On marriage and finances

Would you add a friend to your credit card account? Presumably your response is, “No. It’s not that I don’t trust him, but it’s just not a good idea.”

And yet that’s what marriage is. Even if you keep separate bank accounts–which seems pretty common among some of my friends–you still assume your partner’s debt and your partner can get credit under your name.

This blows my mind on several levels:

1. In what other relationships does another person have the ability to ruin your credit score, without your permission and potentially without your knowledge?

2. Why can’t you negotiate your own terms, as in other contractual relationships?

3. So many people are financial disasters. And while you and I may not marry those particular people and sign up for those particular problems, someone will. Virtually everyone gets married off, financial disasters included. Ugh.

But apparently this is somehow romantic…?

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “On marriage and finances

  1. Just to play devil’s advocate… =)

    > In what other relationships does another person have the ability to ruin your credit score, without your permission and potentially without your knowledge?

    1) If they are doing stuff like that without your permission/knowledge, then your credit score is not your biggest problem.
    2) I think you can still apply for loans independently. I am married but just refinanced my house without putting my spouse on the application.
    3) Marriage is special in this way, but it’s also special in many ways, which is what makes it… well, special. You also wouldn’t have sex with your friends, or expect them to wake up at 3am to help you with crying kids, or spend extensive time hanging out with your friends’ families and friends’ friends in an effort to bring your lives more in sync… and yet those are components of marriage.
    4) While the sharing of credit might hurt one person, it helps the other. Sacrifice is part of being married =P
    5) This is speculative, but I’m guessing credit scores of partners are heavily correlated. How often would an A (credit rating) marry a D or F?

  2. I have 3 or 4 friends whom I’d add to my credit card account if there was a reason to do so. I trust them. Why not?

  3. jezibelle

    So true. Victim here. Ugh.

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