| June 11, 2013

Four financial questions to ask your spouse before you get married

Many people are likely to get married this summer, and they will have numerous changes to their financial situations. 

To help ensure financial success during your marriage, there are some questions you should ask before tying the knot. 

1. How much debt do you have? 

When you get married your spouse will probably have some sort of debt – i.e. student loan or credit card debt – and it is important to know this for the future. Now that you will be sharing your finances, you will want to know how much debt each other has. This could play a major role into decisions about your future, such as buying a home or car.

Lenders may be wary about offering a mortgage to a couple with a lot of debt. Even if you can secure a loan with high debt loads you will likely be offered unfavorable terms. Asking your future husband or wife how much debt they have before the wedding can help the two of you pay it off more quickly. 

2. What's your credit score?

Another important financial factor when married is your credit score. Before tying the knot, you should be sure to ask your spouse what their credit score is so there are no surprises after marriage. Much like your debt, this can play a large role in future decisions. That being said, you and your spouse may want to visit a credit counseling agency to determine how to best improve either of your credit scores. 

3. How much savings do you have?

Savings is essential for financial success so you will want to know how much money your spouse has in their bank. Without an adequate safety net, you may find that you and your spouse are in trouble when an unexpected expense arises. Should you find your spouse has limited savings, you may want to sit down and develop a plan to help them save more money. 

4. Do you track your finances?

Budgeting is extremely important, which is why you may want to ask your future husband or wife if they track their finances. Without a strict budget, people may spend more than they'd hoped. With that said, this will be an important conversation to have, as spending too much money can throw off your finances and make it difficult to make important payments, such as your mortgage. 

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