Getting Married After Bankruptcy? Four Ways To Protect Your Credit

September 16th, 2010 by Reed Allmand

Getting Married After Bankruptcy? Four Ways To Protect Your CreditGetting married after bankruptcy can have a huge impact on your finances.  Marry a financially savvy spouse and you’re well on your way to have a successful financial life; but marry a financially struggling spouse and you could face a second trip to bankruptcy.  Below are a few tips on how to protect your post-bankruptcy credit when marrying:

  1. Find out about your future spouse’s financial situation.  Do they have delinquent debts, defaults, judgments and lawsuits pending?  Are they savers, spenders, investors or are the completely clueless?  Whatever you do, don’t’ allow finances to go unmentioned before you tie the knot.
  2. Don’t take on your future spouse’s debt troubles by paying their bills or co-signing a loan on their behalf.  As you improve your credit post-bankruptcy, you will have the ability to get home loans, car loans and credit cards.  A spouse with less than stellar credit may want to benefit from your post-bankruptcy success by leveraging your creditworthiness by having you co-sign a loan in the name of love, just say no.
  3. If your future spouse has debt troubles, such as defaults and lawsuits, you may want to maintain separate bank accounts.  If the creditors decide to seize your spouse’s funds in a bank account, they won’t just take his/her money in that account, they will take your money too.
  4. Avoid adding your financially troubled spouse’s name to your credit cards.  Don’t add them as an authorized user and don’t open a credit card account with them.  While it may be hard to admit this, if your spouse has delinquent debts, they probably won’t be able to pay any charges they create on your account.  Don’t jeopardize your post-bankruptcy fresh start by giving a financially troubled spouse an opportunity to create debts in your name.

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About Reed Allmand

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Allmand's vision is rooted in his own financially precarious childhood in Abilene "My father always had difficulty holding a job and supporting our family, so after my parents divorced when I was 12, my sister and I got jobs to help make ends meet," he recalls. "I remember what it felt like as a child to worry that our car would be repossessed or home foreclosed on."

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