A poor credit score can certainly hold you back in life. But of course you love your spouse and you want to help them repair their credit. Hopefully the underlying issue that got them there, whether it was overspending or using the credit cards to get over a bout of unemployment has been ameliorated. It’s true that your spouse’s credit can affect your ability to buy a house together, get a mortgage, or a car or business loan. But that isn’t or shouldn’t be the only reason you want to help them. Make the reason be the deep love and altruism you feel toward them. They’ll recognize that warmth and compassion and be more likely to overcome reticence and work with you to form and stick to a plan that repairs their credit and makes both of your financials much easier to work with. The first thing to do is to create a budget. Managing money wisely is the best way to make sure that the budget is stuck to and that one’s credit score improves and stays in a good place. Learn to live below your means and start saving. Buy a used car over a new car. Cook instead of eating out. Shop at discount stores. Save up for what you want to buy. Make serious, smart purchasing decisions and see your savings and your credit score soar.
Find ways to reduce what you are paying for things. With some of your savings make an emergency fund. This way when something goes wrong you don’t have to fall back on the credit cards. Teach your spouse all about their credit score, how it works and how to achieve and maintain good credit. Come up with an exact plan on how you will pay off your debt and save for your future. Write down the list of debts, the income you both have, any assets that can or should be liquidated and places where expenses can be cut. Sometimes cuts can sound painful and really put a damper on your lifestyle. But in the end feeling free of bad credit and being able to have access to a better quality of life, without the stress of financial troubles makes you freer and much happier. Be understanding. Usually money habits are learned from our parents or primary caregivers. Understand that you need to help them change their behavior and get them to understand it as well. Once they do outline all the plans, make the necessary cuts and move things around so you have a healthy financial plan moving forward. This may take more than one meeting. Lots of follow up will have to take place. If you need help seek out a financial planner or nonprofits in your area which help people get their credit score healthy again. To find out more, pick up a copy of Hidden Credit Repair Secrets by Mark Clayborne.