With the Valentine's Day holiday likely leading to countless relationship discussions of "where is this going?" and prospects of marriage, some financial experts warn that a chat about credit histories should precede any "I do's."
According to Carrie Coghill Kuntz, the author of The Newlywed's Guide to Investing and Personal Finance, couples who forego a discussion about their financial pasts and do not worry about debt they may take on through a marriage can eventually fall on rocky times.
"I've worked with many couples over the past decades, and I've found that financial incompatibility is as serious as, if not more serious than, other issues in a relationship or marriage," said Kuntz. "…If you're dating someone with a bad credit score, this may be a sign of poor financial decisions by that person, and it could affect the long-term happiness of the relationship."
Among the problems Kuntz said a couple could be plagued with because of their combined debt was purchasing a home with ideal mortgage rates.
In a recent Personal Finance report from Reuters, Adam Levin of Credit.com also acknowledged that addressing money and credit issues before deciding to tie the knot could solve or minimize a problem that had the potential to lead to significant problems if ignored.
One way in which couples can accurately gauge their finances is to each obtain a copy of their credit report to see where they stand, and how they can work to improve their finances.