Tying the knot changes your life in a lot of ways. You suddenly live in a different home with a different person, you can't depend on your parents to do everything for you, and you are partly responsible for running a household. But did you know that marriage affects your finances, too?
When you say “I do,” money becomes an issue that both you and your spouse share. Though you will always have your own credit score, financial decisions they make will affect your score and vice versa. Want to know more? Keep reading to learn about 5 ways that marriage affects your finances.
This post is sponsored by Lexington Law. All opinions are 100% my own!
1. Your Spouse's Credit Will Affect Yours
One major way that marriage affects your finances involves your credit. While you and your partner will always maintain separate credit scores, their financial decisions can still impact yours. Many married couples choose to open a joint credit card or bank account. If you and your spouse decide to do this, any transactions on these accounts will affect both of you.
For example, if your partner spends past your credit limit or overdraws your account, there is no way of knowing which account holder did those actions. That means that both of you will get a lower credit score because of it. In a similar vein, if you try to apply for a mortgage together, both of your credit scores will be checked. Even if yours is amazing, you could get denied if your spouse's score is low.
2. Your Taxes Will Be Different
Filing your taxes for the first time as a married couple may seem confusing, but it's not as bad as you think. The first thing to know is that whatever year you get married, you will be considered married for that entire tax year, even if you tied the knot close to tax day.
What does this really mean?
When you file your taxes jointly, you have to report your combined household income. This could push you and your spouse into the next tax bracket, which will make you incur a “marriage penalty.” However, some couples actually end up paying less taxes together than they did individually, also known as a bonus. It all depends on your incomes.
A good general rule is that the closer your income is to your partner's, the more likely it is that you will have to pay the penalty. Check out this Marriage Tax Calculator to get an idea of what you'll have to pay after you say “I do.”
3. Saving Will Be Easier
This one is kind of a no-brainer. When you have two incomes instead of one, saving up for big things suddenly becomes much easier. Whether you are saving for a dream vacation, your first home, or just want to tuck money away for retirement, getting married is a major benefit to building wealth.
That's not all.
Because you are no longer a single person trying to pay all the bills for your household, you probably won't have to live paycheck to paycheck anymore. Even if you weren't scraping by, getting married allows you and/or your spouse to put some of your earnings aside for savings instead of having to put everything towards living expenses.
4. Debt Becomes A Joint Responsibility
Though there are many monetary benefits to tying the knot, there are also a few negative ways that marriage affects your finances. For instance, whatever debts your spouse has can now fall on you and yours onto them.
If you live in a Community Property State (which includes Arizona, California, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin), spouses are just as responsible for paying back debts as their partner who came into them. So if your spouse lapses on their loan payments, it's up to you to pay them!
You can avoid this situation by signing a pre- or post-nuptial agreement with your partner. This is an especially good idea if one spouse plans to go into a large amount of debt by starting a business or going back to school.
For this reason, it is so important to discuss your personal debts with your partner before you get married. Even if you are embarrassed, it is better for them to know what they are getting into. Keeping secrets about money can be a major marriage killer!
5. You May Receive Benefits
One of the best ways that marriage affects your finances is the benefits you can share. After you get married, you may be eligible to get on your spouse's health insurance plan or put them on yours. This can be a huge money saver, especially if you work freelance or part-time and don't get healthcare benefits of your own.
In addition, you may qualify for retirement benefits after your partner passes on. Of course, no one wants to think of that right when they get married, but it's important to consider. Having access to some extra cash after your spouse is gone ensures you won't be left penniless after paying for a funeral.
How Can Lexington Law Help?
One way to ensure that your partner's (or your) bad credit doesn't ruin both your lives is to utilize a credit repair service. Lexington Law's credit repair services go through your transactions and dispute any unfair or inaccurate ones on your behalf. Credit repair is a process that helps your report reflect your financial history more accurately.
This credit repair company helps you improve your credit score quickly, which is perfect for when you're trying to take out a mortgage or open a credit card with your new spouse. Lexington Law, one of the premier credit repair companies in the US, engages in credit disputes to make sure that inaccurate parts of your financial history don't negatively affect your future.
If you're getting married soon and wondering “how to fix my credit?” so it doesn't bring down your partner, look no further than Lexington Law's credit repair team. Their lawyers fix credit for you so you can get on with your life as a newlywed!
Marriage Affects Your Finances . . . and That's OK!
Here's the deal.
Marriage affects your finances in both good and bad ways. Now that you've read this article, though, you know what to expect! Make money an open conversation topic with your partner and you're in for a long, happy marriage.
Did you know about these post-wedding financial impacts? Are there any other ways marriage affects your finances? Would you try Lexington Law's credit fixer services? Let us know in the comments below?