Fix Credit to Ensure Your Relationship Doesn’t Suffer

If you’re in a committed relationship or marriage you’ve probably learned along the way that you occasionally have to work hard to make sure everything goes smoothly most of the time. Another thing you might need to do, as part of that, is also work a little harder to make sure your finances are healthy and you’re maintaining a good credit score.

How your credit score can impact your relationship

A recent survey of unmarried borrowers in their 30s and 40s said that they would care just as much about how a potential partner maintains their credit and finances as they do about how attractive that person might be, according to U.S. News and World Report. In fact, nine out of 10 said they think financial responsibility is an important aspect when seeking a partner, because an inability to maintain a good credit score may make it more difficult for married couples to obtain certain life goals, including buying a car or obtaining a home loan. Further, respondents said that a potential partner spending beyond his or her means and having debt were listed as some of the least attractive traits one could have.

In all, 30 percent of women and 20 percent of men said they wouldn’t marry someone with a poor credit score, the report said. For all these reasons, it may be wise for you to make sure you’re keeping everything related to your finances on track so that you can keep your credit as strong as it possibly can be. After all, many married couples fight about money more than anything else, and keeping that in mind could likewise help to keep you both as happy as possible.

What’s the simplest way to do this?

While you may not know all the various factors that go into coming up with your credit score, you almost certainly know the two biggest ones, simply because they are more or less common sense. The first, making up 35 percent of your score, is how regularly you pay all your bills for your various accounts, including credit cards, mortgages, auto loans, and other types of financing you might have. The second, comprising another 30 percent, is the percentage of your total credit limits you have in outstanding debt at any one time.

Dealing with the first one is fairly easy if you’re managing your money properly. All you have to do is make sure you can afford to pay each one of your bills on time and in full every month. That can sometimes be easier said than done, particularly if you run into a financial emergency that makes it more difficult for you to have the flexibility you may need in any given month. However, as long as you plan carefully and don’t spend outside your means, you’ll probably find it relatively easy to keep this, the single largest factor in making up your score, very much under control.

Make sure you don’t run up big balances

Of course, keeping your debts as low as possible is often a little more difficult, but still more or less straightforward to deal with. As a general rule of thumb, the amount of debt you can carry with relation to your credit limits is about 30 percent of combined maximums across all accounts. The more you have over that level, the lower your score will be. For example, if you have four cards with a combined limit of $12,000, and you owe $6,000, you’re using an even half of your maximums, which will need to come down to about $3,600 to achieve that 30 percent goal.

The easiest way to do that, of course, is to curtail spending as much as is possible on those accounts, and instead, start making larger contributions to your debts every month, starting with the cards that come with the highest interest rates. This will ensure that your debt drops, and that it grows more slowly in the future; new federal laws dictate that any amount you contribute to your monthly bills above and beyond the listed minimums must be applied to the principal, rather than any interest accrued. Once you get down past that 30 percent level, it might be a good idea to continue those efforts until your debt is minimal or even completely paid off, which in turn will free up more money for you to contribute to savings or other needs going forward.

Finally, when you want to maintain a healthy credit score and relationship simultaneously, it might also be a good idea to regularly order copies of your credit reports and check them over for any potentially unfair markings that might appear. If you discover this type of entry on these documents, you might want to contact a credit repair company, which may be in a position to sort out the issues on your behalf.

Posted in Credit Repair
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