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Can love and bad credit go together?

Posted on October 30, 2013 in the Property Division category.

It may be unusual for us to discuss money matters for people who are considering marriage (as opposed to people who are getting divorced), but the holiday season is less than one month away, which is traditionally when couples decide to get married.

If you don’t believe us, the Kay Jewelers commercials should be in heavy rotation during the week of Thanksgiving.

Anyway, there may be concerns about a significant other’s credit rating and whether it will have a negative effect on a person’s good credit. This concern may even prevent someone from popping the question or even accepting a marriage proposal.

Fortunately (for either party), one person’s bad credit score will not corrupt another’s good credit. Simply put, a couple’s respective credit ratings do not merge together when they get married. Of course, their individual ratings will be considered if they create joint credit applications (for example if they apply for a home loan together). Also, a person’s good credit rating would be affected if their new spouse defaults on a loan.

So if you are concerned about how life will be if you marry someone with bad credit, take solace in knowing that your credit rating can be protected if you continue with responsible credit use. If you are ambivalent about signing a joint credit application or co-signing on a loan, your concerns are legitimate. However, a bad credit score is not the kiss of death. A poor credit score can be rehabilitated just as easily as a good credit score can be tainted. What should be known is how committed the person is to living a sound financial life.

Source:, “Will fiance’s old bankruptcy hurt my credit?” Justin Harelik, October 15, 2013