How to Help Your Credit & Finances Survive Valentine's Day


By: Becky Frost

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As Valentine's Day approaches, you may have thoughts of throwing a little extra attention on your Valentine-just to show how much you care. Or, you could simply be an optimistic daydreamer who's waiting for Cupid's arrow to find its target-your heart. Whether you're awaiting love's first kiss, or bouncing giggling grandchildren on your knee with the love of your life, a Valentine's gift can be a wonderful way of expressing how much you care. Just be sure to keep your gift spending within budget.

How's Your Credit?

Very few relationships start out with one person asking the other, "Since there's a possibility that we'll be dating, how's your credit? "While it may not be the most graceful conversation to kick start a relationship, the other person's credit is a valid concern for millions of people.

It may seem a bit superficial at first to consider, but men and women both feel that money management is a key element when considering compatibility in a relationship, according to a recent study from™.

It's important to observe your partner's spending habits if your relationship is serious with expectations of marriage. It's equally important to observe your own. The credit rating of a new partner, even an old one, won't affect your credit score if your finances are separate and independent. Once you're past the dizzying rush of the first kiss, and you've decided to get married, the other person's credit rating can affect you – if you merge accounts or are co-applicants on a loan.

Before you allow the relationship to go the distance, it may be wise to look for a few telltale signs that trouble may lie just up ahead. Several signs that your Valentine may be in trouble include, letters or calls from debt collections agencies, spending habits that suggests your love is living beyond his or her means, loan denials, and maxed-out credit cards.

Possible Causes of Poor Credit

Life happens. And financial baggage can be difficult to hide, especially when relationships deepen. And it can be difficult to discuss these things if too much time has gone by without bringing it up. If you find out your partner's credit score goes down, the reasons may include illness, a job or income loss, difficulty finding new employment, identity theft or worse-they're simply irresponsible. Every situation is different, but solid communication, keeping a healthy emergency fund and practicing healthy credit and spending habits can all help.

Keep the Romance in Valentine's Day

It's no secret the nation's economy has taken an emotional and physical toll on some people. It's a toll that can result in excess debt. You may even feel that your debt or your partner's debt is impacting your health. That may be a fact, but take heart. Valentine's Day should be exciting and romantic. There's always the possibility that your date may turn out to be the one.

Becky Frost
Becky Frost

About Becky Frost: Becky Frost is Senior Manager of Consumer Education for Experian Consumer Services, which offers credit monitoring products like freecreditscore.comTM. Find Becky on Google+.

This article is provided for general guidance and information. It is not intended as, nor should it be construed to be, legal, financial or other professional advice. Please consult with your attorney or financial advisor to discuss any legal or financial issues involved with credit decisions.

Originally published