Can my new spouse access my checking account? Will marriage change my credit score?

Getting hitched comes with an adjustment period. You’re coming from the mindset of "mine" and getting this "ours" thing figured out.

Part of that is knowing what this means for money and banking. Does your partner now have access to your checking account? Speaking of, should you have one account or keep things separate? What happens to your credit score, and what happens when you sign up for a loan together?

With the help of this guide, the two of you can sort out some of these banking questions for newlyweds.

Read our useful tips to help newlyweds get on the same page about money.

Should we merge bank accounts?

Joint accounts are traditional to marriage. But marriage doesn’t automatically give you access to each other’s checking and savings accounts. You have to take the step of adding the partner as an authorized user.

Whether you choose to do that is up to how you and your partner want to handle your money and spending. You might want to choose joint accounts because joint checking can:

  • Keep you both accountable on your spending habits.
  • Make it easier for the other partner to take over ongoing payments when there’s an emergency.
  • Offer shared oversight on what comes in and out.

While joint checking accounts may be traditional, they’re not for everyone.

But then, checking accounts used to come with a lot of manual record-keeping and paperwork. (No wonder they were the default back in the day!) Here in the golden age of banking, we have access to instant transfers and up-to-the-second information on net balances. Keeping separate accounts makes more sense for some couples. Here are upsides to separate checking accounts.

  • Keeps you in better control over your expenses and spending money.
  • Makes it easier to divvy up bills and house expenses equally.
  • Naturally, separate accounts make it so much easier for your partner to spoil you with surprises and gifts, right?

What does marriage mean for my credit score?

When you are wed, you may also be saying “I do” to your spouse's debt. Marriage, debt and credit scores might make you curious about how it all squares up in the yours, mine and ours department.

First, getting married won’t change your credit score. A partner with a great score won’t have a halo effect on yours. And a lower-than-desired ranking won’t pull yours down, either.

However, that doesn’t mean your credit score sits in perfect isolation. The day may come when you apply for a loan together, whether it’s for a car or a new home. In that case, lenders will check credit information for both of you, and use that to determine your interest rate.

Setting up your finances

Now that you know the impacts of marriage on your banking, Minnwest Bank has convenient mobile banking tools and hassle-free checking to help you manage your spending and pay the bills. Plus, our personal bankers are always just a phone call away.

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