cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

getting married with separate finances

tag
GTS
Contributor

getting married with separate finances

If people get married but don't get joint accounts, cards, mortgage,  etc can one who is financially irresponsible affect the others credit?

FICO 8/9:



Chase FF WEMC-$25,200 CL
Chase IHG Premier WEMC-$16,700 CL
Amex BCP-$10,000 CL
PayPal cashback WMC-$8,000 Cl
RCU Platnum Visa-$5,000 CL
Cap1 Savor One WEMC-$5,000 CL
Disco It-$8,000 CL
Disco It-$5,200 CL
Cap1 Quicksilver WEMC-$3,400 CL

Citi Corporate MC-$5,000 CL
AU Citi AA Advantage-$30,000 CL
Message 1 of 29
28 REPLIES 28
Remedios
Credit Mentor

Re: getting married with separate finances

Of course it can 

If you're getting a mortgage, and one of the partners has a bad credit, choice would be having it in one person's name only, which makes that person responsible for payments and everything that happens once marriage collapses (and it will), or getting a bad rate - ending up paying thousands more.

Simple thing such as auto loan can drain finances for person with bad credit, when that happens, how are they going to contribute to housing, utilities, groceries etc..

Same goes for card payments, someone who is already drowning won't be able to contribute their share. 

 

It is not about weather finances are separate, It's about weather both parties are capable of covering shared expenses without one needing to be bailed non stop. 

 

Marriage shouldn't be about gaining another dependent, people get burned out quickly, and then the very costly divorce completes the outfit. 

These things should be addressed ahead of time and if one cannot or doesn't feel good about discussing it ahead of time, they probably shouldn't get married and/or cohabitate. 

Message 2 of 29
Shooting-For-800
Senior Contributor

Re: getting married with separate finances

If everything is separate, depending on the state, the two profiles should not affect each other much.

As soon as you apply for something joint, the worse score will impact the better score.

If the better credit person also has the better income, most things will be smooth sailing.

GL!

Rebuild started in 2014  -  $100k unsecured credit in 2017  -  $500k unsecured credit in 2024.

DON'T WORK FOR CREDIT CARDS ... MAKE CREDIT CARDS WORK FOR YOU!



Message 3 of 29
Horseshoez
Valued Contributor

Re: getting married with separate finances


@GTS wrote:

If people get married but don't get joint accounts, cards, mortgage,  etc can one who is financially irresponsible affect the others credit?


My wife and I are in our 30th year of marriage; as a general rule we've kept our credit cards separate but been joint for mortgages.  Our cars have been about 80% joint, which worked to our advantage before we temporarily separated and then individually declared bankruptcy.  Since her Chapter 7 in 2014 and my Chapter 13 in 2015, she has purchased one car in her name (2016), and just last fall I purchased one car in my name; the reason for the individual loans were simple, when she bought her current car I was in the middle of my bankruptcy and could not incur any new debt; my bankruptcy has since dropped off my reports, while she still has about a year before her reports are clean, so it was to my advantage to finance the new ride exclusively in my name.  We're discussing buying her a new car later this year; we haven't decided whether to do a joint loan, pay cash for it, or put it exclusively in her name.

 

What is interesting about our marriage, and probably many marriages these days, is there has rarely been a time where our incomes were roughly on par with one another; initially I made about twice what she did, she caught up, and then doubled her income again while mine remained flat.  Then my income went to zero while hers double yet again; then the recession hit and hers went to zero and mine started picking back up, and now it is to the point where I'm earning as much or more than the two of us combined, even at our joint peak.  About three years ago her company started paying less while asking for ever more productivity; this went on for over a year with promises of advancement but nothing concrete and I begged her to quit as we no longer needed her income.  She finally put in her two-week notice in July of 2021, and even then they strung her along until late September before she finally stopped working.

 

A few additional comments; I know couples where both spouses have always made roughly the same amount; some of those marriages have succeeded, others have failed.  Same story holds true for marriages with an income disparity; some succeeded, others failed.  Long story short, no one financial formula works for every couple; it takes communicating with one another and a lot of hard work to keep a marriage together, even if money isn't a problem, and if there are financial issues, things are even more difficult.

I categorically refuse to do AZEO!
Message 4 of 29
Rogue46
Established Contributor

Re: getting married with separate finances

My wife and I have been together for 32 years and have always had separate bank accounts, credit cards, car loans etc. It's probably a good thing in our circumstance when I had a business go under in 2014 and had to file chapter 7 it didn't affect her finances at all.





Message 5 of 29
JoeRockhead
Senior Contributor

Re: getting married with separate finances


@GTS wrote:

If people get married but don't get joint accounts, cards, mortgage,  etc can one who is financially irresponsible affect the others credit?


I think it greatly depends on who you're married to. Are they a responsible person, do they share the same sentiment when it comes to spending, saving, being disciplined,etc.... do you both have a genuine respect for what the other brings to the relationship financially, what their credit accomplishments (or goals) are? While credit cards are solely an individual thing , they have a real implication when it comes to purchases that might require a joint effort, a mortgage, cars etc... If one of you is responsible, focused on what's important (and what isn't) for your lifelong financial goals, and the other is irresponsible, frivolous and/or selfish, it's simply a drag on the whole thing in it's entirety.

 

 

 

Message 6 of 29
privacyadvocate69
Contributor

Re: getting married with separate finances

If a person I was interested in marrying said they wanted "separate finances", I would suggest that we go ahead and have separate lives too.

 

Marriage is supposed to be a team effort. If someone isn't willing to throw their money into the team pot, I don't see how that works. I know some people are happy with it, I just don't see how it works. I mean, if one person retires with $2M and the other retires with nothing, is the rich one going to go on vacations alone? If one gets hit with fat medical bills and drains their savings, is the other one good with saying, "Sucks to be you, but you're not getting any of MY money!"  If one gets sick and has to stop working does the other one say, "Well, we can stay married but if you can't put money toward the bills you're going to have to move out" ?

 

When I got married, I was 34. Wife was 28. I was making about $80K/year and owned a house and a car. She was unemployed but did have $10K in cash (and no car or other assets). How would "separate finances" work there?

 

We never talked about money. I added her to my checking account to make it a joint account, she put her money in it and that was that. We got a joint credit card...it's the oldest card we have. Not many issuers will issue a joint credit card anymore.

 

Fast forward seven months...she got a job making about $35K/year. Fast forward another couple of years and she was making $75K.  Fast forward a few more years, she is making $165K to my $120K.  Somewhere in there, I was unemployed for a while when I was in between jobs and again when we relocated across the country. As it stands now, I will probably have to stop working much earlier than planned due to a disability. Really glad I didn't insist on "separate finances" 17 years ago!!

 

 

Message 7 of 29
Rogue46
Established Contributor

Re: getting married with separate finances

@privacyadvocate69 

Having separate finances doesn't mean my wife and I don't split the bills or otherwise work together financially. She takes care of the mortgage and a few other bills while i pay the car payments/insurance and some other things.  It's a setup we have always had and for our circumstances it works just fine. 

 

At the end of the day we are married and what's mine is hers and vice versa it's not MY money or HER money.





Message 8 of 29
GTS
Contributor

Re: getting married with separate finances


@Rogue46 wrote:

@privacyadvocate69 

Having separate finances doesn't mean my wife and I don't split the bills or otherwise work together financially. She takes care of the mortgage and a few other bills while i pay the car payments/insurance and some other things.  It's a setup we have always had and for our circumstances it works just fine. 

 

At the end of the day we are married and what's mine is hers and vice versa it's not MY money or HER money.


@Rogue46I couldn't have said this any better. My significant other and I have been together for 10yrs and living together for 7yrs and and talking about marriage. We have a system to split the bills that works. She is a little less irresponsible and I have been working with her. At this point I would never get a joint account with her. I save for the future and any misfortune and she doesn't, she likes to splurge after her bills are paid. My fear is that with a joint account she would spend the "savings". Her credit is in the toilet and I have been rebuilding mine (because I used to be like her). Or with a joint credit card she would max it out. I would never not have her back if she would become unemployed or whatnot, that's what I save for, I'm just a little more mature when it comes to finances.

FICO 8/9:



Chase FF WEMC-$25,200 CL
Chase IHG Premier WEMC-$16,700 CL
Amex BCP-$10,000 CL
PayPal cashback WMC-$8,000 Cl
RCU Platnum Visa-$5,000 CL
Cap1 Savor One WEMC-$5,000 CL
Disco It-$8,000 CL
Disco It-$5,200 CL
Cap1 Quicksilver WEMC-$3,400 CL

Citi Corporate MC-$5,000 CL
AU Citi AA Advantage-$30,000 CL
Message 9 of 29
privacyadvocate69
Contributor

Re: getting married with separate finances

I guess if I couldn't trust someone I wanted to marry with money or credit, I don't feel I could trust her with much of anything else.

 

I also think it is inaccurate to refer to a pot of money as "our" money if only one person has control over it.

Message 10 of 29
Advertiser Disclosure: The offers that appear on this site are from third party advertisers from whom FICO receives compensation.