Two middle class individuals, Jim and Jane, are dating.
Jim has a 715-730 credit score, as reported by Credit Karma, and has no problems (late payments, bankruptcies, etc) for the last 7-10 years.
Jane, on the other hand, has a 580ish credit score, as reported by Credit Karma, due to a combination of minimal credit history and outstanding school loans. She took out $100k in school loans, and then unforeseen circumstances prevented her from being able to work. The school loans are now 12-15 years old and have not been paid off. Jane has relied on Jim and so has no credit lines and few accounts to her name. She had a car loan from 2012 - 2014 at which time it was paid off early. However, she has some $200k in stocks and bonds which she lives off of.
Jim and Jane live comfortably, and have for a decade. Jim makes a good living and owns 25% equity in his current house, pays on time for his mortgage and car, and saves a reasonable amount of money via his 401k and IRA. Utilities and similar accounts are all in Jim's name, as is the house and car, to insure good rates and no deposits required.
Jim and Jane are considering getting married. However, they would also like to sell their home and build a new one in a few years. They will also need to continue to qualify for car loans, cell phones, etc. If they get married, in what ways will Jane's poor credit affect Jim's ability to provide for the couple? Will it change qualification for loans, deposits required on accounts, or other day-to-day, quality of life activities? Do Jane's liabilities become Jim's responsibilities?
In short, is marriage a practical option for them without first cleaning up Jane's credit?