Before the Marriage
Before two people get married, their finances are completely separate. They have then accrued a credit score of their own. This credit score is completely unaffected by whether or not the couple gets married, whether they have been sharing a bank account already, etc. It is a 100% separate entity.
Contrary to popular belief, marriage does not affect your credit score . Even though ownership and finances may merge, credit scores remain associated with the individual.
If the bride has good credit and the groom has bad credit , this can be great news for the bride, because her good credit is not tarnished by his mistakes. Unfortunately for the groom, however, his credit score is not improved simply because he married someone with good credit. Both credit scores remain the same, even after marriage.
During marriage, however, these things can change. Married couples are far more likely to open up joint accounts, whether these accounts are for loans and mortgages or simply for bank accounts and other financial endeavors. Anything jointly opened during marriage is affected by both credit scores, so if one of you has bad credit, it can be far harder to get a loan.
And on major financial decisions, like mortgages, one spouse's bad credit tends to have a significant effect on the ability to get a good rate.
Because of this, when a couple gets married and they both have different types of credit histories, the couples should try to work together to improve the score of the spouse with poor credit before making any large joint financial decisions. With two incomes instead of one, it is far easier to make the payments on time and lower overall balances, and doing so can improve the spouse's credit and make it easier for the couple to get financing when they need it.
The Marriage Myth Exposed
It has long been thought that marriage between two people at opposite ends of the credit score spectrum has some affect on the way that credit is done in the future. Luckily this is not the case, as a couple's credit score stays the same regardless of whom they marry.
However, because these scores stay the same, it may be important to talk as a couple about the affect that both individual's credit has on their ability to get and use finances. If one individual's credit is significantly better than the other's, it may be very important to have everything in the name of the individual with good credit until the other individual has raised their own credit score.