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Credit Cards Guidelines for Newly Weds

16-May-2016 written by : FSI-Team

The first thing we noticed about Mrs. Neetu Verma and her husband, Mr. Ashish Verma, was that they were a merry lot. If that wasn’t enough to awe us, their near stellar scores of 875 and 850, respectively, made us applaud. We urged them to share their secret. This article is based on what they brought to the table.

With the bride to-be asking for a health check up of the bridegroom to signing prenuptials before wedlock, marriages too have evolved over time. It is no longer the customary “lifelong” relationship rather it is bound by a lot of underlying conditions. Upon failure of these, couples are quick to part ways. Thus, the survival of the matrimony looms large over soon to-be couples.

What’s remarkable about Mr. & Mrs. Verma’s story is that they discussed all financial nuances before they took the plunge. They did not give into their whims and fancies. Rather they took their time to plan on the most important thing that would help their relationship blossom, not just love, but money. They sorted out their financial responsibilities, earmarked investments, freely discussed their estimated incomes and expenditures, the need to take up, who would own the responsibility of repayment, how much credit they would need, how they would repay it, what would they do if in an eventuality they are not able to repay et al. They went to the very core of the subject and mutually agreed to take on different financial commitments. This way they were prepared for the oncoming responsibilities and knew what they were getting into.

Some of the salient points from our discussion with the Vermas are listed below:

“Break the Ice”

Often people freely discuss household chores but hesitate to talk about financial matters. Don’t wait for your partner to bring up the topic. Begin by being proactive. For example, show your own credit report and ask them to share theirs. Help your better half to learn how to check CIBIL score online. You could start by giving an example of your friend or relative and how they sorted out their finances with their respective partners.

Understanding is the most important ground on which the strong pillar of trust is built. Financial understanding is as important as talking about doing laundry.

“Mutually Agree on Spending Limits”

Research has shown that one of the most common reasons that couples squabble over is money and other financial matters. It is important that you sit down with your spouse and openly discuss your financial expectations, what you believe in. Give your spouse room to be expressive and come out with their views and ideas of how to handle future financial obligations.

Once married, often one partner offers to gift an add-on card on an existing card. But before you do so, mutually agree and set spending limits for example any expense beyond Rs. 5000/- in a month will have to be discussed. Also, since the primary card holder is responsible to pay for charges on both the cards, it is important to talk about how the repayments will be made. This is so because a delayed or missed payment can seriously affect each of your CIBIL ratings.

“Let Bygones be Bygones”

What does your partner like to spend on? Are they willing to make a change and forego any expenses that could jeopardise your financial future? You may want to take a compassionate view of their existing debt soup. They may not have wanted to be in water deeper than their heads. If you find that there is a genuine reason & not that it is a perpetual problem then bury the past and move on. Decide mutually on how to handle the impending issue together and don’t let it stress your future bond.

“Don’t take each other for granted”

Be willing to shoulder responsibility as much as you expect your partner to. Let there be a place for dialogue on monetary subjects. Don’t assume your partner to fall in line when you haven’t made clear what you expect of them. For example, you have your heart set on a particular house. Without seeking your partner’s view on it, you start searching for the best home loans in India. A vital decision such as a home loan needs to be thoroughly discussed with family members, especially your spouse.

Even though you may be willing to take on the repayment responsibility upon yourself only, yet since a huge investment like a home loan can seriously dent the monthly budget. If your partner would know what portion of your disposable income is spent in repaying home loan EMI then, he or she could offer to take part responsibility, or adjust expenses accordingly. For the success of your relationship, make sure there is transparency in dialogue.

“Operate as a Single Unit”

You are a team. Chat on whether you need to take additional credit. If yes, then what type? Would a cashback credit card suffice the need or will you have to take a personal loan? Is the vacation abroad really needed, if you will have to sink your feet further into debt for it? These are some very important questions that need approval from both the partners. Curb in desire to go on a shopping spree once your partner’s back is turned. Such unhealthy practices are neither good for your relationship nor for your credit scores.

In Short

We can say, before you walk down the altar and say “I do”, asking to look into your bethroed’s financial health is not taboo. It is infact a demand that irons out the “would be” kinks in your union. If you haven’t spoken about your finances yet with your better half, then make sure you do it now. Don’t leave any room for problems to creep in. You are a team and make it obvious in your actions. Share bank and credit card statements, don’t burden one partner with all credit responsibilities and work together to achieve bigger financial goals.


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