By Bill Liatsis, Cofounder of CreditIQ
Millions of people will get engaged on Valentine’s Day, but before you pop the question or say “I do,” there are some tough financial conversations you should have with your significant other. In fact, even if you aren’t taking the big plunge, as your relationships grows, you should start to think about these talks as well. But the good news is that technology makes it easier to budget, reduce your debt and monitor progress.
When is the right time to delve into your partner’s financial history? If you just put a ring on it, these conversations are mandatory. How you and your spouse spend money, credit issues and large debt will impact your marriage and future if not addressed. If you aren’t planning on walking down the aisle anytime soon, there’s a good chance you are still making major decisions together as a couple. For instance, maybe you are moving in together or perhaps you are starting to think about saving more in 2016. Co-signing a lease is a good opportunity to talk credit score.
How should you address you and your partner’s financial woes? First, you need to discuss your credit score, which will impact you and your partner’s ability to buy a home, a car and pay for your future kid’s college tuition. Second, identify the big debts with high-yield interests. It could be student loans or credit card debt you racked-up in college. Third, establish monthly budgets to reign-in spending and to begin saving. As a rule, try and pay down those high interest balances first, they’re the ones that get people in the most trouble. For example, consolidate high interest credit card debt with a lower interest personal loan. This can save you thousands over the long haul in interest payments, and it will free up monthly income to pay down some other debts off faster.
How do you fix your money problems? Technology right in the palm of your hand allows you to fix you and your partner’s financial problems, sometimes in minutes. First, you can get a free credit check at CreditKarma.com. You should check this bi-monthly as you make progress with your debts. Second, platforms like Mint.com let you manage and monitor your spending. I suggest reviewing your spending on a monthly basis, but don’t get caught-up in day-to-day obsessing. Finally, there are a range of online options to reduce your debts by tens of thousands of dollars. You no longer have to go into a major, national bank – which probably wouldn’t give you a loan anyways. There are apps like CreditIq.com that give you instant refinance options from dozens of lenders in seconds. And unlike other platforms that require 6-digit salaries and impeccable credit scores, apps like CreditIQ.com work with enough lenders that there’s a company out there looking to give you a better interest rate on your home, car, student and personal loans no matter your credit situation.
Knowing that financial issues is one of the biggest strains on couples, it’s important to have these conversations sooner rather than later. The ongoing revolution in financial services offers couples a myriad of resources as they forge their way into a financial future together. Embrace all of the information at your disposal and have fun planning your future together. The path to financial success has never been paved with more resources than it is today, and it’s all just a click away.