40% of Newlyweds Didn’t Know Their Spouse’s Credit Score Before Getting Married

couple-finances

You’d think most couples preparing to tie the knot would sit down and discuss their finances. But a new Experian study reveals that isn’t the case at all. In fact, some people (25% of survey participants) don’t even know their spouse’s annual income before getting married. And 40% didn’t know their spouse’s credit score ahead of time.

Some other surprising findings from Experian’s study: One-third of participants said their spouse’s spending habits aren’t what they expected, and one-third also didn’t know the amount of their spouse’s student loan debt.

Avoiding the money talk can be potentially problematic for relationships — and lead to financial woes down the road. While your spouse’s credit history has no bearing on yours unless you open a joint account together (in which case information related to that account will appear on both of your credit reports), you may have to endure some of the consequences of their bad credit scores — or their bad habits — together. For instance, if you try to jointly secure a home loan, your spouse’s negative credit history — due to unpaid credit cards or student loan debt, for instance — could cost yours more in points and interest.

Experian’s online survey was conducted by Edelman Berland on behalf of the credit bureau from Jan. 21 to Feb. 1, 2016, among 1,000 adults in the U.S. married in the past year. (It is not based on a probability sample, therefore, no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated, Experian said.)

Per its findings, 39% of participants said credit scores have already put a strain on their marriage while 23% remain concerned about developing a budget.

As such, it can be important for you and your spouse to know where you stand financially. (You can view your two free credit scores, updated monthly, on Credit.com.) Not only can this help you avoid a surprise later on, you’ll be able to work honestly toward your financial goals.

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Image: AleksandarNakic

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