This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
See Cramer's multi-million dollar portfolio for FREE and get his new book Get Rich Carefully! Learn More

10 Financial Tips for Newlyweds

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Getting married isn't just a union based on love, but one often beset by at least one partner's financial troubles.

Before you stand at the altar, it is important to know where you stand financially as a couple. You aren't just joining together your hopes and dreams, but also combining your money habits, spending patterns and even past debt.

As both the average marriage age and student debt loads rise, it is likely at least one partner will enter the marriage with significant debt. The average student loan debt is now more than $25,000, and the average credit card debt is almost $5,000 per borrower. These debts can cause significant stress on a new marriage. Revealing all debts early can ease the stress, and help the new couple start paying it down as soon as possible.

Getting married does not automatically make you responsible for debts incurred by your spouse before the marriage. Your partner's debt will only show up on your credit history once you are added to the accounts. However, the debt will still affect you when it comes to your household's income since there will be a lot less money to save, pay other bills or spend in ways that are much more enjoyable than debt payments.

Here are 10 financial tips for newlyweds:

  • Compare spending habits.
  • Don't assume your spouse shares your beliefs about money--the spending and saving habits may surprise you. Watch how they use money. A free spender before marriage will probably be a free spender after marriage.

  • Before the wedding, reveal everything in your financial closet.
  • Be honest about your income, debts, and money problems. Bring out your bank statements from the past twelve months to show what you did with your money. Discuss your strengths and weaknesses with money.

  • Each of you should get a copy of your credit reports from the three credit bureaus.
  • This will give you a clear picture of credit accounts, debts, and how creditors will judge you. Aim to get your scores over 750 to receive the lowest interest rates for your first mortgage and other loans.

  • If your partner has been married before, find out about their financial obligations to the ex-spouse and children.
  • Have a wedding and honeymoon you can pay off in a year.
  • The wedding of your dreams can become a nightmare if you are still paying interest on it years later.

  • Avoid credit card debt.
  • The best rule of thumb is simply, "if you can't pay for something with cash, you can't afford it."

    Select the service that is right for you!

    COMPARE ALL SERVICES
    Action Alerts PLUS
    Try it NOW

    Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

    Product Features:
    • $2.5+ million portfolio
    • Large-cap and dividend focus
    • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
    • Weekly roundups
    TheStreet Quant Ratings
    Try it NOW
    Only $49.95/yr

    Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

    Product Features:
    • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
    • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
    • A custom stock screener
    • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
    Stocks Under $10
    Try it NOW

    David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

    Product Features:
    • Model portfolio
    • Stocks trading below $10
    • Intraday trade alerts
    • Weekly roundups
    Dividend Stock Advisor
    Try it NOW

    Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

    Product Features:
    • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
    • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
    • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
    Real Money Pro
    Try it NOW

    All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

    Product Features:
    • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
    • Intraday commentary & news
    • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
    Options Profits
    Try it NOW

    Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

    Product Features:
    • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
    • Actionable options commentary & news
    • Real-time trading community
    • Options TV
    To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
    DOW 16,262.56 +89.32 0.55%
    S&P 500 1,842.98 +12.37 0.68%
    NASDAQ 4,034.1610 +11.4670 0.29%

    Brokerage Partners

    Rates from Bankrate.com

    • Mortgage
    • Credit Cards
    • Auto
    Advertising Partners

    Free Newsletters from TheStreet

    My Subscriptions:

    After the Bell

    Before the Bell

    Booyah! Newsletter

    Midday Bell

    TheStreet Top 10 Stories

    Winners & Losers

    Register for Newsletters
    Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs