You are deeply in love and planning your fairy tale wedding, but have you taken the time to understand how you will manage credit and finances after the wedding bells have rung? It is common knowledge that over 50% of marriages end in divorce; the number one reason for divorce is financial issues and bad credit.
Discuss with your significant other your credit and financial situation before you get married. You will be glad you did. You can avoid surprises by doing the following:
1. Gather your credit reports and check for credit report errors. Are there inaccurate items on your credit reports? There are three main credit bureaus that each generate their own credit report that you will want to check: Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian. If there are credit report errors, work on getting those removed. If you apply for any loan together, you aren’t just marrying your spouse, you are also marrying their credit. If you are planning on buying a house right after you get married, you will be better prepared to plan what you need to do to improve your credit to meet your financial goals as a couple.
2. Discuss money and credit goals. You might discover you have different credit scores with different expectations of what is reasonable. Do you both see a big house in the future? Fancy car or minivan? Discuss what is important for you in your financial future and credit history together; make sure that you set a plan in motion so that you can obtain these goals together.
3. Make a budget and stick to it. If you have bad credit, spending less than you earn is a good way to start improving your credit. Set up automated payments, pay down high credit card balances and do whatever it takes to fix your credit so that you can meet your financial goals.
Although credit may seem like a sensitive topic, you will be glad that you started to fix credit before the wedding, you may be able to meet your financial goals as a happily married couple with an equally bright credit future together