Credit reporting agencies only maintain credit files on individuals so your credit file remains YOUR individual credit file when you get married. But that doesn’t mean your credit report doesn’t share anything at all with your spouse’s credit report or credit score.
What credit information IS shared by spouses?
1. Joint Accounts
If you’ve opened any joint accounts, those would appear on both credit reports and would affect both credit scores.
2. Individual accounts with an authorized user
Another possibility where information is shared on both reports would be if you opened a credit account and later added your spouse as an authorized user.
3. Items or events held or filed in both names
If you have jointly bought items or filed legal papers or any sort, those would appear on both credit reports. These could include real estate with a mortgage, vehicles, businesses, or any civil judgments, liens or bankruptcies.
Credit information is individual if you keep it that way
Getting married usually means joint lives, joint friends, joint families … and joint credit accounts. But those joint accounts happen only if you want them to. To keep 100 percent of your credit report and credit score affected only by your personal actions, make sure you don’t sign up for any joint accounts with your spouse.
If you’re wondering about your own personal credit report information, head over to www.annualcreditreport.com and get your free credit report. If you’re wondering about something much more important, namely how credit issuers use the information found in your credit report, go to GoFreeCredit.com as well. There you can get your FREE CREDIT SCORE and understand how your credit history will affect your chances of getting credit … and at what rate.
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