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Should You Obtain Your Future Spouse's Credit Report and Score Before You Marry?

Today many people are entering into marriage after they have been on their own and working for a number of years.  Often both parties have been married before and may also have children from their previous marriages.

So, is it unreasonable to ask to see your future spouse's credit report before you enter into marriage with that person.  Your credit rating won't be affected by this person's previous debt but if their credit rating is bad then the financial practices that created this bad credit score status may well carry forward into the new marriage and eventually negatively impact your credit rating as well.

Even if your future spouse's credit rating is good they may be bringing a lot of financial baggage into the marriage that you may find yourself having to help pay off.  This debt is going to require funds whether it is his, hers or ours.

If you later borrow money jointly to pay off a spouse's previous debt then this old debt now becomes our debt and will affect your credit rating.

If you are thinking that the two of you will buy a new home after marriage you may find that you can't qualify jointly because your spouse's credit rating is too low.  In many cases the spouse who has the good credit rating is saddled with the mortgage but the other spouse is equally on the title.  As long as you stay together this may not be a problem, but if you decide to divorce down the road then agreeing on how to dispose of the house and pay off the mortgage might be an issue.

You may even find that you are getting burdened with debt from your future spouse's previous spouse.  This is when emotions get involved and this debt may eventually affect the relationship in a negative manner.

If your partner is offended by the idea of viewing each other's credit report then maybe their financial ethic is something that you should be cautious of.

You can go online and get a free credit check which will at least give you a report of the items in the credit file.  If you purchase a credit report then you will also get  the credit scores to go along with the report. 

Some people choose to get free credit scores by signing up for a credit monitoring service.  This service will give you an alert, usually by email, whenever there is a shift in your credit scores.  Since you are entering into not only a personal relationship with someone new, but a financial relationship as well, then it might be wise to monitor that person's credit file for a while until you feel more comfortable with their credit habits.

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