A couple of months after your marriage, you and your spouse have decided to check each other’s credit scores. If your significant other may have a Bad credit score, it may make it hard for them to take out a new loan at affordable interest rates.
It brings forth a question that if the bad credit score of your partner could affect your ability to borrow money. As a married couple, you must know how you can affect each other’s finances and credibility when it comes to borrowing money.
Credit scores play a paramount role in borrowing money at competitive interest rates. The higher the credit score, the lower the interest rate will be. Although you do not need to have an excellent credit score – 961 as per Experience – you must have at least a fair credit score, which is not lower than 751.
Whether you need a small cash loan or a big loan like car loans and mortgages, a lender will check your credit report to see your previous payments records, and this they get to know with the help of credit rating. A credit score tells about your credibility.
A lower credit rating calls your credibility into question, and hence you will not likely get money at lower interest rates. A lower interest rate can allow you to borrow a large amount of money for a longer timeframe, and you can save thousands of pounds.
Marriage cannot combine your credit score
Although marriage can make you one financial unit, it cannot merge your credit scores. If your spouse has made default, it will not affect your credit rating.
It means a poor credit file of your spouse cannot affect your ability to borrow money at competitive interest rates if your credit score is up to snuff.
However, if you apply for a joint loan – for example, you both are applying a joint mortgage application – the lender will check the credit score of both of you.
If you have a dent on your credit file, you may have your application turned down, or you will likely end up getting a loan signed off on at a high-interest rate.
What do you need to do?
Bad credit is not a good sign, undoubtedly. It can affect your financial life if you are planning to put in a joint application.
Of course, it should not encourage you to part ways with your spouse because it is not a threat that you cannot deal with. There are various ways to improve your credit score. Here is how you can do it.
Communicate with your partner
First off, you need to sit together and evaluate the credit report and the way you and your spouse manage money. Now is not the time to give them hell for having a poor credit score. Instead, you should communicate how your spouse can improve their credit file.
Be empathetic and ask them about the ways to spend their money. Ensure that you have the information because this will help you find out where to cut back on and how much. It is imperative to check a credit report because it may consist of some errors that could be detrimental to your financial condition.
Suppose you have spotted that your credit file shows some accounts that you do not recognize, report credit reference agencies of them. They will likely solve the matter within a month. If you have found that overdue debts are the reason for your poor credit score, you will have to make a debt payment strategy.
Make a strategy to settle all debts
If you have taken on multiple debts, you will have to decide which one you should pay off first. Some of the debts will be more expensive than the others because of high-interest rates.
For instance, if you have racked up your credit card debt and have some small cash loans, you should first pay off credit card debts. This is because they carry higher interest rates than other small loans.
However, this approach does not fit in everyone’s case. There are two types of debt settlement methods – debt avalanche and debt snowball. The former requires making a small payment to each debt and then using any left money to pay down debt with the highest interest rate, and the latter involves paying off the smallest debt first.
It purely depends on your financial condition that which method you will choose to settle your debts. It can take some time, so do not lose patience.
You can also talk to a debt management company that can negotiate with lenders to accept less than what you owe. However, you will have to pay the commission to the debt settlement company.
Improve your credit score
Once you have settled all your debts, now you need to make steps to build your credit rating. All of a sudden your credit rating will not go up despite that you have paid off all your current debts. Take out bad credit loans.
Since your credit report is still not perfect, you will get money at a higher interest rate, but with the help of these loans, you can build your credit rating if you pay off the debt on time. A rule of thumb says that you should borrow money from a lender that allows you to pay down it over an extended period.
This is because when you pay down each instalment on time, it will show to the lender that you fulfil your financial obligation and inform credit reference agencies of your timely payments. As a result, your credit score will go up.
A few direct lenders offer these loans with a small amount and allow you to pay it off in a lump sum or in weekly instalments that do not go beyond a month. These loans cannot help you build your credit score because it does not show that you stay committed to your financial obligation.
Lenders think that you may have inevitable ups and downs throughout the repayment period, and if you continue to pay down the debt until the term of the loan expires, you are credible.
What should you not do?
Now that you have got to know what you need to do to improve your credit rating, at the same time, you should know what mistakes you need to avoid so you do not get back to the drawing board.
Opening too many new accounts
When your credit score is calculated, the age of your debts is also taken into account. If you have recently opened too many new accounts, it will show that you are in desperate need of the loan, and the lender will be sceptical about your repayment.
If you have put in a loan application, make sure that you do not apply to different lenders, nor do you apply for a new credit card issuance. This will ding your credit score.
Closing old accounts
Old accounts indicate that you have successfully managed to pay off all your previous debts. Closing all of them will reduce the total amount of credit available and proportionately increase the amount of money borrowed. As a result, the debt-to-credit ratio will go up.
If you use a credit card for most of your payments, you can spend more than your budget allows. A rule of thumb says that you should use cash instead to ensure that you do not spend more than your budget and you know how much you are spending at the moment.
Your spouse’s bad credit rating cannot affect your credit score unless you put in the joint application. Do not take it casually. Instead, you should take some ways to improve the credit score. A good credit score will always help you get money at affordable interest rates.