Yes, I said it. “Get a credit check before you say “I do!” According to studies, financial disagreements are the number one reason for stress in a marriage, and a leading reason for divorce. Money issues typically occur from lack of money, or someone overspending.
- 59% of people said that finances played a role in their divorces, and 20% said it played a “big” role.
- Average financial loss from divorce reaches nearly $20,000 (in cash and assets).
- 44% said their former spouse ruined their credit.
- 59% of respondents regret not being more financially independent in their marriage.
So how can one avoid this dreadful fate? Simple. Talk about it before and during the marriage says Rod Griffin, Director of Public Education at Experian. Yes, Experian, the company that gives you more than just your credit score. They want to help you save your marriage by educating you on the things that mom and dad may not have told you about when it comes to finances.
I will agree, it’s not the most romantic thing to do when dating someone—asking them, “What is your credit score?” and sharing yours—but unless you have that heart to heart discussion before you say I do, you will risk being a statistic. Don’t let life force you into that discussion in an unpleasant way because that can destroy your relationship.
Since you may have some hesitation about starting the uncomfortable conversation, we at WBM thought we would break the ice for you and initiate it. We caught up with the very busy Rod Griffin and asked him the hard questions. And to my surprise, I learned that your credit score is not the only thing you should be concerned about.
Counting the Cost To Say I Do
We also wanted to show you how serious this money issue is. We reached out to Wedding Report CEO, Shane McMurray and asked him to give us the numbers on the “average” cost people are spending on weddings these days.
“The average amount U.S. couples spent on their wedding in 2016 was up slightly to $26,720 from $26,645 in 2015.”
The wedding industry, globally, is estimated to be $300 BILLION DOLLARS. The U.S. generates $55 BILLION DOLLARS of those numbers, according to IBIS World. The success of your marriage cannot be determined by the amount you spend on your wedding. It’s important to have frequent and frank discussions about money allocation for the big day. Can you cut back in certain places, and instead invest that money into your longterm financial success? We won’t say these conversations will be easy, but the first step is knowing what you’re walking into, then creating a plan.
Are you Compatible when it comes to your spending?
There is no magic potion for having a successful marriage. It requires hard work, diligence, communication, commitment, and honesty. So, why not begin with the most difficult of all conversations: The money talk.
Divorce and loss of good credit is too costly a risk to take when it can be avoided by having the talk beforehand. Here is another good read by Experian: Click Here.
Now, what if you find out the worse about your beloved? Should that be a deal breaker? Ummm… yeah! No, just kidding. Of course not. The conversation should be approached delicately and respectfully. Your intention is to be uplifting and encouraging. To create a plan that will help the relationship grow into a healthy family environment, where everyone feels safe to express themselves and share. It is important, however, to get to the root of all relationship concerns, one way or another. If your beloved has a poor credit score, or is high risk, you want to find out the circumstances that caused the problem to begin with. You may find that all of the reasons are understandable because life happens to us all. Loss of job, failing health, company downsizing, and family emergencies are some of the many causes for financial shifts.
But the question is, “How do I get back on track?” First, you must understand what credit is. We need credit in every part of our life. Even if you don’t have a credit card, you are living on credit. Just think about your cell phone—you use it, and then pay for it. In fact, your utility bills, car note, and mortgage are all forms of credit. And don’t forget the college loans you’re still paying for! Life is filled with credit. Click here and read about the different forms of credit we live with every day in our society.
So the moment you understand the importance of having credit and staying on top of it, you are one step ahead of the game.
Rod Griffin of Experian agrees with me and encourages you to see a money doctor throughout the course of your relationship—just to keep things healthy, to make sure that there is open communication about money, and nothing creeps up on the both of you.
Griffin also recommends that you check your credit report at least once a year, to assure that there is nothing on there that needs addressing.
What if you have bad credit?
It doesn’t have to be the end of the world, or the relationship for that matter. Experian offers you tips for cleaning-up your credit. It will not be an overnight process. It takes time and work, just like your relationship. You can rebuild your credit history. Click here and read some of the steps to start that process.
Don’t wait until you want to make a big purchase (like buying a car or home) to find out that one of you has something from the past that needed addressing. Flowers, candy, and vacations are nice surprises. Bad credit is not!
In conclusion, Mr. Griffin and I want you to celebrate your anniversary with credit check-ups. Now that’s romance!
Bonus Read Click here : How To Improve Your Credit Score.