Dear Liz: I filed bankruptcy in 2005, just before the laws changed. My husband-to-be is hesitant about marriage since he believes my bankruptcy will affect his business and his shining credit score. I have been telling him my past financial tribulations do not reflect on his credit score. Where can I find this in writing to prove what I say is true?
Answer: There’s no such thing as a joint credit report or a joint credit score. Each individual has his or her own, and they aren’t combined when you marry.
Your troubled history could affect him going forward, however, if you two decide to get a loan together, such as a mortgage. Your lower credit scores could make it more difficult to get approved and probably would trigger a higher interest rate than he’d have to pay otherwise.
His reluctance to marry you may have deeper roots, of course. Since your finances have foundered before, he may worry that they could again, and he would be on the hook for bailing you out.
You may need to reassure him that you’ve mended your ways.
That means living within your means with no credit card debt, a substantial pad of savings and adequate insurance. If you’re not there yet, you may at least need to prove to him that you’re well on your way.
Otherwise, his reluctance to marry wouldn’t be cold feet. It would just be prudent caution.