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My wife and I recently purchased a car, during the process I was shocked to learn my credit score was below average (no debt, healthy credit limit and always paid balances in full, good income) while my wife's score was very good (student loan, tiny credit limit and tiny income).

To me this indicates that a history of debt is far more important in these ratings than credit card history. We will be looking at houses this year and I'd prefer to not be caught off guard again. Since taking on a car loan my credit has improved to average (tracking this through creditkarma.com.

I am wondering if there is any way to leverage my spouse's student loan to my advantage.

We live in the U.S.

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    It's not your obligation. Does she have a long-history credit card she can add you to? – JTP - Apologise to Monica Feb 3 '12 at 20:20
  • She has no long-history credit besides this loan and I disagree, it is now our obligation since we are married. – agradl Feb 3 '12 at 22:04
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    As far as the government and credit agencies are concerned it isn't. I know that we can believe we have moral obligations, and I respect that. But here, I'm talking legal obligation. If your Creator takes your wife early, no one comes after you for this debt. – JTP - Apologise to Monica Feb 3 '12 at 22:40
  • Perhaps you misunderstood my comment. I am not worried about getting "stuck" with debt or confused about who legally owns it. I am only looking into the possibility of changing that legal part to take on the benefits of having the debt's history in both our names, since we are already sharing the burden. – agradl Feb 6 '12 at 15:57
  • The point is: If you aren't legally obligated to pay the debt, it doesn't count for your credit report. – JohnFx Feb 6 '12 at 17:18
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Fist, let me say I don't think this is a good idea, but in the interest of directly answering your question.

If you wanted to move that loan onto your credit record you would need to take out a new line of credit and then pay off her student loans with the proceeds. Maybe a home equity loan/line of credit. Then the debt would belong to you and show up on your credit report.

I don't think there is any way to just transfer a student loan from one person to another the way you are hoping to.

Again. All of this is probably a bad idea for the minimal bump to your credit you would get out of it. I'm just trying to answer the question you asked.

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I don't think you can take her student loans, and that wouldn't necessarily help your credit. I would recommend checking out creditkarma.com. It's a free service and has a very helpful simulator to see what different actions will do to your credit. I know this doesn't answer your question directly, but hopefully it will show why your credit is lower and how to improve it. Good luck!

PS - I have no affiliation with creditkarma.com. Just a site recommended to me that I've found helpful.

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