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Op-Ed: Most Americans would be concerned if spouse had bad credit

By Elizabeth Brown     Sep 24, 2014 in Business
Nearly 3 of 4 Americans (73%) would be concerned if they discovered their fiancé had a bad credit rating, according to a new survey by Capital One. Additionally, a spouse's bad credit rating is more likely to concern women (80%), compared to men (66%).
Here are other findings:
• Less than 1 in 3 (30%) have requested their credit report in the last 12 months.
• Nearly half (46%) of younger consumers incorrectly think that knowing their credit score is only important when buying a home.
• Only 38% know their credit score off the top of their head which came in last in a list of five key numbers. Seventy-seven percent know their weight without checking while 73% know their parents’ birthdays, 45% know their best friend’s phone number, and 39% know their car’s mileage.
• Eighty-one percent of parents feel it’s likely their kids will have better credit by the time they reach their parents’ age.
The survey's results were announced by Capital One on Sept. 23 in New York City. The Credit Tracker event was attended by designer Sabrina Soto, celebrity wedding planner David Tutera, and personal finance author Lynnette Khalfani-Cox, all of whom shared tips for good financial habits.
Financial Infidelity
"A common situation I see is when a spouse hides credit card debt from their partner because they're fearful about how to come clean," says Khalfani-Cox in a recent interview with "Financial infidelity is way more common than most people think. My advise is to not let yourself get overextended in terms of credit limits. Credit and debt are inextricably linked."
In the media, financial circumstances have been linked to relationship issues. Last year, Kansas State University published research that found financial problems -- not sexual infidelity -- is the number one cause of divorce in the United States.
Monitoring Credit Scores
"To get climb out of debt, many people look for creative strategies such as increasing income through a part-time job, a second job, or a new business venture," says Khalfani-Cox in a recent interview with Digital Journal.
According to all three experts, consumers should do the following to keep their credit scores good and accurate: Check your credit report regularly; make loan payments on time; avoid overextending your credit; and never ignore overdue bills.
In March, Capital One unveiled Credit Tracker, a Web- and mobile-based interactive tool that allows customers to monitor their credit scores free of charge.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
More about Credit, Credit rating, Credit cards, Credit score, bad credit
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