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Strong financial foundation for newlyweds
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Be open and honest about debt, savings and spending habits, even if they are less than perfect. Financial turmoil is one of the top reasons cited for divorce, so understanding each other's finances today and what goals you have for the future will help reduce stress on your partnership.
Aug. 26, 2013 12:01 a.m.



Tip of the Week



For better or worse, richer or poorer — that's the promise most couples make when they face one-another at the altar. When it comes to finances and young love, it can be easy to fall into some common pitfalls that can haunt couples long after the wedding day.



"Communication is a key part of a strong marriage, and it's also the basis for a strong financial partnership," says Barrett Burns, president and CEO of VantageScore Solutions. "Being proactive before and planning ahead of the wedding while sticking to a financial plan will help guard against common financial mistakes that can occur early in a couple's life together."



To start your new life together with a strong financial foundation, check off a few important money to-dos before you say "I do!"



1. Have the debt talk



Be open and honest about debt, savings and spending habits, even if they are less than perfect. Financial turmoil is one of the top reasons cited for divorce, so understanding each other's finances today and what goals you have for the future will help reduce stress on your partnership.



2. Control wedding spending



The "big day" is a defining moment in life, but it's important for couples to remember it's just one day of many that they will spend together. Weddings and related events cost a whopping $28,427 on average, according to theknot.com, and that doesn't even include the honeymoon. Create a budget and stick to it. It's not necessarily bad to use credit, especially if you can take advantage of a credit card rewards program, but Burns advises only charging or borrowing what you know you can pay back in a reasonable amount of time as keeping high balances and missing payments can have significantly negative impacts on your credit score, which in turn leads to stress.



3. Work together to build a positive credit profile



Married couples do not have joint credit files or credit scores. But in some cases like when joint accounts and co-signed loans are created, the actions of one can impact the other. Get a copy of your credit report and resolve any issue you may have with the information presented. Make sure that all financial lenders are aware of name changes.



4. Shop around for rates



When shopping for rates, Burns notes to do so within a two-week period of time. Credit inquiries from auto and mortgage lenders and credit cards issued from banks and credit unions are only counted once if done in a two-week period, causing just a slight decrease to credit scores.



— Brandpoint



 

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