Does Your Marriage Deserve Some Credit? (F You FICO Scores!)

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cut up credit cards debit cards love marriage couples debtOurs doesn’t! I’m not talking about cool points here, but rather the stuff FICO scores are made of. I’m not even going to pretend like The Man and I have good credit because that would be a big fat lie. When we got engaged a lot of people said to me, “be careful because now your credit will be his credit”. I laughed out loud every time I heard this because we both have crappy scores so no harm done there.

The truth is we both abused our credit at different times in our lives. Mine went to hell when I was a stressed out grad student who believed retail therapy soothed all things. His took a turn for the worst when he met me and my ridiculous shopping habits immediately wore off on him. Now we suffer together every time Macy’s taunts us with the opportunity to get an extra 20 percent off if we open a card, and we quickly pretend we’re not interested when we know it’s really because there’s no way any bank we’d be foolish enough to give either of us a new card. Or when we fall in love with a new apartment building only to read “FICO score 650 or better” in the fine print for applications. So sad, but so true.
Now, we’re no fools, we’re working on it. It’s a slow climb back to the top of the credit score later but we’re doing our best to get there. One of the decisions we made was to revoke our card swiping privileges all together and keep the cards we haven’t yet paid off at home locked away in a place we know we should never go. Yes, our marriage, for the moment, isn’t deserving of any credit. We’re at peace with this, but that doesn’t make the waiting easy. Especially when I read articles like this one I found on the best credit card deals for newlyweds on FoxBusiness.com that makes me wish we’d been smarter when we first fell in love.

I monitor both our credit scores each month using FreeCreditReport.com and am proud to report that we’re getting there, slowly. Luckily we’re not looking to buy a home any time soon because I fear if we were our dreams might be crushed quite quickly. Instead, we’re focused on getting our credit in order one step at a time and trying not be too salty about being FICO score rejects in the mean time.

How’s your combined credit? Are you in our boat, or floating on by glad your voyage is smoother sailing? What role has credit played in your marriage? All tips, tricks, and tales welcome!

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13 Responses to Does Your Marriage Deserve Some Credit? (F You FICO Scores!)

  1. :::aj::: says:

    Hubs and I have a lotttt of debt (I'm talking 100k for student loans, and when we got married last Sept, tack on another 30k in credit)…and I'm happy to say that our scores are "excellent", and by the end of this year, we'll have paid off EVERY SINGLE card except for the one.

    What we do – budget budget budget – we check our spreadsheet everyday. Overtime goes 75% to bills, 25% to fun. We use American Express for points, which has meant up to 20 free movie tickets, gift cards to resturants and shopping….which means less money out of our wallet, more to bills.

    My recent post -Joelles spot on-

  2. Twitter Bestie says:

    Hi, TB! It's me again! I started taking my credit seriously AFTER I tore it to shreds. When I was 18 and on my way to college, I had three credit cards. Who gives a teenager a $2,000 credit limit? Discover, that's who. I later discovered that uh, I should have left those things alone. After maxing out all my cards in about four months, I became the Minimum Payment Queen. Mind you, I barely had income. Most times I would just call my grandma for $15. The life and times of a broke college kid. Anyway, all three of my cards charged-off and it would be about three years before I cared. Well, let me take that back. I cared, I just couldn't do anything about it. That was until I got my first "real" job at a collections agency. There, I learned everything there was to know about credit. I called every company I had an account with and worked out a payment plan. It took me about 2.5-3 years but I paid off every dime that I owed. Since then, I keep a very close eye on my credit. I'm pretty maxed out on cards that I have so I'm not looking to open anything new. A couple of things that helped me was getting my credit report each year (from http://www.annualcreditreport.com) for FREE! I also made sure that my personal info was always current. Somehow that helps. I also set timeframes for myself. "Have CC1 paid off by this date; send CC1's payment to CC2 once paid off." Having a partner is helpful too. I'm not married but my bestie and I would set up six month goal meetings and we would keep each other. The beau's credit is superb. He was a finance major. He's a frugal lil thang! :)

    Good luck, Man & Wife.

  3. Jordan says:

    Our credit is good, but we still have debts to pay down from behaviors we picked up in our single days. Him moreso than me, but he also has six years on me and a couple of bad times that forced the credit card to come out. I have a Southwest Credit Card I use for work that gets me free flights often! It's been a great way to save funds in that area. :)

  4. simplykita says:

    Girl good luck. I have never had a credit card my mom warned me and I heeded her warning she told me I never need them and that a car and student loans would be enough to build my credit. Now what I did do was get a private loan because no one told me about them and they don't do deferments or forbearances I lost my job and could not keep up with the payments so that is the only bad thing on my credit that as soon as I get a job or start making money I will be paying something on that so my score can get out of the negative. My hubbys credit was really bad and still is he has contemplated banruptcy to get his stuff in order because he is a sad case. We don't have anything together so thats a good thing I think we will keep it that way for a while.

  5. LegalGrindWifey says:

    I totally feel you on this post. The beautiful thing about when you all do get to homeownership you will be like on cloud nine. Then I was quickly brought back down to reality when the sale major bank that gave me $100K home loan offered me a credit card and denied me :( idk I don't understand how the whole system works so now we said screw credit cards.
    My recent post NBCs The Event- Need Ratings!

  6. princessofgeekadonia says:

    I highly recommend "The Total Money Makeover" by Dave Ramsey. Reading that book changed our lives by totally reshaping our perception of money. We spent the first two years of our marriage paying off all of our debt and haven't looked back! Living debt free is the only way we know how to live! We have one credit card account open that we rarely use – and it's only for the sole purpose of having recent credit activity on our reports for when we get ready to purchase a home (it's sad that that's even necessary…but this is America). Credit cards are the devil! LOL

    • Natasha Williams says:

      I recommend TMM too!!! My husband and I read the TMM and it completely changed our lives. I practically listen to Dave Ramsey everyday. We don't need, nor ever want credit again. We cut all of our cards up and paid them off. We pay cash for everything. Next year this time we will be completely debt free, including our mortgage. It feels great not to worry about our credit score. We don't need to borrow anyone's money – we have cash! :-)

  7. Becoming Mrs Allan says:

    When I got married, my husband took away my credit cards. It sounds like i'm 5 years old and a little kid, but it was the best thing he did…mostly because I was paying them but couldn't stop using them. I had a pretty large amount of credit card debt mostly left over from being a poor law student years ago who couldn't afford to buy a book or study aid. I'm happy to say that 18 months later, we've paid off around $25,000 worth of credit card debt. We're 2k away from being completely credit card debt free! I feel like a HUGE wait has been lifted off my shoulders and have just gotten used to only buying things I need if the cash is on hand!
    My recent post Oh Mariah

  8. Mimi says:

    We have veen fairly responsible with our credit once we got out of the hole. We did not have a wedding, we instead took the money and paid off all of our debt and bought a house. Now we are looking to move into a bigger home and we have let a few things fall through the cracks. We are working on a plan to fix those things and when the time is right and I mean absolutely right we will make the move. You are right about taking it step by step. Be thankful for where you are and when the time is right you will move forward.
    My recent post Wordless Wednesday…Let Me Help You

  9. Date Girl says:

    Good job moving in the right direction. It will definitely be worth it to have that good credit in the future. My husband and I have good credit, but we are still working hard to pay down our debt from student loans and his car before we will consider buying a house. It's tough being responsible, but you'll have fun with frugal living. I love saving on stuff and being able to buy something and not worry about the credit card bill.

  10. Reese says:

    It's great to hear that you've put a stop on your unhealthy spending habit. I used to suffer from a horrendous credit score and you bet, it is a slow, arduous climb back to the top. Now, I keep credit cards in case of emergency, for traveling purposes, and for other transactions that necessitate credit card as a mode of payment. But I keep my spending down to the bare minimum and I payoff my balances each month and never miss a payment or make a late payment. My hubby and I haven't tied the knot yet. But luckily his credit is excellent.
    My recent post Best Student Credit Card Deals

  11. Our credit is good, but we still have debts to pay down from behaviors we picked up in our single days. Him moreso than me, but he also has six years on me and a couple of bad times that forced the credit card to come out. I have a Southwest Credit Card I use for work that gets me free flights often! It's been a great way to save funds in that area.

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