look similar.


When you apply for credit, they check whomever's scores are going on the mortgage.  So if you plan to have both of your incomes taken into consideration for a mortgage, both of your scores will be used. 


If your cards have long histories (longer than hers, on average) feel free to add her as an AU. If your getting married soon, I'd probably wait until you get name changes and address changes taken care of (if she is changing her name and if you haven't already moved into together.)

Current Cards:
American Express Blue Cash Preferred - March 2007 - CL $10,000
Citi Forward Visa Signature - September 2009 - CL $6,500
Chase Freedom - March 2011 - CL $15,000
Chase Sapphire Preferred - May 2013 - CL $12,500
Discover It - November 2013 - $5,000
Barclay Arrival - January 2014 - $10,000
Message 4 of 7

Re: Marraige and Credit

The mortgage will go by the lowest scoring person on the loan.

Message 5 of 7
Valued Contributor

Re: Marraige and Credit


zkder wrote:  Hi everyone,  I got engaged back in december and I have a lot of questions about how getting married affects your credit...



Hi, zkder!

While all of the above replies are accurate, there's still a few things you must consider carefully regarding your personal credit situation after you marry...


  • Certain credit purchases will no longer be authorized  (game tickets, ATVs, new golf clubs, etc.)  These transactions will come back "declined" the very moment you even think about 'em.
  • Expect credit limit reductions and/or account closures at your favorite watering holes, due to new credit-use  restrictions and/or account inactivity.  (This is not a permanent situation, however; as time passes, expect dramatic CLIs as you spend an ever-increasing amount of time commiserating with your local beertender).
  • Sock-drawered cards will be at risk, due to having no socks at all in your one drawer; prudence dictates that you keep these cards under the largest pile of socks/stockings/leg warmers/whatever in one of her eleven drawers so that they'll never be found again.
  • It is critical to establish a new emergency fund.  Your old one will be depleted rapidly, read "It was on sale!"  (Don't tell your new bride about the new fund...ever.)
  • Windfall cash is also at risk!  If you actually picked the right box in that Super Bowl pool and won $1000,  it is critical to do an even split with your new bride (on the $200 you told her you won)...

...and lots, lots more!  You're gonna love it!!

(Just kiddin'.....or am I?    Smiley Wink    Congrats on your engagement, but remember, there's still time...)  Smiley Very Happy

Message 6 of 7
Valued Member

Re: Marraige and Credit


Message 7 of 7