Personal finance expert and blogger, Boss Single Mama
Credit Card Couple Catastrophe
My worst experience with credit cards was a mess of my own making. After getting married, I added my then-husband to several of my credit card accounts as an authorized user. We’d never talked about our credit scores in detail. I only knew he didn’t have great credit so I thought allowing him to use my cards could help him build credit while also making it easier to manage our joint finances.
Fast-forward just a few months later and the balances on those cards had quickly ballooned to more than $30,000 in largely frivolous purchases. My first mistake was not talking about money with my spouse beforehand; my second was adding him to my cards without laying down some ground rules about how they could be used. I got to keep the debt as a parting gift when the marriage ended, and it took me years to pay it all off and get my credit back in shape. The lesson? First, communication about credit and money is everything in marriage. And second, don’t take adding someone to your credit card as an authorized user lightly because you could end up with a huge pile of debt you hadn’t planned on”.