Should asking for someone's credit report be a normal part of preparing for marriage?
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Navigation »Talk About Marriage »Focused Topics »Financial Problems in Marriage » Should asking for someone's credit report be a normal part of preparing for marriage?

Financial Problems in Marriage When financial times are tough, it adds to the stress we deal with on a daily basis. This section is for talking about how financial problems affect our relationships and ways to cope.

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Old 06-13-2013, 05:32 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Should asking for someone's credit report be a normal part of preparing for marriage?

Today, financial disputes are one of the most popular reasons listed as a cause for divorce. One or both persons in these marriages often say their partner betrayed their trust or was misleading about financial issues. For some, their former spouse hide debt problems from them, while others were never told about off-shore accounts and other secret money reserves. In these cases, financial secrets ultimately led to broken marriages, but could these situations have been avoided? This question has motivated many people to gain a better understanding of their potential spouse's financial endeavors through the use of credit reports. While asking for someone's credit report in lieu of marriage may have been considered inappropriate in the past, it seems to be more normal behavior today. In fact, some would say this request creates more trust and strengthens the relationship, but there are others that feel offended by this request. These individuals often resent their lovers for not trusting their word. After years of bonding and consistent behavior, they don't feel a need to further prove their worth as life partners. This request makes them feel unappreciated and suspicious of the requestor's motives. Some would even go so far to consider this request a poor man's prenuptial agreement and end the relationship because of a perceived lack of trust. With so much potential for disaster, is this request worth the risk? Based on its growing popularity, many people would say yes, but how do you feel? Would you feel offended if your potential spouse asked for a copy of your credit report after years of dating? Is this something you would request from your potential spouse?
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Old 06-13-2013, 05:54 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Re: Should asking for someone's credit report be a normal part of preparing for m

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.D.E.B.T. View Post
Today, financial disputes are one of the most popular reasons listed as a cause for divorce. One or both persons in these marriages often say their partner betrayed their trust or was misleading about financial issues. For some, their former spouse hide debt problems from them, while others were never told about off-shore accounts and other secret money reserves. In these cases, financial secrets ultimately led to broken marriages, but could these situations have been avoided? This question has motivated many people to gain a better understanding of their potential spouse's financial endeavors through the use of credit reports. While asking for someone's credit report in lieu of marriage may have been considered inappropriate in the past, it seems to be more normal behavior today. In fact, some would say this request creates more trust and strengthens the relationship, but there are others that feel offended by this request. These individuals often resent their lovers for not trusting their word. After years of bonding and consistent behavior, they don't feel a need to further prove their worth as life partners. This request makes them feel unappreciated and suspicious of the requestor's motives. Some would even go so far to consider this request a poor man's prenuptial agreement and end the relationship because of a perceived lack of trust. With so much potential for disaster, is this request worth the risk? Based on its growing popularity, many people would say yes, but how do you feel? Would you feel offended if your potential spouse asked for a copy of your credit report after years of dating? Is this something you would request from your potential spouse?
For me, I'd would be confident enough to know my fiance's character before tying the knot, I am not interested in someone that can get away with even the slightest dishonesty, and if after years of dating I was asked to provide a credit check I would refuse... It all comes down to trust and honesty, for banks and credit lenders they have no other way to examine my character, but for your spouse to ask is a clear sign that there is no trust upon which to build a relationship. It is not akin to a prenup because prenups are not intended to cover up lies, they are intended to protect specific assets which are mutually agreed upon as not becoming community property.
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Old 06-13-2013, 06:40 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Should asking for someone's credit report be a normal part of preparing for marri

I would NOT feel offended. But, I've learned the hard way!

After "years of dating", I would expect that we would have made note of each other's spending/saving habits, attitude towards earning, paying your fair share, yours/mine/ours, important long-term goals, etc. Therefore, I think there should be no 'surprises' when you see your SO's credit report and vice versa. Ditto for tax returns.

I just think it is doing your 'due diligence'. Not unlike when I took my minor child and her best friend to an 'R' rated movie (rated for violence, not sexual content). The kids told me his parents were 'okay' with it, and I believed them; however, I explained that it was my duty (and common courtesy) to call the other child's parents and confirm verbally with them that they were aware and sanctioned the viewing (which they did).

I would feel I was NOT doing my duty to myself (and vice versa) if we did NOT have full access to each other's financial records PRIOR TO tying the knot!

But others should do what feels/seems right TO THEM! I would never suggest that EVERYONE should do it my way.

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Old 06-13-2013, 07:05 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Should asking for someone's credit report be a normal part of preparing for marri

Thanks for your input Lon and Slowly. I've heard so many arguments for both sides of this topic and am wondering how the folks on this board feel about it. So far it's 50/50, but by the end of this I wouldn't be surprised if those against the idea of asking for a credit report outnumber those that are for it.

Being that I am married, I can only guess how I would have reacted to this request in my single days. My guess is that I would've been offended, but now that I've been working in the banking industry for 10 years, I can understand someone asking for one. It's not like the status of my credit report wouldn't surface at some point; especially if we plan to co-sign on a mortgage loan.
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Old 06-13-2013, 08:38 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Should asking for someone's credit report be a normal part of preparing for marri

My wife and I discussed our debts before we got married and joined our accounts. I never felt the need to have her word verified by a 3rd party.
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Old 06-13-2013, 09:19 PM   #6 (permalink)
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My wife and I discussed our debts before we got married and joined our accounts. I never felt the need to have her word verified by a 3rd party.
This.

Also, I spent enough time with my H before we were married to feel comfortable that I knew what his finances were like. We talked about it openly. I never suspected anything fishy was going on. I knew the major debts he was paying, I knew all the credit cards he had and I witnessed many times various circumstances where his attitude about money was apparent.

Call me naive, but I would think I would have some sort of suspicion if something crazy was going on.

Also, when we finally did pull his report, after we got married and went to buy a house that his credit was terrible. I trusted him when he immediately reacted and said something can't be right (when we found out how low his score was, before receiving a copy of the report) even though I suppose I could have immediately swung in the opposite direction and assumed he had been lying to me the whole time. Turns out they had mixed up his identity with someone else of the same name and birthday who had a less than stellar attitude about paying his bills.

Took us awhile to get all the false stuff off his credit report...but after that, no surprises.
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Old 06-17-2013, 04:48 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Should asking for someone's credit report be a normal part of preparing for marri

So far it's 3 against it and 1 for it. Based on polls from other sites, it's about 65% against it and 35% for it.

Side note: Many of those whom are in favor of credit checks have gone through at least 1 divorce.
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Old 06-18-2013, 08:26 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Should asking for someone's credit report be a normal part of preparing for marri

I'm in favor of it but not as a way of showing mistrust.SO and I pulled our reports to see how much debt we have combined and we're using the reports as tools of preparation for our marriage.
We were both honest about the debt we had prior to sitting down and viewing our reports together so there were no surprises other than the fact that my score was higher than I thought LOL
It gave us a very positive picture about where we are and where we'll be in the future.We are very pleased with our reports
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Old 06-18-2013, 08:27 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Should asking for someone's credit report be a normal part of preparing for marri

we both knew we were poor before getting married
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Old 06-18-2013, 10:01 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Should asking for someone's credit report be a normal part of preparing for marri

same as anything else, if its important to you then its ok to ask about it.
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Old 06-18-2013, 10:28 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Should asking for someone's credit report be a normal part of preparing for marri

Update:
3 for it and 3 against it; with 1 vote for it doesn't matter if we're both broke
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Old 06-18-2013, 12:26 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Should asking for someone's credit report be a normal part of preparing for mar

I don't need to credit report to verify information I could easily gleam from observation. Man makes $xx and spends $xxx. Red flag. Man needs the latest toys and is a spender. Potential red flag. Where is he living, what does he drive, what does he eat, and wear? Is he living on credit or living within his means? Does he whip out the credit card or is it a debit card? Really not that hard to figure out. Then use this information to inquire if you are on the same page, total debts, goals for the future, etc.

I wouldn't be offended if someone asked to see my credit report but I doubt I'd ask for theirs. Don't need to.
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Old 06-18-2013, 01:12 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Should asking for someone's credit report be a normal part of preparing for marri

Hey Mavash.... While I share your opinion on this matter, I don't think detecting someone's level of financial stability is so simple for a lot of people. I have become good at doing this because of my professional experiences and life lessons. If I had to depend on people in my community (including family members) to teach me these skills, I would be lost or lack the skills needed to analyze someone's financial habits. Remember, what may seem like common sense to one person could be complex to another.

It is also difficult to get someone to fully disclose bill payment methods while dating. I don't know of many people that are willing to reveal these habits to someone until they are either married or preparing for engagement. By the time many people reach these points, they are already emotionally invested in the relationship and may be blind to reality.

While I, like you, don't need a credit report to figure this out, I can understand why someone else may need it.
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Old 06-18-2013, 06:12 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Hey Mavash.... While I share your opinion on this matter, I don't think detecting someone's level of financial stability is so simple for a lot of people.
Agree.

I probably should mention I'm a CPA.

I think in numbers.

So yes it's simple for me.
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Old 06-21-2013, 04:16 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Should asking for someone's credit report be a normal part of preparing for marri

If you have to ask your spouse to see his or her credit report, than you can forget that marriage! A marriage is built upon trust! That is why couples should spend 2-3 years in dating, so they can get to know the other person and not relying on marriage to try and figure out the person. So many marriages today skip the dating phrase and jump straight into marriage. They say to themselves, "We have the rest of our lives to figure out each other." WRONG! And my guess is that those who keep secrets (i.e. financial) are those very ones who skipped out on the dating stage.

Who can tell me that after spending 2-3 years dating a person, you cannot tell the type of person he or she is in regards to how they handle money? In regards to my wife, I knew the type of person she was financially after a few months after we started dating...she had no structure or accountability. Her parents didn't train her in that area and it was and never had been one of her strong points. However, I am great with finances. Just because my girlfriend was not great with finances, doesn't mean I didn't want to marry her. I am my wife's accountability partner with regards to money and other areas. My wife has NEVER gone behind my back once with splurging on an item...she always asks me if it is okay to buy such and such (unless it is a gift for me). My wife trusts my judgment and leading, because she recognizes that I am gifted in the area of finances.

To ask for a credit report is a slap in that person's face. It shows distrust and insecurity! People are so scared to marry the wrong person. What I say to that is, date for 2-3 years and you will know exactly the type of person he or she is in "all" areas. And lets say you are one of those most unfortunate ones that do get married and discover all these little secrets that your spouse kept from you before your marriage...than obviously you are too gullible and naive to see this person for who he or she truly is and you had no business getting married in the first place.

If you do not know for certainty who your boyfriend or girlfriend is before marriage, THAN DON'T MARRY! Marriage is NOT the reason and motive to have in order to figure out who your "love" really is!!!
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