When you get married, you'll be sharing your life with that person… including both their assets and their debts. When you choose to get hitched to the love of your life, you're also hitching your wagon to theirs in a tangible way (for better or for worse!) so it's important to lay things out on the table as soon as possible so there are no surprises after the wedding day.
It might seem invasive, and not at all sexy, but you should definitely know your partner's credit score before tying the knot. (You should know your own as well!) You'll want a look at the big picture of where you both stand financially before you combine your lives and assets so that you are able to tackle any challenges that face you.
Do you know your partner's credit scores? How about your own?
According to a recent survey, less than one in three people (31%) have their credit score memorized. Do you know yours? How about your fiancé's? Do you even know how to figure it out or where to find it?
There are several ways you can check out your credit score online, including some that are free and fairly simple. But I recently learned about the CreditWise app from Capital One, which allows you to have access to your credit score at your fingertips – anytime, anyplace. The app is open to anyone in the U.S., whether or not you're a Capital One customer, and it's completely free! CreditWise is available for Apple iOS in the App Store and for Android devices in the Google Play Store.
What's really cool about this app is that you can simulate what will happen to your credit score when you make certain financial decisions — whether you're considering opening up a new line of credit, canceling an old card, paying off a debt, or increasing your limit on an existing card. This can help you to know how your score will be affected when you make changes so you aren't surprised when trying to qualify to rent an apartment or take out a mortgage on your first home.
“Knowing your credit score, understanding the things that can impact it, and taking steps to help increase it, is empowering and can be one of the most important things you can do to improve your financial health,” said Bill Hardekopf, CEO of LowCards.com. “A higher credit score can benefit you in so many areas of life. CreditWise will make it easier for consumers to manage their credit score and achieve a more stable financial position.”
Reasons why I love the CreditWise app:
- Available for both Apple and Android
- Unlimited access to your TransUnion credit information with no negative impact on your score
- Notifications when there’s a change to your credit report
- Credit simulator that allows you to see the potential impact of financial decisions before you make them
- An overview of the key factors that are currently impacting your credit score
- A full list of both open and closed lines of credit, organized by account type (e.g., real estate, credit cards, personal loans, etc.)
- Balance details for both open and closed accounts
Basically, it's super thorough, informative and helpful! You should definitely download to see where you stand, and make a plan with your future spouse to improve your scores by paying down debts and making good financial decisions! Remember, credit scores are individual, and your spouse's score won't directly affect your own. However, for large purchases such as buying your first home, you'll likely need both of your scores to be strong to qualify for the best interest rates and mortgage terms, so it's worth it to put in the work to get both of your scores to a good place.
Check out the CreditWise App from Capital One for your Android or Apple device!
Editor's note: Due to the pandemic, some of the general wedding planning advice we share may not be applicable or possible due to restrictions on events. Please adhere to all current regulations and stay safe and healthy! Get more resources for planning a pandemic wedding here.