It is true for all people in all times that asking someone to marry you is one of the toughest questions to manage. Even if you have been friends for years, it doesn’t make it easier. Marriage changes things. Offering a marriage proposal also changes things. If the answer is no, it can ruin what was a comfortable friendship.

But once you are past that question, there are others to address. If you thought asking someone to marry you was hard, just try asking them direct and unyielding questions about the personal finances. Talk of marriage is one thing. Talk of money is quite another.

Besides infidelity, money problems are the main reason the hitched get unhitched. If you don’t start with the hard money conversation, you are increasing your chances of ending in divorce, These are some of the hard questions you have to ask:

How Much Debt Do You Have?

No one wants to talk freely about the amount of debt they are carrying. You have to realize that your partner’s debt becomes your debt. You don’t want to be blindsided by a mountain of debt that can have an adverse effect on your credit worthiness.

If you do have a mountain of debt, one of the better options is to get a consolidation loan and pay it all off. Once you do that, you only have one bill that is usually significantly less than you were paying. A partner that is savvy enough to ask you about your debt will likely see your consolidation loan as a good sign of responsibility. That is a good place to start.

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What Is Your Credit Score?

Your credit score is shorthand for your credit worthiness. A low credit score will keep you from getting a low interest rate, and that is assuming you can get any kind of credit at all. You don’t want to start a marriage with no ability to get credit for things you will need along the way.

There are ways to increase a low credit score. You want it above 700. If in is in the 500s, your score is a liability. Getting a loan to pay off your credit card debts will do wonders for raising your score. Marry someone with a poor credit score and you will be disappointed when you are ready to buy a car, or a house, or prepare for your first child, or any other big-ticket item. Raise the score before popping the question.

How Much Do You Have in Savings

Be wary about marrying someone who has no savings. A savings account is a sign of responsibility and forethought. Anyone can make money for the moment. It is the wise person who makes money for the future.

You might also ask about your partner’s retirement plan. People in their 20s do not often think about what life will be like in their 70s. It seems like an impossibly long time in the future. But if the marriage is really going to last till death do us part, then it has to include financing life after both of you are no longer working.

These are not just questions you need to ask your future spouse. These are questions you need to ask yourself before you offer to be someone’s future spouse. Get your debt under control. Get your credit score north of 700. And get your savings account active with a minimum of $4,000. If you both take your personal finances seriously, you will have a much better chance at a happily ever after. 

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