Spotty Payment History
A credit score can give insight into someone’s payment history, but it doesn’t necessarily tell the whole story. Your partner’s credit report will only note when payments are significantly late — 30 days late or more — but might hide less serious delays, like being habitually a few days late paying bills.
Although late or unreliable payments might not have debt collectors calling you at all hours, they can still affect your financial health. If your partner is regularly a week late on rent, for example, you likely won’t have the landlord reference you need to rent a place together. And if your partner already struggles to meet payment deadlines, new financial stress — like losing a job — makes it more likely you’ll run into financial trouble faster.
Thankfully, slightly late payments might simply be a symptom of disorganization — a problem that can be fixed by working on your finances together. “Set up a budget together for shared expenses and agree on a premise of how and when money will come into and out of that budget,” said Thacker. Take the lead on budgeting each month to ensure you’re meeting your financial commitments on time to lay the basis for a great future together.
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