Getting married is one of the biggest life changes you will experience. After marriage, you will share many aspects of your life going forward, including the financial ones. Like some Eugene residents, you might wonder how your future spouse’s credit rating will affect you. If he or she has bad credit, will it bring you down? Or will your own credit be improved after you marry someone with better credit than you?

According to Experian, your own credit rating is exclusive from your spouse’s. Therefore, if you have taken care of your credit but your spouse has a terrible credit rating, your own will not be brought down simply by marrying him or her. However, a spouse’s poor credit rating may affect you in other ways. Like many newlyweds, you may be planning to buy a home or vehicle together. You might also be considering opening up joint bank accounts and applying for credit cards in both of your names. When applying for a new loan, both of your credit reports will be taken into consideration.

Any debt that you accrue together after you are married will affect both of your credit ratings. This means that if your spouse is responsible for paying the bills and is late on your joint credit card payment, your credit will also suffer. Does this mean that you should not marry someone with bad credit? Of course not. However, it may be wise to sit down with your future spouse and discuss your goals and plans to pay bills on time, improve both of your credit ratings together and build a solid financial future. After making such plans, you both may be better prepared to make smart credit decisions and weather financial difficulties that may turn up.

If you plan on having joint accounts for most of your major financial transactions, it might be a good idea to have one credit card in your own name and keep it in good standing, in order to protect your credit rating as much as possible. This information is meant to be general and should not be taken as legal advice.