Money is a subject often overlooked during courtship conversations.
However, money is also one of the leading causes of marital strife.
If you stop and think about it — all emotion aside — it’s absolutely a discussion a couple should have before deciding to bind their lives together. Moreover, the fact you’re reading this article places you far ahead of people who think with their hearts rather than their heads.
So, should you marry someone who has bad credit?
First, the Good News
Doing so will not change your credit score. If it was good before you got married, it will remain that way after your nuptials have taken place. Your credit history will not show up on their report, nor will theirs on yours.
Of course, if you’re the one with the spotty history and were hoping to get a bump from your newly minted spouse’s carefully nurtured past — it ain’t gonna happen. Your credit scores will continue to be calculated based upon the Social Security numbers for each individual.
On the Other Hand…
It’s a good idea to get to the bottom of why their credit history is — shall we say — less than pristine. Did they have a run of bad luck and got behind? Were there expensive medical issues with which to contend? Did they unexpectedly lose a job and had difficulty finding another one for quite some time?
Or, have you noticed they love wearing expensive clothing and opulent jewelry? Do they always eat out in pricey restaurants and drive a really nice car? Do they shop just because they have nothing else to do and buy something new every week — even though their credit is bad?
Behaviors such as these are indicative of a general lack of responsibility when it comes to managing money. If you’re more into saving and investing for the long haul than chasing immediate gratification, money could become an issue in your relationship.
How They COULD Affect Your Credit Score
As long as you maintain a firewall between your credit histories, the big three agencies — Experian, Equifax and Transunion — will only have good things to say about you.
However, if the two of you ever submit a credit application as joint borrowers, the result will appear on both histories — and if their credit is so bad you’re turned down, that will be reflected too. However, if you do get the loan, as long as you remain the responsible person you’ve always been — no harm, no foul.
With that said, if something comes up and you really need it to go through, it’s going to be best to apply on your own.
How You Could Affect THEIR Credit Score
As we mentioned above, you should definitely get to the whys of the situation. In addition to helping you understand the person’s motivations, you’ll have a better shot at determining a proper course of action.
If they have a lot of outstanding debt, rather than throwing good money after bad to satisfy their obligations, encourage them to look into the services of a debt settlement company so they can potentially settle those accounts for less money. As many Freedom Debt Relief reviews will attest, it’s often possible to settle debts for less than their original balance. You can also encourage your soon-to-be fiancé to meet with a credit counselor to go over their finances with a fine-tooth comb.
The Bottom Line?
Should you marry someone who has bad credit?
Well, if you truly love the person and you’re confident the behaviors leading to the problem have been arrested, you’ll probably be OK. Still though, it’s something upon which you’ll want to keep an eye.
In all frankness, old habits die hard — particularly when they’re deeply rooted in a person’s belief system. The best play is to keep all things financial separate until their problems are cleared up.
This will also give you time to see if they’re really capable of making a change.