How to Deal With a Spouse with Bad Credit
Luckily, your spouse having bad credit does not affect your credit rating . While it causes several other problems in a relationship, at least one spouse has good credit, so issues like taking out credit cards or getting relatively acceptable rates on loans are kept to a minimum.
Still, you always want and need your spouse to have better credit. The credit your spouse carries can affect what kind of house you can get, what kind of car you can drive, and what to do in emergencies. Even though you can take out a great deal of loans and credit in your name rather than your spouse's, eventually your credit will suffer as well, and then neither of you will have acceptable credit.
You want to start building your spouse's credit back, so that the two of you can make purchases together.
There are two things you must do first:
1) You must get rid of all of your spouse's excess credit cards over 2, and preferably 1 if you expect to share a credit card in the future. This will keep extra spending down, reduce credit sources, and allow you to easily make payments.
2) You should reconsolidate any loans your spouse has into one single loan. This is also to reduce their credit sources, as well as ensure they have the lowest interest rate possible (lower if you are willing to cosign).
Next, work out a budget and a payment schedule. You will need to help make sure that your spouse makes the payments, either by using some of your own money to help make the payments or by encouraging them daily whenever a bill is due. Either way, they need to make every payment.
Also, any time you two can afford to make a greater payment, do so. Paying more than the minimum is a good sign for creditors and lowers the total accrued interest as well.
Next, do not allow your spouse to make any credit purchases until their credit has built back up. If they need something, it should go on your cards or under your name. This is one of the most difficult things to get over with a new couple, but it is very important for fixing your partner's credit.
Finally, once they have built their credit back up, try to take out any credit or loans in both of your names, rather than just theirs. This will put the onus on you to make sure they are paid back, and will prevent your spouse from racking up credit problems again without you knowing.