My Fiance Has Bad Credit Scores – Will They Hurt My Credit Scores?

Question

My fiance has worse credit scores than I do and we want to get married. Will his credit scores hurt my scores?

Answer

In short, the answer is no. Just because you are getting married does not mean that your credit histories and credit records are joined by marriage too. What it does mean however, is that if you are going to be getting a mortgage together his credit will possibly limit you if he has to be on the mortgage in order for you to qualify. If you can go it alone without his credit or income then that could be a way to buy a home.
In many states, both spouses are covered in the case of a divorce and the home being considered joint property even if one spouse was not on the mortgage. But you’ll need to speak with a family law attorney to figure out how your state operates in this area.

Authorized User and Joint Account Holder To Improve Scores
One tactic you may take to improve his credit report and credit scores once you get married is to put your new spouse on one or two of your credit card accounts as an authorized user and joint account holder. In this way, he can gain some good credit on his credit report by piggy backing on your good credit history. This process is typically pretty easy and it only takes a phone call to your credit card company to get the ball rolling.
If you are joining accounts as a strategic move to see if both of you can qualify for a mortgage, then do this step several months ahead of time so that your account can show up on his credit report and possibly improve his scores.
You may want to begin the path of improving your boyfriend’s credit report long before you get married so that getting joint credit accounts will not get in your way as newlyweds. The last thing that you will want to worry about is fixing his credit report. Visit our article on How To Improve My Credit Scores for more information.

Past Credit Problems Can Be Worked Out
Discussing past credit problems between new couples can be a touchy subject when there has been some rough credit. Always remember that stuff happens all the time which has a negative impact on our credit and credit scores. If you are just discovering a poor credit history with your significant other you want to check out if it was a onetime thing that has now been corrected or if it is a more chronic problem. Only you can tell what you want to do about it.
I have heard of many couples where one person takes over the finances – usually the one with good credit- to insure that bills get paid on time etc. This might be an easy solution to sloppy past credit histories. Often, just timely payments will make all the difference between decent credit scores and excellent credit scores.