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Love and Debt: Why you need to talk about money

How to Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck

Where to go for mortgage and debt help

What You Should Know About Debt Settlement

Create a plan to deal with medical debt

Options for Higher Education

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?

What to do if your account is turned over to collections

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

The pros and cons of skipping a payment

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

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

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

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

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

Will my boyfriend's bad credit affect me?

Q. My boyfriend and I want to get an apartment together, but my parents are concerned about my boyfriend’s poor credit. I don’t think it will be a problem, since his past issues cannot just show up on my credit report. Should I share my parents’ concern?

A. If you opt to let your boyfriend be the sole signer on the lease and keep all of your accounts separate, continuing to pay all of your own bills, then it’s possible that his credit issues won’t directly influence you.

However, if you are living in the same household, you will have shared expenses, so keeping all the bills separate could be tricky. What’s more, if he has a past history of missing payments, then this may continue to be an issue for the two of you. Given these factors, his credit issues will probably trickle down into your life.

You need to consider this as you make your plans. For example, you need to consider who will sign the lease and set up your utilities. If his credit prevents you from getting a lease or setting up utilities, are you willing to put them all in your name?  If his name is not on the lease, then he’s not legally responsible for paying the rent.  If his name is not on the utilities, then he’s not legally responsible for paying these, either. You will be, though.

As partners, you want to be able to share your expenses, so let’s say the two of you decide to split everything 50/50, but you go ahead and put everything in your name. What happens if he doesn’t pay his half of the rent?  What happens if he moves out and leaves you with the lease and utilities?  What will you do if you are unable to pay for all of this on your own? 

If everything is in your name, then your credit is on the line. No one wants to assume the worst, but if you can’t afford to pay all of the rent and utilities without your boyfriend’s income, then I suggest you reconsider your living situation. 

If your boyfriend agrees to sign the lease with you, both of you will be legally responsible to pay the rent.  But since prospective landlords are likely to run a credit check, he or she may not be willing to rent a place to you because of your boyfriend’s past credit problems. This may limit your apartment options. You may also find that a utility company won’t set up an account for your boyfriend or may ask for a larger-than-usual deposit.  

Relationships always come with their share of difficulties. Adding financial issues into the mix will strain you in ways you may not have anticipated. If you decide to move in together, you need to protect yourself.  Do not put everything in your name and keep your accounts separate.  Do not sign a contract if you cannot make the payment yourself.  In the meantime, you may want to ask your boyfriend to consider taking a class on credit and finance so he’s better equipped to handle is accounts in the future.  If he’s unwilling to entertain the idea, this may signal future trouble.  

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

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.