The Weird Money Thing You Do That Puts Your Relationship At Major Risk

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The Weird Money Thing You Do That Puts Your Relationship At Major Risk
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While you were focused on your sex life and how you handle arguments, it turns out that there could be something else putting your relationship at risk.

Most children of divorced parents can tell you that finances were a big theme in their mom and dad’s after-dinner arguments. So, if you really want to keep your relationship on steady ground, here is the one weird money thing that could be sending your love boat towards the rocks.

What is it? Your credit score. Bam, that might have hit you hard because as most people will agree that the credit score monster always seems to be popping in to ruin your day.

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Credit scores aren’t the most romantic of topics to bring up over a candlelit dinner. However, it’s an important topic and one that needs to be had sooner rather than later.

When speaking about credit scores and relationships, Mike Cetera, a Bankrate.com credit analyst, said, “It shouldn’t be a confrontation, especially if you suspect your partner has weaker credit than you do. Instead, start a more lighthearted conversation about money in general. Something like, ‘My friend’s boyfriend is having a hard time keeping up with his bills. Not being able to pay on time really scares me... what do you think?’ will get you started without accusing anyone of anything.”

You’ll start to get a sense of your partner’s money philosophy, as well as feel comfortable sharing your own experiences. “You shouldn’t move in with or marry someone without having a solid understanding of both their debts and their spending habits,” Cetera continues.

So, what happens if you have a bad credit score?

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Cetera says, “Difficulty getting a mortgage is often highlighted as the biggest impact of bad credit, but the reach goes much farther. Landlords frequently check credit before approving a lease, so you may not even be able to rent a home. And if your credit is bad, your utility companies may require that you put down a security deposit.”

A bad credit score can also put you in a poor position when it comes to applying for jobs and obtaining a vehicle.

While dating someone with bad credit isn’t all that bad, since you can put everything in your name, it does require you to take a lot more risk. So, if you’re looking at your credit score and starting to realize that it may be costing you dates, you’ll want to work on raising it.

Cetera gives some suggestions for what you can do.

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1. Pay your bills on time.

“Your payment history accounts for 35 percent of your credit score, so if you pay bills late (or not at all), your score will be greatly reduced.” 

2. Be careful about how much you owe.

“The amount of debt you have accounts for 30 percent of your score. A lot of debt doesn’t always mean you’ll have a low score, but it’s important to strike a balance between how much credit you have available and how much you use. Maxing out a $5,000 credit card limit will give you a much lower score than someone who owes $5,000 but has a $20,000 credit limit.”

3. Discuss having a joint bank account.

And, if you are having the credit score talk, you might as well throw in the inevitable, joint bank account talk, too.

“Your traditional credit scores will not be affected if you and your partner open a joint account, as your credit score is focused only on your access to credit, payment history, and debt. However, if you and your partner decide not to have a joint account, make sure to still have a thorough discussion about your financial history and spending habits, as if your partner has a bad credit score or is secretive with money, it’s a big red flag.”

Take a moment to relax and breath. Talking about finances with your partner is no big deal. In fact, it’s kind of a sign that your relationship is at the maturity level that it should be.

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Shannon Ullman is a writer who focuses on women’s health, pop culture, entertainment, and relationships. 

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