You love your spouse, but you should also love your credit score too. One may enrich your life and give you unrelenting love and support, but the other is how you pay your bills. They’re both important, which is why it can hurt so much if it’s hard for your wife to improve their credit score.
Helping someone improve credit score habits is a tough struggle that may test any relationship. The problem that may bring down a person’s credit may be deeper than just spending habits. And at times, it may seem like you have to choose between your financial security and your loved one.
You just have to remember that you didn’t fall in love with them for their credit score. And if you do want to help them find financial security, it will be hard on them and your relationship. You may need to pour over sensitive financial details with them or confront them on their spending habits.
Yet, it’s worth it in the end for both of you. Keep reading below for tips on how to save your credit score, and your spouse’s.
Help Your Credit First
Before you can help someone else, you need to make sure you’re in a good place to do so. A credit score of 500 will mean you cannot adequately advocate for your spouse if they need a cosigner. It also sows doubt as to your own financial acumen and can test your relationship.
So before you confront your spouse, check your credit score. Running a free check won’t ever hurt your credit, and it’s just a good habit to stay updated on your credit. Noticing if it’s lower than you expected may also raise some red flags that can affect your spouse.
If your identity has been stolen, then the thieves may also be able to use your spouse’s credit. An unexpectedly low credit score may also mean your credit was used without your permission by someone you know.
Either way, ensuring you have good credit is the first step to helping anybody with theirs.
Improve Credit Score Habits With A Household Budget
If you’re sharing a house, then drawing up a household budget can be a gentle nudge towards developing better spending habits. There are many ways to create a clear budget, such as through Excel or You Need A Budget. Having one can help everyone visualize how much money there is to go around.
And if your spouse can clearly see how much there is between you two, they may be encouraged to spend less. You can also include expenses like credit card bills on the budget. This way, everyone is gently reminded that there are bills to pay before anyone can start spending frivolously.
Having a household budget helps everyone see how much debt there is, and how much income they have. This way, you and your spouse can make more informed decisions. And when you overcome debt and start to see credit scores rising, your relationship may soar to new heights too.
Identify Your Spouse’s Specific Issues
Sometimes a gentle reminder about the importance of having good credit isn’t enough. People can sometimes spend and take out money impulsively due to some underlying issue. If those issues go unconfronted, they have the potential to jeopardize the entire relationship.
You may need to sit down and speak with your spouse about their spending habits. Ask them why they may not be working as hard as they could be to bring their credit back up. Their answer may do more than help build their credit back up.
It may deepen the resolve you both have in your relationship if they share the reasons behind any financial issues. By asking them directly about their credit issues, you each may find a deeper level of trust in one another.
Help Them To Resolve Those Issues, Don’t Solve Them Yourself
However much you may want to help someone solve their issues, you should never do it for them. If you offer to take on their debt or to simply repay everything, they will not have learned any lesson. Even if you offer to pay their debt as a way of protecting your own credit, you are still enabling the behavior that created the problem.
It’s much better to emphasize the importance of having good credit with your spouse. This way, they may be motivated to tackle the issue themselves. They may be able to identify and confront their issues themselves, without depending on you.
Dependency is never good in any relationship and creating dependency for a person’s credit will only lead to disaster.
Look Into Alternative Kinds Of Credit
There are many options out there when it comes to finding different types of credit. People may take out loans if major expenses come up, which feature lower interest rates than credit cards. That doesn’t mean credit cards are inherently worse than loans though, even if someone has bad credit.
Secured credit cards offer people a way to safely spend credit while protecting their credit scores. They have a large upfront cost, but that’s mostly due to the collateral associated with cards like this. If bills don’t get paid, the lender simply takes the difference from the collateral that was paid when the card was first created.
Getting a secured credit card, or any other safe credit options can be a wise choice for your spouse. It shows you care and believe in them enough to fix their own credit. You may even be able to present one as a gift; there’s nothing better than the gift of good credit.
Your Spouse’s Credit Does Not Reflect Your Relationship
The most important thing to remember about confronting your spouse’s credit is that it doesn’t reflect your entire relationship. It may be nervewracking to be involved with someone who has poor credit, but it reflects nothing about you. A poor credit score can about for a variety of reasons – none of them may involve your relationship.
But to improve credit score trends, your spouse may need you. You should support them as they take control of their finances and suggest different strategies when they need it. They can take out loans and consolidate different kinds of debt, simply draw up a budget for repaying debt.
Either way, confronting bad credit may sometimes take more than you and your spouse. You may need a reliable, trustworthy, and effective bank to back you both up. We can be that bank, just explore our learning center to see how.