CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwire - Feb 13, 2013) - As Valentine's Day approaches, many couples will celebrate their love for each other by spending time together, exchanging gifts and maybe discussing their future together. Today, TransUnion celebrates happy couples across America and reminds them of the importance of taking time to discuss financial goals and vowing to put their best financial foot forward.
A recent Google Consumer Survey of married Americans commissioned by TransUnion found that nearly one out of five (18.8 percent) couples surveyed said they did not talk about their financial situation until after marriage. Even more concerning, almost the same percentage (14.4 percent) of couples said they never discuss personal finances.
"Discussing finances with your fiancé or significant other can be a scary or awkward situation, but is an important one to help avoid unnecessary stress down the road," said Heather Battison, senior director at TransUnion responsible for consumer education. "Understanding the financial commitments that come with marriage can help to maintain marital bliss long after the ceremony and TransUnion has the resources to help couples reach their financial goals."
According to the survey, discussing their finances together was beneficial. Nearly half of all Americans surveyed (45.1 percent) said they felt prepared or organized after sharing their financial situation with their partner. An additional 19.3 percent said the open communication made them feel relieved or reassured.
Along with a video that offers financial and credit advice for couples, TransUnion provides the following tips to all couples on the path to financial health:
Talk About It - Openly discussing your finances with your significant other or fiancé is the best way to prevent future disagreements. You both should obtain and review a copy of your credit report and discuss the debts you have. Talk about your spending habits, your savings and your financial goals so that you will both be on the same page.
Give Him or Her Some Credit - Understanding your sweetheart's credit history can help you avoid future surprises. Your significant other's credit may have a dramatic impact on the interest rates you might pay for co-signed loans and joint accounts in the future. If there are past credit problems, work together now to clean things up and reduce debts. Starting your new life together could be a lot smoother with good credit.
Marry Your Accounts - Don't worry, your credit reports won't automatically merge together when you get married. Only when you open a joint account, become an authorized user or co-sign on a loan will a record appear on both your credit reports. Combining your finances this way can be a great way to get the best deal on a major purchase. Be careful though, any negative reporting associated with the joint account could mean potential damage for both spouses' credit.
Build a Love Nest - If you are planning on buying a home together, give yourselves at least six months to save up a down payment and reduce your debt-to-income ratio. A few months of financial improvement can help you potentially save thousands on your mortgage.
Cut Wedding Costs - Getting married? Planning the wedding of your dreams can sometimes lead to a nightmare of debt. The average wedding now costs more than $25,000, according to theknot.com, a hefty sum that can lead to big credit card bills after the honeymoon ends. Talk with your fiancé about how much you can afford to spend without breaking the bank. Being creative about cutting back your budget, e.g. using potted flowers and making the invitations yourself, can help you shrink your costs without reducing your style.
Written by TransUnion Interactive and conducted using Google Consumer Surveys, February 2013. Survey of 500 Americans that indicated "yes" when asked "Are you married?" Survey results have a 95 percent confidence level.
TransUnion Interactive, Inc. is a consumer subsidiary of TransUnion. As a global leader in credit and information management, TransUnion creates advantages for millions of people around the world by gathering, analyzing and delivering information. For businesses, TransUnion helps improve efficiency, manage risk, reduce costs and increase revenue by delivering comprehensive data and advanced analytics and decisioning. For consumers, TransUnion provides the tools, resources and education to help manage their credit health and achieve their financial goals. Through these and other efforts, TransUnion is working to build stronger economies worldwide. Founded in 1968 and headquartered in Chicago, TransUnion employs associates in more than 33 countries on five continents. www.transunion.com. Follow us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/TransUnion.