What do you look for in a partner? A kind heart? A good sense of humour? Good financial habits? In the early days of your relationship frivolous spending and maxed out credit cards can be laughed off as charming, compulsive behaviour. But when things start getting serious and you’re thinking about home ownership, planning a wedding, or a trip of a lifetime together, you might need to have the big M-O-N-E-Y talk with your significant other.
Money’s not so funny when you have to have uncomfortable conversations with your partner about their spending habits. When your relationship progresses what’s yours can be theirs and what’s theirs can be yours – but what does this mean for your credit score and other important things for your future?
A recent survey¹ found almost two thirds (66%) of Australians feel their partner’s financial habits are important, recognising that wanting the same things in the future may only be realistic if you are both on the same page when it comes to your finances. However, one fifth (19%) of Australians don’t feel their partner’s financial habits are important, and two fifth (4%) said discussing finances with their partner was just “too awkward”.
If you dream of a three-month backpacking trip through Europe, but your partner has no interest in saving and likes to ‘live in the moment’ you might find yourself frustrated and upset when you’re still dreaming of the ancient ruins in Rome and the deep blue waters of the Greek Isles five years down the track. It might seem like the conversation is ‘too serious’ and that their finances are none of your business but the questions must be posed.
So are your partner’s financial behaviours important? Will their poor financial decisions impact you? Well, if you’re looking to buy a house together it certainly might, and unfortunately almost half (46%) of Australians aren’t aware of this.
While your partner’s credit score won’t impact your own credit score it may affect your future plans to buy property. This is because both of your credit histories will be taken into account if you require both of your incomes to apply for the home loan. And it seems Australian men might be letting their partners down with their financial behaviours.
National data sourced by getcreditscore.com.au from the fourth annual Equifax Australian Credit Scorecard, which analysed over two million Credit Scores across 326 regions, revealed young women are more creditworthy across the country than young men. It was found Gen X and Gen Y females out-perform Gen X and Gen Y males, with higher average credit scores, in the majority of the regions.
In the 326 regions, Gen Y females had higher credit ratings than their Gen Y male counterparts in 304 regions (93%), and Gen X females scored higher than their Gen X counterparts in 289 regions (88%).
Luckily for those with a low credit score an overwhelming majority (91%) of Australians said they would help their partner improve their credit score. However a less forgiving five per cent said they would love their partner a little less, and four per cent said they would break up with them if they had a low credit score. Ouch.
But a low credit score doesn’t have to be a deal-breaker. For those kinder folks, there are many things you can do to help your partner improve their score to ensure their future financial opportunities are as positive as they can be. For financial information and advice click here (insert link to contact information).
For those curious as to how their credit score compares to their partner’s click here.