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Talking about money before marriage can be awkward, but it’s a meaningful conversation that needs to be handled before you tie the knot.
Discussions about credit are important because your credit can impact the house you buy, the car you drive, and other purchases.
You need to make sure you’re aware of what your partner’s financial situation is before you get married. Here are tips to bring up a discussion about credit:
Start the conversation with goals.
Coming out and asking what someone’s credit score is can put them on the defensive especially if their credit score is less-than-stellar. Instead of leading with such a straightforward question, start a discussion about your lifelong goals.
What do you and your partner want to achieve together? Where do you want to live? How many bedrooms do you want in your house? A conversation about your short- and long-term goals can naturally lead to a discussion about finances.
Discuss the potential budget for the house you want to buy and what credit you’re going to need to qualify for the mortgage. This opens up the conversation for both of you to share where your credit stands and what you may need to work on to meet your goals.
Leave the judgement at the door.
Talking about money can bring up negative feelings for some people. You or your partner may feel shame, embarrassment, or guilt about decisions you’ve made that have caused your credit to take a hit.
Talk to your partner about their credit without judgment. Coming across as judgmental can turn a productive conversation into a negative one.
If you’re the one who’s anxious because you fear judgment from your partner, be honest and let them know upfront that you’re nervous about discussing your credit. Express your willingness to work on it to accomplish your goals as a couple.
Develop your plan of action.
No one’s perfect — One of you may have excellent credit but is terrible at cooking while the other one is a master chef with terrible credit. Having strengths in different areas doesn’t spell disaster.
After knowing where you both stand, come up with a plan to work on your scores. Pull your credit reports to see what factors on your reports could be hurting your score.
Items on your credit report such as late payments or high balances can have a negative impact on your credit. Commit to paying all bills on time from here on out and reduce your debt balances. You should also dispute inaccurate or incomplete negative items on your report.
If you need help repairing your credit, a website like CreditRepair.com could help you. This company can review your credit reports and communicate with the credit bureaus on your behalf to remove inaccurate or incomplete negative items from your report. Learn more about what the company has to offer here.
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