When you get married and change your name, you do not become a new person, although it may feel that way. Any credit history you had before the wedding remains yours after the wedding. You can open new credit accounts with your new name, though. These will not go onto a new credit history, but will be added to the one you have set up. If your previous credit history isn't so great, you can build it up after you wed.
Contact the banks that manage any currently open credit card accounts or loans. Let them know that you have gotten married and changed your name or that you will be getting married, the date and your new name. Include your account number and previous name so that the company knows which account to change. If you are moving after the wedding, include your old mailing address as well as your new one.
Add your new name as a joint account holder to any credit card accounts your spouse has if you wish. If your spouse has an excellent credit history, becoming a joint account holder can help you. The positive credit history will now show up on your credit report. Keep in mind that the opposite also holds true. If your spouse has a weak credit history and has missed payments in the past, you may not want that appearing on your credit report.
Use your new name to open accounts after you get married. For example, if you decide to open a new credit card on your own or with your spouse after the wedding, use your married name. Since the credit card is connected with your Social Security number, it will be linked back to your credit history.
Focus your attention on paying any past due accounts or paying down any credit card balances after the wedding. Doing so will improve your history and credit score, setting you on the path to a better credit report.
- Changing your name when you get married does not change your identity. You will still have the same Social Security number.
- Marriage does not automatically merge you and your spouse's credit. You will both have separate histories and scores. The only time you will share credit is if you open joint accounts, such as a joint credit card or take out a mortgage together.
- Changing your name when you get married will not harm your credit score.
- You do not need to contact the credit reporting bureaus separately to change your name after you get married. The bureaus pull information from lenders and should be able to link your new name to your previous history based on your Social Security number and other information.
- Don't open too many new accounts with your new name too quickly. As before you got married, opening a lot of credit cards at once can negatively impact your score.
Based in Pennsylvania, Emily Weller has been writing professionally since 2007, when she began writing theater reviews Off-Off Broadway productions. Since then, she has written for TheNest, ModernMom and Rhode Island Home and Design magazine, among others. Weller attended CUNY/Brooklyn college and Temple University.