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Back-to-School Strategies for Staying Out of Debt

Will Changes in Credit Reporting Affect You?

What to do if your medical bills are turned over to collections

What to do if your spouse can't pay his or her bills

What to do when a family member ruins your credit

Homeownership is possible

What you need to know about the IRS and collection agencies

Will being turned down for a store credit card hurt my credit?

Beware of credit repair

Debt Management versus Debt Settlement

How to get ahead of late fees

Is There a Service That Helps You Not Pay Bills

Is a Debt Owed

Patience is the key to furnishing a new home

How to split expenses with your partner

Will my boyfriend's bad credit affect me?

Tax filing options to consider

What to do if your account is turned over to collections

Celebrating Valentine's Day on a budget

Personal Credit and Starting a Business

Finding Money to Reduce Your Debt and Improve Your Credit

Simple Keys to Personal Finance

Be vigilant to avoid telephone and internet scams

Debt Settlement

Understanding credit utilization

Setting New Year's goals that you can keep

The pros and cons of skipping a payment

Strategies for Financially Surviving the Holidays

Creating a fun and memorable holiday on a budget

Keep an open line of communication with parents about their finances.

Make a Choice to Get Ahead Financially

What to do when a relative asks you for money

Should You Buy a Home Now or Wait?

The difference between debt settlement and debt management

Tax Refund Delays for some in 2017

The negative impact of paying a payment 30 days late

Stressed by Finances

How to navigate two significant financial decisions: starting a family and buying a home

How to advise someone close to you who is coming into a significant amount of money

Make a Conscious Decision on How to Spend Your Money

Tips for Back-to-School Shopping

How do you know if you have a good credit score?

Americans spend more money eating out than on groceries

Having Good Credit Saves You Money

Developing good money habits with your first job

How to save for a home

How to Know if you are Ready for Home Ownership

When is the right time to buy a home?

You can improve your credit to buy a home

Plan a Memorable Vacation Without Incurring Debt

The Hidden Costs of Payday Loans

Be Wary of Credit Repair Services

Use Caution when playing the credit card game

What does it mean to say bankruptcy gives you a clean slate?

How your credit is affected by various debt options

Be wary of predatory small business loans

What to do if you fall behind on mortgage payments

Financing a College Education

Money, Credit and Relationships

Should you be concerned with your date's credit scores?

Best options for a small, short-term loan

How to help a relative who is always borrowing money from you

Setting New Year's goals that you can keep

Making the holidays memorable for families on a tight budget.

Skipping a Payment over the Holidays

What to do if you are overwhelmed by medical bills

Make your financial intention a financial goal you can achieve

Should Consumers Use the New EMV Cards?

What to do when a collector calls you

The difference between paying bills and managing your money

My wife and I have gone through some tough financial times, which eventually led us to file for bankruptcy.  Following this experience, I don’t ever want to use credit again, but my wife

What do I need to know to pay ahead on my mortgage?

What to do if you get an unsolicited credit card in the mail

What to do when moving in to share expenses doesn't work out

Money, Credit and Relationships

Q. I’ve had a couple of relationships in the past that have ended badly, and I was left paying for things the other person wanted.  How can I be more alert so this doesn’t happen to me in the future?

A. Obviously, you aren’t going to ask someone to share credit score or debt information on a first or second date, but you can be conscious of some warning signs early on in a relationship.  More specifically, you can look for patterns of behavior that may be indicative of larger problems.

It may sound unromantic, but it’s wise to be in tune with signs of financial trouble from the get-go.  If you answer “yes” to the one or more of the following questions, then I’d say there’s reason for you to be concerned:

  • Are you always paying for everything? Is that the expectation? Is this what you want in the future?
  • Does the person you’re dating seem to have plenty of money until it comes to something you want to do?
  • Does the other person have the latest and greatest clothes, tech gadgets, etc., and then complain that he or she has no money until payday?
  • Do you see unpaid bills laying around at the other person’s apartment or home?
  • Is the person getting messages that seem to be from collectors?
  • Has the person you’re dating changed jobs for reasons other than advancement?
  • Does he or she have any financial goals? 
  • Does he or she ask to borrow money from you?
  • Does the other person spend a great deal of money but you aren’t sure where it is coming from?

As your relationship progresses, and if the two of you are thinking about a commitment, then you should be more willing to share information about your credit and your finances. If the other person is unwilling to share information with you at this point, you can expect the same in the future. Is this something you could live with year after year?

Questions to ask each other once you’re in a committed relationship: 

  • How much debt do each of you have? 
  • What is the cause of the debt?
  • What are your credit scores?
  • Have either one of you experienced financial hardships?  If so, what and when?
  • Do you have similar beliefs on what financial roles two people in a relationship have?
  • Do you have similar views on children?
  • What will you do if one of you is offered a promotion that takes you to another city?  Whose career takes priority?
  • Do you have similar views on spending and saving?
  • Will you both continue to work if you get married?

These can be hard questions to tackle, but they’re essential to ask nevertheless, since the answers to them can determine the course of your relationship and your own financial future.

If a prospective partner has experienced a financial setback or two, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you shouldn’t move forward in the relationship.  Still you’ll want to understand the reason for the setback and learn what action he or she has taken to set things right.

You’re not looking for perfection, but you should expect congruency.  Does the person’s actions match what they tell you?  The way a person manages money and credit often indicates how they behave in other areas of life. As difficult as it can be to remember, people don’t change because we want them to change.  People only change when they want to change.

Bonnie Spain is the executive director of the American Center for Credit Education and Consumer Credit Counseling Service of the Black Hills. For more information, email acce@acce-online.com.

The material in this transmission is provided for personal, non-commercial, educational, and informational purposes only. ACCE makes no representations or warranties with respect to the accuracy or completeness of the contents of this transmission and assumes no responsibility for errors, inaccuracies, omissions, or any inconsistency herein. You should consult a professional where appropriate.