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Your Credit Report is not Merged with your Spouse’s after Marriage - Credit Reports are separate even after marriage

Consumers getting married often worry when one of them has bad credit and the other has good credit, that their credit report will be merged after marriage resulting in poor credit for both of them.  If this is the case with you, rest easy because your credit will not automatically be merged with that of your new spouse just because you got married.

Credit reports are separate even after marriage, and getting married in itself should not affect your credit report.  Each spouse will continue to have their own report that includes their individual items of credit as well as the credit they have incurred jointly with others.  The only items that will be in common on their reports will be if they incurred joint credit obligations before marriage, not the individual items they had pre-marriage.  Of course after marriage, they may open joint accounts which will show on both reports.

Your personal credit report is a history of the credit you have established in your name.  It will not include your spouses’ credit unless or until you enter into joint credit obligations.   Every effort has been made by the three national credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian and Trans Union) to ensure that only your credit data appears on your file. The bureaus keep track of your credit through a combination of your name, address, Social Security Number, and date of birth.

To recap, your credit is yours and your wife’s credit is hers. Only the credit you apply for together should show up on your credit report.

Now that we have established that credit is generally separate, if you are looking to understand your credit file, you might want to get a current copy of your credit report.  Although there are many places on the web where you can accomplish that task, the federal government has established a site where you can obtain your credit report for free every year with no strings attached (although if you wish to see your score you may have to purchase it). For your free credit report online, go to www.annualcreditreport.com, or to get your report through the mail, call them at 1-877-322-8228.

However you decide to undertake the process of managing your credit file, just keep in mind that the adjustments you seek will likely not take place overnight; it will almost certainly take some amount of time before you begin to see changes.  Take heart!  Keep at it.  Your efforts will pay off!