Taking on debt never sounds like a good idea, but it’s actually a good thing when it helps to establish your credit history. When you go to apply for a home, auto, or personal loan, the first thing the lender’s going to check is your credit report.
In fact, maintaining your own credit history even after you marry can benefit both spouses–especially if one spouse has a better credit history than the other. In some cases, a woman can qualify for a mortgage based on her own credit, even if her husband’s credit is overextended due to student loans or starting a business.
The following tips are designed to help you establish good personal credit in order to apply for a loan:
- You should establish your own credit history before getting married.
- A local bank or department store may approve your credit application even if you don’t meet the more stringent requirements of major credit cards.
- Even after you’re married, hang onto some of your individual credit accounts, such as credit cards or a car loan.
- If you have had credit before under a different name or location, ensure your local credit bureaus have complete and accurate information about you in a file under your current name.
- If you share accounts with your spouse, ensure that creditors are reporting these accounts to credit bureaus under both names.
- If you were married or divorced recently and changed your name, ask creditors to change your name on your accounts.
- List your best credit accounts as references on credit applications, including accounts you share with your spouse or former spouse.
- Do not apply for too many credit lines at one time.
- If your credit application is denied, you are entitled to request a free copy of your credit report as well an explanation of the specific information in the report that led to the denial.