Is Good Credit an Aphrodisiac?
When you marry someone you also marry into their life. You are welcomed into their family, learn their daily routine and, whether you like it or not, you agree to help them with their debt. While this isn’t something you necessarily agreed to, what’s yours is mine when you are married — the good and the bad. So if your significant other’s debt is too high or their credit is bad would that be a turn off?
A recent study showed that 42 percent of people would choose not to date someone based on a poor credit score. Yet other research has shown that one in three people have lied to their significant other about their finances and spending habits. So is money really a serious deal breaker?
The truth is that finance can be a major stress factor and can potentially ruin a relationship. But if you are truly in love, you will be able to overcome this obstacle. So how can a person protect themselves before walking down the aisle when money problems are involved?
“Money is the number one factor in relationship dysfunction,” said Nicole Mayer, a partner at RPG-Life Transition Specialists in Illinois. “If you want to ensure a happy marriage, you both have to make sure your finances are in order.”
Along with important questions like finding out your partner’s credit score and learning about all of their debts, Mayer shared the five things you have to ask your spouse before tying the knot:
1. How much can we spend before alerting the other?
“Even if you are each working and have your own separate bank accounts, it’s a good idea to make sure that you make a rule when it comes to big purchases,” Mayer said.
2. How will we handle the costs of children?
“This doesn’t just mean talking about childcare and extended paternity leave, but also about potential costs like IVF,” she said.
3. Would you consider returning to school?
“If your partner has career goals that have yet to be satisfied, they might plan to return to school. This could be a significant financial burden for you,” Mayer said. “In some cases, partners end up divorced after they worked for years while supporting their collegiate partner. You have to consider scenarios like this before tying the knot — would you be comfortable working while your partner heads to law school, for example?”
4. What is our policy about helping family?
“If your partner loaned $500 to his brother would that be a big deal? What if your partner’s mother is ill and needs thousands of dollars in medical care?” she asked. “How would you handle these financial pressures as a family?”
5. When do you want to retire?
“It might sound premature right now, but if you don’t plan for the future you could be in serious trouble,” Mayer said. “Don’t just ask when your partner wants to retire, but also in what style. Do they expect to travel? Do they want to buy a fishing boat or move to a warm climate? If so, what steps have they taken to make that goal a reality?”
Lying about money will only get you into trouble in your relationship. Be open to talking about your debt and credit with your significant other. Bring up these important questions and more with your partner before you commit to spending the rest of your life together. In this case, talk isn’t cheap and will save you from marital problem down the road.