How Can Credit Affect Your Relationships?

Published on Feb 10, 2016 04:10 pm

The advent of Valentine’s Day means more than just a time to celebrate love (and boxed chocolates), it’s also a time to think about the ways that relationships affect all the parts of your life – including your financial life. Every year, there are stories on the costs of being in a relationship. But, rather than looking at what being in a relationship can do to your credit from a spending perspective, we explored how credit can play a role in your relationships?

As a part of your overall financial picture, credit use as a couple can be a hard thing to unify. After all, just as partners can come together from very different economic backgrounds, you might also think just as differently about how to spend or save. It’s rare to find a full match where you’d both place exactly the same importance on spending for different items under different circumstances – say, right before your mortgage payment is due versus just after a big bonus at work for both of you.

Financial stress can be a barrier to good communication in any relationship, so make sure you seize an early opportunity to talk about how you both see credit working in your finances. Set a few boundaries for how much you’ll spend before checking in with each other so you know what turns into a team decision before you hit the sale you can’t pass up.

You already know that your credit scores are a major indicator of your financial health, so if the two of you have dramatically different credit scores, it can mean that your approaches to managing your money are very different. In a working paper from late last year, researchers discovered that having wildly different credit scores was a strong indicator of other friction happening in a relationship, too, a conclusion that isn’t surprising when you consider that a low credit score often means struggling with bills and other regular responsibilities.

When you know more about your credit – and how you use it – you can work to find common ground with your partner to build a solid financial future for tomorrow, one you’ll be able to celebrate for many Valentine’s Days to come.

This article is provided for general guidance and information. It is not intended as, nor should it be construed to be, legal, financial or other professional advice. Please consult with your attorney or financial advisor to discuss any legal or financial issues involved with credit decisions.

Published by permission from, Inc., an Experian company. © 2015, Inc. All rights reserved.

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