Over the next two weeks, we’ll have money management tips and strategies from Harrine Freeman, CEO and owner of H.E. Freeman Enterprises, a credit counseling service.
BlackEnterprise.com: How should a woman handle taking on the financial missteps of a significant other? What are your options if you have married someone who does not have the best credit history or financial habits?
Harrine Freeman: A woman should not take on someone’s financial problems even if it is your spouse. Woman are generally nurturers and caregivers but should not let their emotions cause them to take on their spouse’ financial mistakes.
If your husband has bad credit or lots of debt, work with him to help improve his credit and find ways to help him pay down the debt. Once you both have good credit, you can look at other ways to increase income such as buying investment property or starting a business.
In some cases, creditors may come after a spouse if the other spouse has defaulted on a loan or credit card. This occurs with student loans, so be aware of your spouse’s financial status at all times.
It is easy to pull out your checkbook and pay a bill, but it is much more effective to work with your husband to help him see the consequences of his bad spending habits so he will change them. Educate him about the benefits of having good credit and good spending habits. Show him how to create a budget and stick to it.
If you are considering marriage, ask your fiancée about his credit history in a non-confrontational manner. Provide suggestions on how he can improve his credit.
It is important to ensure that financial conflicts are resolved early on. Relationships and marriages can be challenging, and you don’t want any unresolved baggage brought into the relationship.