For a couple that has not accessed a copy of the credit report any time in the past this question can very well arise. Before going to make a purchase of your first car or any other substantial asset it is advisable for both the husband and wife to get a copy of their credit report. If you have already done so then you should ask your spouse to get a copy of his or her credit report as well before presenting yourself before the creditor. You may also consider purchasing a copy of your credit score from the National credit bureaus since this will give you a very good idea of how a creditor is going to view your credit standing. If nothing else but using a credit score for the first time is worth it for the educational value. You will get a detailed report from the credit bureau along with your credit score that explains the various factors affecting your credit score and how you can make it better.
Even if you live in a community property State law your credit reports will be different with your individual accounts being reported to the separate credit reports. Unless an account has your name on it, it will most likely not be reported on your credit report. However under the community property laws are creditor can hold you liable for your spouse’s debt in case he or she passes away or does not agree to pay as decided.
It is a good idea to get a copy of your credit report at least once a year. Since you are allowed a free copy from each of the National credit bureaus you can log on to www.annualcreditreport.com and get one free credit report from each of the credit bureaus any time during a 12 month period. You can either choose to access all three reports at the same time or spread them over the year by ordering one every quarter. It is also a good idea to get a copy of your credit report before making a big purchase such as a house or a car. Ordering a credit score alongside will leave you a fair idea of how a lender is going to view your application. Ordering a credit score a couple of months or weeks before you make a purchase may even provide you with substantial time to enhance your credit score by addressing the factors that may be affecting your credit score negatively.