For the New Couple
Start With Communication on Finances
- Talk about it: Openly discussing finances with your significant other or fiancé is the best way to prevent future disagreements. Each person should obtain and review a copy of their credit report and discuss the debts they have. Talk about spending habits, savings and financial goals so both people are on the same page.
- Give some credit: Understanding each other's credit history can help avoid future surprises. If there are past credit problems, work together now to clean things up and reduce debts.
- Marry accounts: Combining finances this way can be a great way to get the best deal on a major purchase. Be careful, though, any negative reporting associated with the joint account could mean potential damage for both spouses' credit. Don't worry, though, credit reports won't automatically merge together after marriage. Only when a joint account is opened or a loan cosigned will a record appear on both credit reports.
- Build a love nest: Couples planning on buying a home together should give themselves at least six months to save up a down payment and reduce their debt-to-income ratio. A few months of financial improvement can potentially save thousands on a new mortgage.
- Cut wedding costs: Planning that dream wedding can sometimes lead to a nightmare of debt. Engaged couples should talk about how much they can afford to spend without breaking the bank. Being creative about trimming the budget, such as by using potted flowers or making the invitations by hand, can help shrink costs without reducing style.
Written by kprather on Monday February 29, 2016