cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Merging finances after marriage

Your FICO® Scores can impact your loan interest rates, terms, approvals and more.
New Member

Merging finances after marriage

Hello!

 

I am super excited to be marrying the girl of my dreams, probably in late 2019. We are planning on buying a house in 2020, which will involve applying for a loan. We are in our late 20's.

 

We want to jointly combine our finances but we would like to understand how that will impact our credit score and success rate to obtain the best loan. Our financial characteristics:

 

Myself - I have no debt whatsoever. My credit score is 800+. However, I have never had any auto loans, mortgage payments or student loans. I am very fortunate for that. Literally my only "loans" have been credit cards, which I've never missed a payment. My income is $80k - $100k

 

She - She has about $155k in student debt from undergrad and law school, with a 6% interest. Her income is about $110k-$130k and will continue to rise. She has a credit score of about 760. She had an auto loan, but has paid it off and obviously has student loans where she pays monthly payments. 

 

Would that kind of credit mix for  help us still having an excellent credit score and obtaining a low interest rate for a loan?

Message 1 of 12
11 REPLIES 11
Community Leader
Legendary Contributor

Re: Merging finances after marriage

One significant advantage to merging finances is that the CARD Act mandates that a spouse can claim joint income of both when applying for a credit card if their finances are available to each spouse/partner.  That permits a lower (or no-income) spouse to claim income of the other, and thus get their own credit card.

 

 

Message 2 of 12
New Visitor

Re: Merging finances after marriage

I think this is the best idea to get merge the finance of both the individual by this we do what we want. I think there may or may not be the other alternative to have this.

Message 3 of 12
Moderator Emeritus

Re: Merging finances after marriage

As to merging finances ... would the OP then become liable for repayment on the student loans? Or, with no action on the part of the OP, would marriage mean he would be liable on the student loans anyway? Food for thought.
Starting Score: 000 Fico
Current Score: 850 Fico EX08EQ08TU08
Goal Score: 850


Take the myFICO Fitness Challenge
Message 4 of 12
Senior Contributor

Re: Merging finances after marriage

Pre-existing loans should be maintained as is. Changing anything may result in a negative impact on score due to resetting the balance to loan ratio to 100%. Generally it is better for each person to have their own credit cards. I'm not an advocate of AU cards but, one joint card or AU card may make sense for covering household expenses.

 

Generally speaking, what you do with checking and savings accounts won't affect credit score. I would suggest splitting who is listed first on various bills (utilities, phone, insurance...). Why? - My experience is only the 1st name gets "credit" for payment history on these bills and that history comes into play with other important "non Fico" scores.

Fico 8: .......EQ 850 TU 850 EX 850
Fico 9: .......EQ 850 TU 850 EX 850
Fico 4 .....:. EQ 809 TU 823 EX 830 EX Fico 98: 842
VS 3.0:...... EQ 835 TU 835 EX 835
Fico 8 BC:. EQ 892 TU 900 EX 900
CBIS: ........EQ LN Auto 940 EQ LN Home 870 TU Auto 902 TU Home 950
Message 5 of 12
Valued Contributor

Re: Merging finances after marriage

There are lots of ways to handle finances when you get married they vary from keeping everything seperate to having all funds/loans/cc etc. joined to everything in between.  You might want to check out https://ficoforums.myfico.com/t5/Relationships-and-Money/How-do-you-married-couple-s-pay-bills/m-p/5...

 

As to the effect on your credit that is a different story.   Getting married will not affect your credit in and of itself.   Any current accounts stay with which ever one of you have the account now and will not affect the other unless you refi or are added as an AU.   Future accounts can be opened as joint or individual depending upon what you want.   CC generally do not offer joint accounts, and one of you would be the account holder and the other the AU.

 

As stated above if you have joint bank accounts that your income is deposited into each of you can use the total as our income on CC applications. 


FICO 8 Starting Score

Current Scores






Message 6 of 12
Valued Contributor

Re: Merging finances after marriage

OP I am almost in a identical situation with marriage upcoming and looking at the possibilities surrounding how we will handle our accounts. Good info given in the above posts that puts things in perspective.

What you both also have going for you is that you seem to be on top of your credit and finances. This is very promising moving forward. I can't say the same for my situation. My counterpart has more issues on her side, which complicates my thought process a bit, and tends to make me a lot more cautious in my approach.
                               

Total Credit: $240,100Credit Utilization: 1%AAoA: 5 years, 7 monthsInstallments: Car Lease, Marcus LoanNegatives: 0

LOWES-35k | BOA-32.5k | AMEX-30k | DISC-27.1k | ALLIANT-25k | NFCU-25k | BARC-15k | BBUY-12k | CHASE-10k | WAL-10k | CITI-9.7k | PENFED-9.7k


Message 7 of 12
Established Contributor

Re: Merging finances after marriage


@Dinosaur wrote:
As to merging finances ... would the OP then become liable for repayment on the student loans? Or, with no action on the part of the OP, would marriage mean he would be liable on the student loans anyway? Food for thought.

Would depend on the state you are in and what their laws are.  I live in WI, as soon as my wife and I got married I became responsible for half of her debt.  Now when I get a new card I have to have to either make her an AU or have her sign a form that she knows I got a new card.

EX680 TU 659 EQ 691
Cap1 QS-$4,500 Chase Freedom Visa- $800 Chase Freedom Unlimited- $500 Victoria's Secret- $2000 Citi DC- $800 Amazon Store Card- $3,500 AMEX Hilton Honors-$1,000 Discover It-$1,000 Wal-Mart MC $290 Chase Sapphire Preferred-$5,000 NFCU Flagship $10,000 AMEX BCE-$1,000 AMEX Gold-NPSL
NFCU SSL $88/1005
Message 8 of 12
Frequent Contributor

Re: Merging finances after marriage


@Thomas_Thumb wrote:

Pre-existing loans should be maintained as is. Changing anything may result in a negative impact on score due to resetting the balance to loan ratio to 100%. Generally it is better for each person to have their own credit cards. I'm not an advocate of AU cards but, one joint card or AU card may make sense for covering household expenses.

 

Generally speaking, what you do with checking and savings accounts won't affect credit score. I would suggest splitting who is listed first on various bills (utilities, phone, insurance...). Why? - My experience is only the 1st name gets "credit" for payment history on these bills and that history comes into play with other important "non Fico" scores.


+1.

 

I have a friend who was the primary on everything and his wife was an AU where applicable. This went on for 10-15 years until they were ready to purchase a bigger house. Her FICO score was "undeterminable".

    EQ=830        TU=816         EX=807      INQ=1/1/5     UTIL=1%         AZEO

Message 9 of 12
Valued Contributor

Re: Merging finances after marriage


@EAJuggalo wrote:

@Dinosaur wrote:
As to merging finances ... would the OP then become liable for repayment on the student loans? Or, with no action on the part of the OP, would marriage mean he would be liable on the student loans anyway? Food for thought.

Would depend on the state you are in and what their laws are.  I live in WI, as soon as my wife and I got married I became responsible for half of her debt.  Now when I get a new card I have to have to either make her an AU or have her sign a form that she knows I got a new card.


I know WI is a community property state and thus both spouses are liable for debts incurred during the marriage, however to the best of my knowledge a spouse is NOT liable for debts incurred prior to a marriage or after a legal separation or divorce. 


FICO 8 Starting Score

Current Scores






Message 10 of 12