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Having "the talk" about finances before tying the knot might be a good idea, according to a new study by Experian, showing that while marrying for for better or worse, many newlyweds had no idea what their spouses' financial picture looked like or that their credit score could affect their own.
Experian's new study focused on talking with newlyweds across the U.S. about what role finances and credit have on meeting their joint goals. The study found that people need to have the talk before heading down the aisles because 40% said that they had no idea what their partners credit score was, while one in three also said that they were surprised by their spouses spending habits.
Talk, talk, talk
While couples may talk about issues before their big day, they don't seem to be talking about money, credit or credit scores. But even so, 80% believe that credit scores are important, and for 92% so is financial responsibility.
There are other things people didn't know about their spouses, including:
• 25% don't know how much their spouse makes
• 31% don't know their long term financial goals
• 31% don't know how much they owe in student loans
What stresses them out now? For 39% credit scores are a major stressor, while 23% say making a shared budget is tough, and for 19% the answer is paying off debt.
Saving up for a home is on the post wedding to-do list, but for 32% of respondents their partners credit score is holding them back making it hard to get that coveted home loan. To make this right, some may have to ask a parent or two to cosign for the loan, and 19% have had to do so already.
Spending on the down low
How much would you spend without telling your spouse? If you said $800 you would be on par with the respondents in the study. But when you dig deeper into the numbers, you find that men on average were a little more willing to spend more without running it by their partner, with $1,259 being their sweet spot. While women will spend just $383 before fessing up to their partners.
Do you have a secret account? Well then you are not alone. In the study 16% of married people do, with more men admitting that they hid some of their accounts from their spouse.
The survey was conducted for ExpJanuary 21 and February 1, 1,000 gotten married with in the last year.