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Will My Spouse's Bad Credit Affect Mine?

Getting married won't immediately affect your credit report. In fact, because your credit is linked to your Social Security Number, your credit report will always remain separate of your spouse's credit report. Once you get married, there are ways that your spouse's actions can affect your credit score.

Credit & Joint Accounts

In some cases, your spouse's credit history may limit your financial freedom. Because your past credit affects your eligibility for credit, insurance, and renting a home, a spouse may disqualify the other with their bad credit history. You may be able to work around this problem by applying for credit on your own, but only if you are financially eligible for credit.

Likewise, your spouse's current credit and habits may begin affecting your credit as you begin to merge finances. Before deciding to open a joint account, you should consider the following:

  • Your spouse's financial activity will directly affect your credit report.
  • When one spouse is added to an account, their credit will be affected according to the credit history associated with that account.
  • Opening a joint account or adding a spouse will always show up on both credit reports.

While you will not immediately feel the effects of a spouse's negative credit history, it is likely to affect you throughout the course of your marriage, especially when you begin to make financial choices together. Additionally, bad credit can continue to be a problem after marriage as your spouse maintains access to joint accounts or debt. If your ex-spouse fails to take responsibility for their end of joint debt or gets in extreme debt at the end of your marriage, both of your credit scores will suffer.

Stay in Control of Your Credit

Take a cautious approach to your marital finances by looking into your spouse's credit report and working to establish beneficial financial habits early. Wait to form a joint account until you are confident that your spouse will be responsible with your funds. Finally, in the case of a divorce, close any joint accounts as soon as possible and work to ensure that payments on joint debt do not stop.

At the Law Offices of Donald Mastrodomenico, P.C., our legal team practices exclusively in family law. We have maintained a spotless record with the New York State Bar Association, validating both our skill in meeting clients' needs and our ability to provide these services at an affordable price. If you would like to form a prenuptial agreement to protect your credit report during marriage or need other legal counsel for a divorce, our team is here to help.

Contact our Queens family lawyers today for legal counsel honed by more than over 35 years of experience!