Dealing with Couples Credit

When getting married, not only do your lives, rights and commitments become unified, but also your finances. When discussing finances with your partner, it’s crucial that you are open and honest about your history with finances, specifically with credit. While in many cases you both may have had a solid credit history, in some instances one of you may have had money problems with poor credit scores and negative credit history. Working together as a couple is necessary for you to make the most of your financial future together and co-operation and communication are key to future successes.  Working together through these steps will make your finances simpler with a stronger foundation.

  1. Communicate – While many a therapist will tell you that this is the core of any relationship, be it emotional or financial. However when the two are interwoven, it’s increasingly important that each of you know what your individual and joint finances are doing. What if anything were to happen to your partner who controlled the finances? How are your partners supposed to combine credit with yours if you are not honest about your positive or negative credit history? Honesty is very important with it comes to join finances.
  2. Establish the Starting Point – What indiscretions or positive histories do you both have individually and how will those affect your join credit score. It’s important to know that when financial institutions consider couples for loans, they take into account the weakest points of both histories and how these have been improved. Using a history to boost a negative partner is a good strategy but if both of you have negative scores, alternative ideas and consulting may be required.
  3. Learn about couple’s credit – What are the differences between credit for a single person and credit for a couple using a joint account? In regards to a credit score, certain aspects remain the same, such as payment history being the most important aspect of your score, so ensuring you make your payments on time is crucial. However, in credit on join accounts, the ability to cover deficits is not shared and therefore both individuals need to be able to cover the full amount.  Found out what happens if you ever were to split and the effect of this on the credit scores of both of you.

Working together is the name of the couple credit game and assisting each other while maintaining your own personal finances will put you in good stead for credit. Communicate, co-operate and build a solid credit score as a couple.

Alan Stoker is a finance professional with a keen interest in personal finance and money management. Alan has worked with both individuals and couples in regards to their finances, managing any personal loan taken out and balancing the books. He blogs to teach and advise people on aspects that could change the way they see money.

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