TransUnion.ca Survey Finds More Than One in Four Canadians Avoid Discussing Finances Before Marriage
TORONTO, May 5, 2010 – As couples across the country prepare for wedding season and get ready to invest in each other, too few are having the all-important discussion of finances before the big day. A new TransUnion.ca survey underscores that many Canadians are not taking the time to discuss the financial implications of starting a family - a major potential source of stress for married couples.
The newly released Zogby survey, commissioned by TransUnion.ca, found that more than 26 percent of respondents either did not think about finances or deliberately avoided the topic of finances before getting married, while only 22 percent sat down to discuss and create a budget. Nearly six in 10 (59 percent) did not know their spouse’s credit score, even though one spouse’s poor credit score could impact a couple’s access to credit in the future.
“Heading down the aisle is a significant lifestyle change and understanding your personal financial situation is part of the process of planning a life together,” said Tom Reid, director of consumer solutions for TransUnion.ca. “Being aware of credit scores and knowing the amount of debt each spouse has can help Canadian couples make more informed financial decisions together.”
TransUnion.ca is offering tips to couples to help them get their finances in order, while providing resources to help them stay financially together for years to come. TransUnion.ca’s online Credit Learning Centre provides information on credit basics, credit scores and identity theft to help couples manage their financial profiles and prepare for upcoming life decisions, such as starting a family. The experts at TransUnion.ca offer the following tips:
- Talk About It - Openly discussing your finances with your fiancé/fiancée is the best way to prevent future disagreements. Talk about your spending habits, your savings, the status of your credit scores and your financial goals so that you will both be on the same page. Develop a plan for managing your money after the wedding. Will you open joint accounts? How much do you want to save each month? Work together to create a money management strategy that fits your needs.
- Wedding Expenses - Planning the wedding of your dreams can sometimes lead to a nightmare of debt. The expected cost of a wedding is $19,274 (up from $17,300 in 2007 and $19,038 in 2008), according to weddingbells.ca, a hefty sum that can lead to big credit card bills after the honeymoon ends. Talk with your fiancé/fiancée about how much you can afford to spend without breaking the bank. Be creative about cutting back your budget. Using potted flowers and making the invitations yourself can help you shrink your costs without reducing your style.
- Credit - Understanding your sweetheart's credit history can help you avoid future surprises. Your fiancé's credit could have a dramatic impact on your rates for co-signed loans and joint accounts in the future. If either of you have had past credit problems, work together to clean things up and reduce debts. Remember, starting your new life together could be a lot smoother with good credit.
- Joint Accounts - Don't worry, after you marry, your credit profiles will continue to remain separate. Only after you open up a joint account, become an authorized user or co-sign for a loan for example, may a record for that credit appear on both of your credit profiles.
- Love Nest - If you are planning on buying a home together, give yourselves at least six months to save up a down payment, reduce your debt-to-income ratio and boost your credit standing to help qualify for a mortgage under the recently revised rules. A few months of financial improvement may help you save thousands on your mortgage.
- Stay Focused - Above all else, don't let money problems get in the way of your love for each other. Talk honestly about your financial concerns and work together to get through the hard times. Your relationship is far more valuable than anything money can buy.
For more information about credit management, please visit www.transunion.ca.
About the Survey
Zogby International was commissioned by TransUnion to conduct an online survey of 501 Canadian adults. Zogby International‘s partners supply email addresses for adults in Canada. These panelists were invited to participate from February 17-19, 2010. Slight weights were added to region, age, education, and gender to more accurately reflect the population. The margin of error is +/- 4.5 percentage points. Margins of error are higher in sub-groups.
As a global leader in credit and information management, TransUnion creates advantages for millions of people around the world by gathering, analyzing and delivering information. For businesses, TransUnion helps improve efficiency, manage risk, reduce costs and increase revenue by delivering comprehensive data and advanced analytics and decisioning. For consumers, TransUnion provides the tools, resources and education to help manage their credit health and achieve their financial goals. Through these and other efforts, TransUnion is working to build stronger economies worldwide. Based in Toronto, with global headquarters located in Chicago, Illinois, TransUnion provides local service and support throughout Canada. Visit www.transunion.ca to learn more.