‘Til Debt Do Us Part: Discuss Your Credit Before The Big Day
If your wedding day is right around the corner, your finances probably aren’t on the forefront of your mind. Did you know your credit can be affected by your fiancé’s credit history and spending habits?
Here are a few things to consider. Sit down with your fiancé, and talk about your debts and expectations before walking down the aisle.
- Matrimony doesn’t wed your scores. Saying “I do” doesn’t combine your credit scores. Keep in mind, if you open a joint credit card that activity will be shared on both of your reports. So, if one partner misses a payment, both of your individual scores will take a hit.
- Joint debt can lower your score. If both your name and your partner’s are on a car loan, mortgage or credit card account, a lender will come after both of you if payments are not being made, regardless of who is responsible for making payments.
- You need income to get credit in your own name. If you plan to leave the workforce after you wed, keep at least one credit account solely in your name in order to maintain your own credit history.
- You can boost your partner’s poor score. If a partner has poor or no credit, the one with the good credit has a few options. Making them a joint account holder could boost their score.
- You can’t average away your partner’s poor score. If you and your fiancé apply for joint credit, generally the person with the lower score dictates the rate and terms you receive. Lenders may consider both scores when making a lending decision, but they probably will not average them together.