TransUnion Report Spells Financial Trouble for Married Couples

sad couple not speaking
Here’s some bad news for recently married couples: according to a new report from TransUnion, newlyweds don’t talk much about their personal finances until after tying the knot.

It turns out, almost one in five couples do not discuss their financial situation until after marrying. The report also found that 14.4 percent of couples never discuss personal finances at all.

Those couples that did discuss finances found it to be beneficial. A massive 45.1 percent of couples said they felt prepared and organized following a discussion about finances. Almost 20 percent said they felt relief and reassurance following a financial conversation.

Heather Battison, Senior Director at TransUnion Responsible for Consumer Education, told that marriage only affects a couple’s credit situation upon the opening of a joint account or the borrowing of a joint loan, such as a personal loan. She explained the matter using a home loan as an example.

“If they apply for the mortgage together, it may be reported on both of their credit reports and may affect both of their scores. Therefore, the couple should discuss their financial situation together and determine if it makes sense to apply for a mortgage together, under only one individual’s name, or work to get both individuals’ credit in good shape—and then apply for a mortgage together,” said Battison.

Battison explained that credit reports don’t merge together automatically once a couple is married. Instead, records only appear upon the opening of a joint account.

Should individuals have good credit, combining their finances would lead to a lower interest rate on major purchases. Of course, the opposite also holds true, and an account could receive damage if two people joining accounts together have bad credit.

As a result, Battison advises couples to evaluate their credit situation first, and then decide whether it is more advantageous to apply for a loan together or individually.