How Does My Partner’s Credit Rating Affect My Ability To Get Credit?

How is My Ability to Obtain Credit Influenced by My Partner’s Credit Score?

A credit score is a numerical depiction of an individual’s creditworthiness, derived from an evaluation of their credit history and current financial status. Each person possesses a unique credit score, which remains isolated from the credit ratings of their family members, spouses, or cohabitants. However, there are certain circumstances, like joint debts or mortgages, where your partner’s credit score can indirectly impact your ability to obtain credit.

This article explores the influence of your partner’s credit score on your ability to secure credit and offers possible solutions on how to navigate such situations.

Understanding Credit Scores

Credit scores are numerical values, ranging from 300 to 850, assigned to individuals to represent their creditworthiness. The score is calculated by credit reporting agencies, such as Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion based on factors like payment history, debt-to-income ratio, length of credit history, types of credit, and recent credit inquiries.

Key Point: Credit scores are unique to each individual and are generally not affected by their spouse or partner’s credit rating.

How Joint Debts Can Affect Your Credit Score

In some cases, joint debts can influence your credit score. If you and your partner have a joint loan or credit account and your partner fails to make timely payments, it can negatively impact your credit score. This is because both parties are equally responsible for the loan or debt in the eyes of the lender.

Key Point: The payment history of joint debts can impact both parties’ credit scores irrespective of who is responsible for making the payments.

The Impact of Mortgages on Credit Scores

Mortgages present a unique scenario where both parties owning a residence usually have the house and the mortgage debt in both names. If one partner has a disappointing credit score, it can complicate the process of acquiring a new home or renewing an existing mortgage.

Key Point: Mortgages often require both partners to have good credit scores, as the debt is usually in both names.

Ways to Navigate a Partner’s Poor Credit Score When Buying a Home

If you’re planning to buy a new home and your partner’s credit score is less than stellar, you have a few options. You could consider buying the property solely in the name of the party with a good credit score. However, this also means that the income of that person would need to be enough to cover the mortgage payment.

Another alternative is to seek a co-signer for the mortgage. A co-signer with a good credit rating can help secure the mortgage, but they also become equally responsible for the repayment of the loan.

Key Point: There are ways to navigate the home buying process if your partner has a poor credit score, such as buying the property in the name of the one with a good credit score or securing a co-signer.

Renewing a Mortgage with a Partner’s Poor Credit Score

If you’re renewing a mortgage and your partner’s credit score is less than ideal, you could consider the help of a mortgage broker. These professionals have access to a wide range of lenders and can help you find a lender who may be more understanding of your situation.

Just like when buying a new home, obtaining a co-signer might also be beneficial in this scenario.

Key Point: Mortgage brokers can be of great assistance when renewing a mortgage with a partner who has a poor credit score.

Improving a Partner’s Credit Score

The most effective solution to navigate financial hurdles due to a partner’s poor credit score is to improve their credit rating. This could be achieved by encouraging them to use a secured credit card and make all payments on time, or if their level of debt is overwhelming, they might consider filing a consumer proposal or bankruptcy to start afresh and rebuild their credit.

Key Point: Improving the credit score of the partner with the poor rating is the most effective long-term solution.

The Indirect Impact of Your Partner’s Bad Credit Score

While your partner’s bad credit rating won’t directly affect your individual credit score, it can indirectly impact you if they continue to struggle with debt repayment. For instance, if you maintain a joint account and your partner’s debt repayment issues persist, both of you could face financial difficulties.

In such cases, you might consider maintaining separate bank accounts until both partners achieve a stable financial footing.

Key Point: Maintaining separate bank accounts can be a viable solution when your partner is struggling with debt repayment.

Seeking Professional Help

If your partner has a poor credit rating and a substantial amount of unmanageable debt, it’s advisable to meet with a Licensed Trustee for a free confidential consultation. This can provide an opportunity to discuss the situation and review all available options strategically.

Key Point: Professional advice can be beneficial when dealing with a partner’s poor credit rating and substantial debt.


While it’s true that your partner’s credit rating does not directly impact your credit score, there are circumstances where their financial habits can indirectly affect your ability to obtain credit. By understanding how credit scores work and how joint debts and mortgages can influence your credit score, you can make informed decisions and navigate these situations effectively.

Remember, it’s always possible to improve a poor credit score with consistent effort and strategic financial management. And if the situation seems overwhelming, don’t hesitate to seek professional help.

Find Your Personal Debt Relief Solution

Licensed Insolvency Trustees are here to help. Get a free assessment of your options.

Discuss options to get out of debt with a trained & licensed debt relief professional.