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Will My Boyfriend's Bad Credit Affect Mine?

By Dave Ramsey
Author, The Total Money Makeover – Money man Dave Ramsey answers these money issues from couples.

Bad Credit Issues

Dear Dave,

My boyfriend’s credit is in bad shape, and we’re thinking about getting married. Will his bad credit rating affect mine? My credit is in good shape right now. I have no credit cards and my car is paid for.

– Allison

Dear Allison,

Marrying someone with a bad credit rating will not affect your score. In other words, the black marks on his credit rating don’t jump across the aisle onto your report as soon as he slips the ring on your finger.

Two things will happen after you’re married. One is that your credit bureau will begin to reflect the fact that he is your husband. He’ll be listed as “spouse” on your report. After this, if they pull his report for any reason, they’ll see that half of your “team” has had some problems in the past.

Where it will really affect you the most is when the two of you decide to buy a home. It may be difficult if there are still problems with his credit report.

But the big issue here is that you seem to have differing views on money management. Make sure you go through premarital counseling together, and begin the process of sitting down together and making a monthly budget.

If you get married, money is going to be a big part of your lives for a very long time. Agreeing on your goals now will set the foundation for your dreams.



Should I start my own business?

Dear Dave,

I’m 26, married, and we’re debt-free except for our house. We also have our emergency fund in place and have begun investing. I have to travel a lot in my job, and we’re thinking about having children soon. I know I don’t want to be away so much when we have kids, so I’m thinking about opening a small business where I can set my own hours. What do you think?


Dear Ray,

Let me ask you this – if time and money weren’t considerations, which one would you rather do? As an entrepreneur you are on straight commission. You have to wake up every morning, go out and kill something and drag it home. Otherwise, you and your family don’t eat.

An entrepreneur is the only person who can go from sheer terror to sheer exhilaration and back every 24 hours. If you don’t absolutely love what you’re doing it won’t last long.

I’d advise anyone to make sure that their job falls in line with their passions and the skills and talents they were born with. If you’re a people person, you don't want a job where you never get to deal with people. If you hate talking on the phone, you probably don’t need to explore the field of telemarketing.

Success in your career is important. But your personal happiness is just as important. If you wake up jazzed about what you are about to do that day, chances are you’ll be successful – and happy. But if you wake up dreading the day and what you have to do, then I can almost guarantee that you won’t be successful and you’ll be miserable, too.

Spend time thinking about this and do some research and planning, too. There are lots of great, fun small business ideas out there!


For more financial advice and a special offer to our readers, please visit  or call 1-888-22-PEACE.

Dave SaysDave Ramsey is a nationally-syndicated radio talk show host and author of the New York Times bestselling books, Financial Peace Revisited and The Total Money Makeover. His life-changing advice in the area of personal finance helps people get out of debt, stay out of debt and build wealth that will last a lifetime and beyond.

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