Kiplinger Today

Kip Tips

What You Should Know About Your Fiancé's Finances

Cameron Huddleston

Don't walk down the aisle without discussing money matters first.

If you're going to be walking down the aisle soon, you've probably had some conversations with your spouse-to-be about what your life will be like once you're married. But have you discussed your finances? Probably not.

Only one-fourth of Americans talked about finances and created a budget before getting married, according to a survey commissioned by financial management Web site One-third said they didn't know their spouse's credit score. Imagine the shock of the spouse with stellar credit when the couple get turned down for a loan to buy their first home because the other spouse has a lousy credit score.

It takes less than 15 minutes to log on to and request a free copy of your credit report from each of the three credit bureaus. Each bureau will give you an option to get your credit score for $7.95. (See more quick and easy financial fixes.)

Then consider spending more time talking about finances with your fiancé. Starting Out columnist Stacy Rapacon suggests that you ask each other these four critical money questions before you get married. Also see Smart Moves for Life's Big Events: Tying the Knot for more strategies to merge your finances.

If you're already married but didn't talk about money matters before tying the knot (or since), schedule a money date to discuss big-picture financial issues.

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