If you have ever heard the phrase “If you lay down with dogs you get up with fleas” you will not be very surprised to discover that your credit can be affected by association. So, should you marry someone with bad credit?
Should I Marry Someone With Bad Credit?
Marry Someone with Bad Credit – Pros and Cons:
You might ask, “How is this possible?” or you might just not even believe it; especially if the associate in question is someone, with whom you are in love. It is important that you know all about the credit history (as well as current credit) of a person that you are considering marrying. It might sound cold and unfeeling, but anyone who is considering marriage, living with someone, a business association or any other close association, where credit can become an issue, should have that person investigated. You cannot trust what you are told anymore. You need to have concrete evidence before you join your lives, co-mingle your finances, or legally make two lives into one. You should see, with your own eyes, a verified credit report on the person you love. You have to ask yourself to consider whether you should marry someone with bad credit and consider all of the consequences if you do. How much bad credit is too much? Is it okay to marry someone whose credit is just “a little bit bad” (isn’t this like being a little bit pregnant? You will want to consider the pros and cons before deciding if you should marry someone with bad credit. “That’s just bunk!” you are thinking. “His bad credit can’t hurt mine.” You are in love, and you have found what you believe is the perfect person; you do not want to consider anything negative. I hate to be the one to break this to you but it can and it will.
What happens to your credit when you marry someone with bad credit?
Once the two of you have been legally joined, his bad credit spills over onto your good credit. When you are borrowing money for a house, both credit reports will be checked. When you get your electricity turned on both credits will be checked unless you have, it put only in your name and do not even tell them about him/her. In fact, you do not even have to get married for it to begin to affect your good credit; remember this if you think that just living together may be the answer to whether or not you should marry someone with bad credit. It isn’t. Even if the two of you decide just to live together, the landlord will no doubt check both credit scores (unless only your name is on the lease and the landlord doesn‘t find out he lives there). Just moving in together and the fact that you are forming some sort of partnership will allow the credit reporting companies to link your names together for future credit checks when you go to purchase furniture, get cable, and hook up your phone. You and your “significant other” are listed as associates. If you both sign for an electricity account or a telephone account then the lower credit will affect the higher one and bring it down. This may cause a person who would otherwise not have to pay a deposit to have to pay a hefty one. This is going to happen time and time again.
Sometimes, the person with good credit will be granted that credit on his/her credit check alone but the possibility of a financial associate being “checked” is always there. Eventually, even if all accounts are in your name only (and this makes you the responsible party), landlords and future companies that you wish to have grant you credit will start to consider you a credit risk because of his/her bad credit. Before you decide whether or not you should marry a person with bad credit, you need to think about your future. Do you want to marry someone who has such a bad credit history? Doesn’t this show you that the person is not a good money manager or that he/she has a disregard for the importance of paying his/her bills and abiding by contracts? What can you expect in your future from such a person? If you have always paid your bills, do you want lenders to start treating you as a risk because of him/her?
Should you marry someone with bad credit? That is something only you can decide. You have to make up your mind whether or not the problems that will come with him/her will be worth it to you personally and your future together. Although his/her previous bad credit cannot be put onto your credit report, you can be negatively impacted by marrying him if the creditors decide that they want to sue for recompense. Even though it is not your debt, you will be expected to help pay it off. Also, if creditors sue, his bank account could be garnisheed (which could impact your joint income and funds for day-to-day living). The creditors could go to court and obtain a judgment on the property you own together. This could cause you to lose something you purchased because of something he/she did in the past.
His/her bad credit could cause you to get a higher loan rate when you purchase a property from a bank. In fact, it could result in your loan being denied even though you,, have dealt with the bank for a long time. If you are concerned about whether or not you should marry a person with bad credit, you have a few steps you can take to protect yourself.
If You Marry Someone With Bad Credit Consider a Pre-nuptial Agreement
Have a prenuptial agreement drawn up to protect yourself. Prenuptial Agreements are not always just about wealthy people’s money. They also deal with property owned before marriage (and you can include debts). Your agreement could state that he/she has XXXX dollars in pre-marital debt and also the cards and accounts to which the debt is related. It should be stated that he/she would be entirely responsible for and pay this debt from his/her finances. Although it is possible that the companies will have attorneys who could get around the Prenuptial agreement, they will usually honor it. Do NOT co-mingle your finances. Do not open joint accounts. Do not open joint credit cards or add him/her to your existing cards. You should maintain your financial accounts totally separately from him/her and have it stipulated in your agreement that this will be the case.
How to Organize Bills if You Marry Someone with Bad Credit
You should make a list of household bills and decide who is to pay which ones. Payment should be done from your separate accounts. Do not give him/her a check from your account to put into his/hers. You need to seriously consider whether or not you want his/her bad credit habits to affect your credit and lifestyle. Trust your sixth sense. If you decide to marry someone with bad credit, make every effort to help him/her rebuild their credit and fix his/her past mistakes. You will need to live within a budget, and he/she will need to agree not to make further debt until he/she has paid off what he/she has already. These are just a few of the things you have to consider when you are trying to decide whether or not to marry someone with bad credit.
If you marry someone with bad credit and they do not improve their financial circumstances you may be headed for divorce. Money problems and infidelity are the top two reasons couples divorce. You will encounter further financial hurdles with divorce planning.
If you do decide to marry someone with bad credit consider helping him/her rebuild their credit. Getting a secured credit or a credit card for bad credit can be one of the best ways to repair bad credit. Click on our bad credit link to start rebuilding credit. Capital One offers many different credit cards for people with less than perfect credit, who are looking to rebuild their credit.