First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes financial decisions and joint fiscal responsibility?

 

Congratulations! You have decided to get married and live happily ever after. However, we understand a few questions might be popping up after the big one. You might wonder about potential changes to your current finances and credit score. These are important questions and we have gathered some answers to help guide you and your partner.

What's going to happen to my credit score?
When you get married, a lot of what is yours becomes ours. One thing that still can remain individualized is your credit score. Each of you will continue to have unique FICO scores after marriage, according to MyFICO. However, it should be noted that in some instances, a lender may check the score of both individuals applying for a home or auto loan. Experian relayed that creating a joint account may become necessary in the instance of applying for a car loan if you both want your names to appear on the title.

Experian also reported even if name changes occur as a result of a marriage, credit histories will not merge.

Should we establish a joint checking account?
There is no one-size-fits-all response to whether a newly wed couple should open a conjoined bank account. Bankrate noted that separate checking accounts may have some advantages as well as some downfalls. Keeping separate accounts may be beneficial when spending behavior is largely different between you and your spouse, but it could also cause problems if income varies substantially.

If you and your spouse have noticeably different spending habits, having a joint account may lead to arguments regarding how income is spent. Having separate accounts can keep expenses individual and private.

Other couples might find a joint account will be more beneficial for their marriages.

"Sharing joint expenses keeps a sense of fairness in the relationship and helps to ease any resentment," said Kelly Long, a CPA at Shepard Schwartz & Harris LLP. "Each spouse could contribute a percentage to joint expenses that matches the percentage their income brings to the table."

What are my financial responsibilities after marriage? 
NOLA, a legal information provider, described some of the monetary obligations associated with tying the knot. After marrying another person, you now have a responsibility to provide for any children you may have or adopt in the future. Any family expenses that arise should also be jointly resolved as a team. 

In addition, homes, cars, property and other possessions you own become shared estate. 

Speak with your financial adviser and understand what financial decisions you should make after marrying the love of your life. 

For more information about smart ways to manage your finances, contact Landmark Bank.

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