First Person: Living in a Bad Credit/Good Credit Relationship

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My husband has excellent credit and I have horrible credit. This sometimes makes dealing with our finances difficult. But overall, we have found a way to make it work.

What Our Finances Look Like

None of our finances are combined because of my bad credit and bankruptcy. We do not have a joint bank account or joint credit cards. We are not even jointly listed on any of the bills. The house and the loan for the house are solely in my husband's name. We have done this in order to protect his credit score. If we had joint accounts for anything, my bad credit and bankruptcy would negatively affect his credit and bring down his credit score.

The Challenges

This has proved to be challenging at times, especially because I am a stay-at-home/work-at-home mom. Because I only work part-time, I cannot contribute much to our household income. We addressed this early on in our relationship by establishing who pays for what. This way there are no surprises. But having finances like this can sometimes make it feel like "my money" and "your money" rather than "our money." This has sometimes led to arguments and hurt feelings. This type of arrangement has also made me very aware of how minimal my financial contribution to our household is. We are also not completely aware of all of the accounts the other person has. This type of arrangement could also present serious problems if something happened to either one of us. Gaining access to the money of the other person and knowing what bills need to be paid could be major issues.

The Benefits

The good part about this situation is that we don't have fights about who is spending more money. We are each responsible for our own money so if one of us overspends, it does not financially impact the other partner. There are also no arguments about "you're spending my money." We have kept it very clear from the very beginning about who pays for what so this issue has never come up. This also means that each of us is completely responsible for our own credit. Neither one of us can negatively impact the other.

Living in a relationship where one partner has excellent credit and the other has bad credit is not easy. But as long as we communicate with each other, we have few arguments about money.

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