Two Credit Cards, One Happy Marriage
When tying the knot, young, and not so young spouses take various solemn oaths, which entail being truthful and respectful towards one’s partner, regardless of his or her health condition or financial situation. So far so good, but note that God Almighty did not mention common credit cards as a prerequisite for a happy marriage.
In addition to His divine will, there are some more trivial reasons why you should keep separate credit cards, as to keep the family boat steady and on course. To begin with, the fact that you and your wife share a credit card naturally supposes that each of you should use no more than 50 percent of the existing credit balance. You will also pay half of the sum in the monthly statement, respectively. Problems may arise, however, if one of the two spouses is prone to indulging in reckless shopping sprees or has other issues related to excessive and uncontrolled spending. Just imagine how a gambler of a husband and a compulsive shopaholic of a wife would share a common credit card! This would be a marriage made in hell, would it?
Apart from the extreme cases, there is always the issue of financial privacy that both spouses should respect. To put it simply, the credit card contract is, strictly speaking, an agreement between you and your bank over a sum of money. It has been entrusted to you to use and return under specific terms and conditions, and within explicitly stated deadlines. Having said that, some newlyweds are extremely sensitive regarding their banking secrets. They are usually reluctant to share them with each other, at least over the first few years of their married life.
Another strong argument against the idea of spouses holding a common credit card is that they seldom have equal incomes, which means that the one earning more will be more exposed to late payment penalties and other restrictions if things take a bad turn. What is more important, they are not equally experienced in using and managing credit.Continued on the next page