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Managing family credit profiles

Chris865
Valued Member

Managing family credit profiles

I pay all the bills in the house and I also manage our credit profiles.  Doing this, I've been able to optimize both of our credit scores.  I realize this requries a lot of trust in a relationship, but I've found it to be a boon for us.   My DW feels like she has lost some "power" in the relationship, but she can't really define the power that she feels she has lost.  I tell her, "You get to use cards and cash, unfettered.  I pay the bills and manage our credit profiles.  What power have you lost, other than sending your direct deposit to the bill-pay account?"

 

I did recently share our Mint login and her myFICO account with her.  This helped a great deal, but still think she feels a loss of power - I just don't understand what she thinks she has lost.

 

Do you manage your family's credit profiles?  What do you run into that you have to navigate around?  Any tips you can share?




Message 1 of 22
21 REPLIES 21
Dumbee
Established Contributor

Re: Managing family credit profiles

The learning curve of credit, and credit knowledge difference between MF members and most other people are considerable.

 

You may know how to boost a score to the 800s effortlessly, and it seems mundane, but to others that is hard to conceptualise or grasp.

 

It's like playing a game, and giving someone else the controller when you're at max level. Sure they can't fail, but they don't know how they got there.


Smiley Embarassed
Personal/40.15K Biz/23K POT/17K
Message 2 of 22
sccredit
Valued Contributor

Re: Managing family credit profiles

I don't touch my wife's.  We have a joint account and very intertwined personal finances.  She has an 850 FICO so she seems to be doing just fine on her own. 

 

It actually worked out quite well.  When my business went under and I had to file CH7 we had her credit because she wasn't on the business at all.  She has $100k across 4 cards and our cars are financed at stupid low rates (her lease has a MF that is the equivalent of 0.24% interest).  

Ch 7 Discharge 3/12/2018
Cap One VentureOne $3,500, CapOne Savor $5,300, Kohls $3,000, Comenity MC $4,900
Infiniti Financial Lease (Ends 11/2021
California Coast CU Auto Loan $36k 2.48%

Goal: New Mortgage 3/2022
Message 3 of 22
Chris865
Valued Member

Re: Managing family credit profiles


@Dumbee wrote:

It's like playing a game, and giving someone else the controller when you're at max level. Sure they can't fail, but they don't know how they got there.


Good analogy.  DW doesn't know how to play the game, and she's not much of a spectator.  She's also considerably younger than me; she bought her her first brand new car (that I also pay for) after we got married.  :-)




Message 4 of 22
Jannelo
Frequent Contributor

Re: Managing family credit profiles

Good for her.    


@Chris865 wrote:

I pay all the bills in the house and I also manage our credit profiles.  Doing this, I've been able to optimize both of our credit scores.  I realize this requries a lot of trust in a relationship, but I've found it to be a boon for us.   My DW feels like she has lost some "power" in the relationship, but she can't really define the power that she feels she has lost. I tell her, "You get to use

 cards and cash, unfettered.  I pay the bills and manage our credit profiles.  What power have you lost, other than sending your direct deposit to the bill-pay account?"

 

I did recently share our Mint login and her myFICO account with her.  This helped a great deal, but still think she feels a loss of power - I just don't understand what she thinks she has lost.

 

Do you manage your family's credit profiles?  What do you run into that you have to navigate around?  Any tips you can share?


It seems like you are the one feeling threatened.  I don't mean that as criticism, though.  We all see things from our own perspective.   And, no, I don't know one female whose husband solely manages her own credit profile.  Is it that you can't understand her feelings regarding a loss of power as she is trying to take more of an interest in her own financial profile and your family's finances (and maybe has felt this for a long time as a working woman), or is  it more that you feel you will lose power and now have to answer to your spouse on certain decisions, and like complete autonomy?  Just something to think about.

 

From Suzie Orman.

 

"Consider Yourselves Equals
Who makes what is irrelevant. Do you hear me, stay-at-home moms? The size of your paycheck does not determine your role in the family finances. Respect each other as equal partners, with an equal say in money management.

Don't Hide Your Head in the Sand
A lot of women fall into the habit of letting their partner handle the money. If you are one of those women, that's not your spouse's fault; it's yours. Your husband may be doing a fabulous job with your money—that's not the point. You need to understand the family finances and weigh in on all decisions. In the Fidelity survey, just 15 percent of couples feel confident that either of them could take over the finances if necessary. That's especially chilling for women; the fact that women tend to live longer than men means they may need to rely on the money longer and will also find themselves managing it at some point. The longer you wait to engage, the bigger the surprises you may find down the line."

Open Credit Cards:
Green Dot Primor Secured (5/18) - $450 CL (CLOSED 2/2020)
Capital One Platinum (8/18) PC to Quicksilver (9/19) - $2300 CL
Capital One QuicksilverOne (3/19) - $1800 CL
Merrick Bank DYL VISA - No AF (6/19) - $1400 CL
Discover it Cash Back (9/19) - $2800 CL
Amazon Prime Store Card (4/20) - $10,000 CL
NFCU cashRewards (4/20) - $1500 CL
BB&T Spectrum Cash Rewards (5/20) - $3500 CL
Navy Federal More Rewards American Express® Card (3/21) - $9700 SL - at 9.65 %.
Experian FICO Score - 8/2018: 528

Experian FICO 8 Score - 9/2021 - 675
Equifax FICO 8 score 9/2021- 680
TransUnion FICO 8 score 9/2021 - 670
Message 5 of 22
Brian_Earl_Spilner
Community Leader
Mega Contributor

Re: Managing family credit profiles

How would you feel if someone took over all your bills? Not sure how much you can spend, and on which card, maybe worried you'll get yelled at or lectured for using the wrong card at the wrong time, for too much.

 

Her issue isn't the loss of power, it's the loss of control. She can no longer control her finances. Maybe you should sit down with her and explain what you're doing and why. Maybe hand back the reins for a bit while being her training wheels. It would be a benefit to you both. 

 

When I landed in the hospital, my finances and credit score crashed and burned because we kept our stuff separate and she didn't understand how I moved money around and when I paid everything. She didn't understand the importance of keeping my score up so we could take loans for the medical bills. Instead, she dumped all the money into said bills while running up the cards. Things are different now. I've showed her my spreadsheet and she has her own for her bills now and I see her constantly checking and updating it. Makes me very proud. She understands how credit works and I have no doubt if it were to happen again, she would handle everything much differently.




Message 6 of 22
dragontears
Valued Contributor

Re: Managing family credit profiles

Knowledge is power

 

If you give a man a fish, he eats for a day. If you teach a man to fish he can eat for life

 

While it may be easier in the short term for you to manage her credit profile you are not doing her any favors in the long term. It would be better to teach her how (especially since she is expressing interest in doing so), if the worst was to happen to you, wouldn't you feel better in the after life knowing she could take care of herself? 

Scores hover around 800
Haven't been AZEO in over a year
Rome was not built in a day, neither is a good credit profile
Message 7 of 22
Chris865
Valued Member

Re: Managing family credit profiles


@dragontears wrote:

Knowledge is power

 

If you give a man a fish, he eats for a day. If you teach a man to fish he can eat for life

 

While it may be easier in the short term for you to manage her credit profile you are not doing her any favors in the long term. It would be better to teach her how (especially since she is expressing interest in doing so), if the worst was to happen to you, wouldn't you feel better in the after life knowing she could take care of herself? 


You hit on something else too.  In reflecting, I took over control because she was making some poor choices. Rather than educate her, I took it from her.  I'm going to sit with her and go through everything with her so she can make choices again on her own.  If I see mistakes, coach her on it rather than restrict her.  Yes, she needs to be able to take care of herself - I'm not helping the situation.  Thank you.




Message 8 of 22
simplechamp
Regular Contributor

Re: Managing family credit profiles

Sounds like you have the right attitude and approach to resolve her concerns. You weren't doing it for the sake of being in control. You were doing it out of concern for her (and your) financial future. It might help for her to know your heart was in the right place, even though the path you took turned out not to be the best. Then you can move forward from there.

 

I find myself in these kind of situations in the workplace. I can have a tendency to say "I'll just do it" rather than teach someone else to do it. Sometimes I get tunnelvision making sure the job gets done right, and overlook opportunities to help someone learn/advance. It's something I am always working to get better at.

 

 

Message 9 of 22
ImTheDevil
Community Leader
Super Contributor

Re: Managing family credit profiles

My wife and I discussed things when I decided I wanted to rebuild. Neither of us had good scores or profiles at the time but the concensus was that we would allow me to rebuild first as I make about twice what she makes. The idea was that if we needed to finance something big and only one of us could apply, it made sense that the higher income applied. 

I am basically rebuilt now. I'm awaiting the falloff of my final few derogs, all old and long since paid. I have a solid stable of useful cards and just under $50k of credit lines with UTI in the teens. She has cards for all my accounts and knows the basics of how we use them (auto billing all media to BCP for the 6% back, Gold for food/dining, cash back cards for general spend, etc). 

In the next month I will pull all her reports, go through them with her and teach her how to read them, and we'll attack any derogs she's showing. Hers may be pretty easy as it is likely only Medicals due to a long standing illness. We'll start getting her some cards to build with and clearing the derogs off and get her rebuilt and in the green, so to speak. I'll set her up with a spreadsheet like mine, and I'll help her manage it to the extent that she asks me to. She has a grasp of usage percentages and I'll be sure that knowledge is nailed down. I anticipate a pretty easy time of it - she's bright and good with numbers, has had no cards in many years, so no chargeoffs, and if it takes awhile to clean things up, well, we have my credit to go off of in the meantime. We own our house outright which is a big plus so cards and vehicles are really the only major foreseen expenses that require credit.



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Message 10 of 22
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