You can take some comfort in knowing that even if your spouse holds bad debt before getting married, you don’t automatically assume that. Meaning, when you get married, your two credit reports DO NOT become one. You will still be individuals, and still have your own credit scores.
However, when you get married, things can change. Joint accounts, co-owning loans and being named on new debts can be an issue.
As well, paying back bad debts can sometimes be assumed by one party or the other as ‘normal’. Bad debt when you love someone, after all, can make you feel obligated to help. This is where planning is essential before marriage, when it comes to paying off bad debt.
In the end, your credit rating and debts will not be altered when your spouse enters the marriage with bad debt.
Just a word of warning: their poor money habits before marriage can unfortunately become your poor habits after – so be mindful of this.