Post # 1
- Wedding: September 2014 - White Point Garden, Charleston, SC
I have decently good credit. I’ve always made all payments on time and have a car lease in just my name. I’ve never owned a home, but have rented with my name on the lease. At 23, I think this is okay.
My Fiance, 25, owes massive amounts of money on medical bills. He has various bills that he has paid late consistently and also has gotten letters from debt collection agencies on behalf of the hospitals he couldn’t pay years ago due to lack of insurance. We’re not sure what his credit score is, but it can’t be good.
I’ve told him we need to take care of this before the wedding because I don’t want to get denied for loans and leases because of his credit affecting mine. Is this a legitimate concern? Will his affect mine to a great extent or will our finances stay relatively apart?
I have suggested we not set a date until he has at least made a solid plan with all these hospitals and companies to start paying off his debt. Is this selfish? I want to marry this man more than anything, but I want to do it at the right time and not end up causing problems for both of us in the future.
Thanks for any input, bees!
Post # 3
Yes, this is a concern. You’re right in not setting a date until the finances are rock-solid, or at least manageable, because after the wedding I don’t think it’ll get any easier (cheaper, I mean). Don’t feel bad about it. Be supportive of your dear Fiance. But remember that his medical bill debt is something that he couldn’t help, so don’t hold it over his head too much. This would be a very different story if, let’s say, he has debt from his own doing (like credit cards to go out drinking or buy toys or whatnot),
Just as if he had school debt, just take it really slow and easy. At the very least, have a plan A, B, and C on terms of how he’s going to tackle debt. And yes, the moment you’re married (or moreso the moment you sign on something together), his credit will start to ride on yours.
It’s great that you’re being careful. Looking after your financial health has nothing to do with how much you love your Fiance, and if he wants to share a future with you, he needs to open up about his financial situation too so that there aren’t any hurt feelings.
Post # 4
Seek out information from a credit counsellor or even financial advisor. I think as long as you’re not applying for joint credit, or making any of your current credit accounts joint that his credit will not affect yours. I wouldn’t just take my word for it though
Post # 5
#1: Check his credit score. There are tons of sources out there that will provide his score for free and as a part of a healthy financial life it should be checked annually.
#2: Like AB Bride said, talk to a professional but last I heard the credit score of one spouse does not negatively affect the score of the other. In the event that you apply for joint credit it could reduce your likelihood of being approved since they would be considering his financial history and credit score along side yours but simply being married doesn’t hurt your individual credit history. There will be cases where you will be able to apply for credit or loans alone, but there will be things, like mortgages, where they may require his information as well and it could then negatively affect you in the sense that you could be denied if his is bad enough.
You have very legit concerns and I think it’s smart that you’re asking him to come up with a plan to tackle this. It’s very important. Debt can bring a huge amount of stress into a marriage and be a source of conflict. If anything, marriage aside, as an adult he needs to get in gear and figure out his financial life anyways. You’ll figure it out! Good luck 🙂
Post # 6
@claireos: I agree with all of this. I’d add that while I also don’t think your partners credit score would effect you, it might if you are trying to do bigger things, like take out a morgage. I know if I were apply for a morgage on my own, I might not get enough of a loan to pay for a house, while if Fiance and I applied jointly, it would not be an issue.
Post # 7
Yes you are right to worry, this is a big deal! If you both try to apply for a loan together you may get denied due to his credit. Not only that but debt is stressful and can really hurt a relationship, #1 reason for divorce. So you are smart to not go in blindly and to be concerned. It is time for him to get all of this taken care of!