The Financial Impact Of Marriage

A number of engaged couples choose to set the date for the spring and summer months to take advantage of warmer weather. While this is all fine and well, it’s around this time that their heads start to fill with myths about what effects matrimony will have on their finances. According to a column from USA Today’s Sandra Block, it’s important to draw a line between fact and fiction.

Marriage Won’t Immediately Affect Your Credit Score

If you have been working to maintain your credit score by taking out a payday loan advance, rather than going into more damaging debt to pay for an unexpected bill, you can take comfort in the fact that marriage won’t hurt or help your score right away. When you get married, you and your spouse’s credit scores don’t merge automatically, Block wrote. Credit bureaus keep records of individual people, not those of entire households.

However, if you do have a joint bank account or line of credit, and your spouse abuses either one, this can subsequently damage both scores. This is because when you create these accounts, the financial histories of both parties must be accounted for.

Additionally, it is generally advised that spouses exchange credit reports prior to getting married. If you don’t and then try to make a major investment in the future, such as buying a home, a spotty financial history can keep the entire unit from making any significant financial moves. This can put a lot of strain on any relationship. While this process isn’t very romantic, it can shed some light on what lies ahead for your financial future.

Marriage Won’t Increase Your Tax Bill

One of the most significant financial advantages to getting married is for tax purposes, Block added. As a result of tax cuts passed under the Bush administration, the standard deduction for joint filers was actually increased, but these breaks could expire soon if new legislation is not passed. However, a little more than 50 percent of all married couples were able to enjoy a marriage tax bonus even before then, saving them a significant amount of money on their tax bills.

It is possible that marriage will push you into a higher tax bracket. Some little birds may be whispering in your ear that if you continue filing your taxes separately, you may be able to qualify for a number of deductions that you can’t utilize through a joint filing. However, according to experts, this belief is generally false, especially if you have children already.

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