The lesson hits home to the millennials who are feeling the effects of a lagging job market, resulting in student loan debt worries, and shoddy wages. On top of that, the baby boomers’ conventional wisdom of meeting someone nice and settling down has, well, kinda changed, too. That doesn’t mean love isn’t happening. People are getting married, but they’re getting married with far more money concerns to consider than their parents – especially when it comes to building a joint credit history.
Here are few things to consider before you tie the knot:
We Need to Talk: The key to any good relationship is good communication. But that can be so hard when the stuff you need to discuss is personal – like a bad credit score. The fact of the matter is that when you two enter a union together you enter into a lifetime of joint credit history. When a partner keeps a bad credit score — it is a secret that can damage the trust in the relationship — and trust is a difficult thing to restore after it is lost.
Preparation is Key: Once you have a clear understanding of where the two of you stand in your credit history, it’s time to make a plan on how to either keep up your good standing, raise the score, or seriously rehabilitate your credit. First, approach the subject with love. This is someone with whom you want to spend the rest of your life, right? Be nice. Credit can be potentially messy and embarrassing, with past mistakes on full display in front of someone you respect and admire. The key to winning in this situation is to stay positive and solution-oriented.
Be Realistic: All relationships end one day, and so it is important to keep some credit in your own name. The best advice is to always maintain some sense of self, and that extends to your financial history. Just remember, communication is key!