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Couples should discuss their finances before heading to the altar

THE FIVE

February 03, 2013|By Scott J. Wilson, Los Angeles Times
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  (Richard Derk, Los Angeles…)

If you're thinking about getting married, it can be important to consider whether you and your intended are financially compatible. The National Foundation for Credit Counseling has identified some key issues for couples to discuss:

•How much debt do each of you have? Before you tie the knot, lay it all out for your partner to see: What you owe on credit cards, vehicle and student loans, and any other debt. "Don't hide anything, as that's really getting off on the wrong foot," the foundation said.

•Review each other's credit scores and credit reports, the foundation recommended. "Each person has their own report and score, but knowing who is in better shape financially can provide direction when making large purchases down the road."

•Does your spouse-to-be's approach to saving match yours? Discuss what you consider worth saving money for, whether it's retirement, a home, sending children to college or a dream vacation. "It's fine to have your individual goals, but it's also important to have family goals too," the foundation said.

•Consider your own and your partner's spending habits. Will each of you have your own money to spend? How much can you spend without checking with your spouse? Who will be responsible for household expenses? "It's important to be honest and realistic, or any plan that you develop is sure to fail," the foundation said.

•What will you do if relatives or friends ask for a loan? "This question is sure to come up over the course of a lifetime together, so it's best to firm up the answer prior to an emotional situation," the foundation said.

scott.wilson@latimes.com

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