Financial stress is one of the top strains on relationships, whether you’re married or in a partnership. You can’t over-emphasize the effects of money problems on the fate of your romance. Credit scores remain a primary concern and pitfall that could split even the most committed of couples. When you’re looking for love, physical and chemical attraction are the initial criteria, but looking at the debt and credit score of a potential partner should rank as well.
Whether you get hitched or not, when you’re planning a financial future together, the credit score of both partners will ultimately impact your quality of life together in many aspects. There is no such thing as a credit score for the two of you as a couple, but each of your individual credit scores impact financial decisions when you apply together for financing.
Your partner’s credit doesn’t appear on your report
Unless you have co-signed or joint credit, your two reports should have no overlap. The debt you signed for and service will be on your credit report and vice versa for your partner. Your credit behavior only affects your score, but in some instances, you both need decent credit to accomplish your financial goals.
Your scores are separate and unique
Since your credit reports are separate, so too are your credit scores. They are unique to you so long as you have no co-signed or joint credit. For instance, if you took out a home mortgage together, that would reflect on both reports. But your individual credit cards, loans, and debt affect only your score, not your partner’s.
When a couple’s credit score matters
Home loans and rental contracts
For most people, a significant purchase like a home may not be feasible on just your income. If you need your partner’s earnings to qualify, that means their credit score also matters. When your salary is healthy, but your credit score is not, it can trigger a mortgage loan rejection or interest rates that are subprime and costly.
Even if you only want to rent, most reputable rental agencies want to run the credit of the adult occupants of their property. If one of you has a substandard credit score, it can cause you to lose out on a rental property you want.
Car loans and leases
When you’re ready to buy or lease a car, as with a home loan, how much you earn matters. Suppose one of you has a healthy income but the other is the one with the better credit score. Lenders won’t look at these aspects separately. You can be turned down for a lease or favorable auto loan if both applicants don’t have solid credit scores.
Opening joint accounts
When you’re partners in life, opening a joint bank account is a natural financial evolution but if one of you has a poor credit score, it can be a problem. Many of the top banks now run a credit check before they agree to open an account for you. If one of you has a sub-optimal credit score, the bank may tell you to go elsewhere. Plus, if one of you has unpaid debt, you might find your joint account garnished for the debt of just one of you.
It’s a harsh reality in our time that credit scores matter for many things in life. If you have a low score and it stops your partner from realizing their financial goals, it could cause strife in your relationship. If you’re dealing with stress in your relationship due to a less than great credit, score check out Credit Score Keys today to get back on track.