With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, many couples may be planning to make reservations to a fancy restaurant, placing an order of flowers for their loved ones or just getting ready to share a special evening with their significant other. If you’re in a relationship that you think is heading down the path of a house, a marriage and a family, one important thing that couples should also be sharing is their credit score and credit reports. It may not sound as romantic, but it is just as important to your relationship and your future. Once the time is right in a relationship, it’s important to discuss any past credit or financial issues that would impact your ability to buy a home together.
Put Everything on the Table: Make a list of your current debt, including student loans, car payments, credit card debts. Be transparent about debt and finances.
Check Your Individual Credit Reports—and Share Them: These reports provide detailed information about what is currently owed, what has been owed to other lenders and details of any missed or late payments. Everyone is entitled to a free credit report from each of the three credit bureaus per year. Visit www.annualcreditreport.com, the official site of the three credit reporting agencies in the country.
Adhere to Credit Boundaries –Before making any purchases on your credit cards, talk about how this will impact your plan and your future. Talk about how you’ll pay off future bills, that way there won’t be any surprises down the line.
Plan to Reduce Debt Together: Discuss and implement a plan that will correct any past irresponsible behavior on either of your parts. Don’t dwell on it now, but instead, take the necessary steps to fix it. Debt doesn’t have to be a deal breaker if you face the challenge head on.