Mixing and mingling finances can be quite challenging especially when one spouse could use some help getting on the right track. In fact, according to a recent survey from Experian Consumer Services, credit scores were reported as a source of stress for 21 percent of married participants. However, couples who communicate monthly about their financial goals are more likely to agree on financial decisions, including how to use credit as a couple.

Helping your spouse kick their bad habits can improve their life and help the two of you come closer to achieving your financial goals. Doing it requires not only good habits and advice, but also sensitivity to the fact that your spouse might be uncomfortable with his or her situation.

Here are some tips on how to approach talking with your spouse about credit.

Perform a credit report check on yourself and your spouse. Doing it together may help to prevent your spouse from feeling singled out. Reviewing the information in each other’s credit report is also a way to assess both of your credit situations so you will be able to see the impact of any changes that you make moving forward.

Build a budget for your household together. A personal budget can help plan spending and also ensure that you have enough money left to pay down any existing debts. A qualified financial advisor may be able to help with this process, either by providing finance-related ideas or by helping to manage your spouse’s feelings or perceptions.

Define which habits you want worked on. For instance, a goal might be for your spouse to pay on time or to use only a certain percentage of available credit every month. Another goal could be to reduce balances so that less interest is paid, or to hit a certain credit score target.

Establish positive payment history. Consider adding your spouse to one of your accounts as an “authorized user” to help him or her add positive items, such as on-time payment history, to your spouse’s credit report. Gradually open joint credit accounts with your spouse as his credit habits improve and his credit reaches a point where he or she can be approved for accounts on favourable terms.

Continue monitoring both of your credit reports. This allows you to see improvements in credit, while also enabling you to minimize the impact of identity theft by ensuring that any new accounts, increased balances, or other problems that you’re not aware of don’t linger. If you are finding errors on your credit report then you may wish to seek advice from a professional credit repair company like Sky Blue Credit Repair who have been comprehensively reviewed by CreditZeal.com.

Remember that your marriage is about more than money. While helping your spouse with his or her credit is part of building a strong foundation, it’s only one of many parts of your relationship.

About Steven Millstein:

Steven is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and professional personal finance blogger. He is a contributor for several professional finance sites. His work has been mentioned in and linked to from, USA Today, The Huffington Post, Benzinga, Investopedia and many other publications. He also has his own personal finance blog, CreditZeal, where you can follow him.

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Success Coach, Business Development Consultant, Strategist,Blogger, Traveller, Motivational Writer & Speaker