Forty percent of newly married people who responded to an Experian survey on finances reported they did not know their spouse’s credit score. One in three said their spouse’s spending habits were not what they expected.

The survey, conducted in January by Edelman Berland for Experian, questioned approximately 1,000 people. The results were released Friday.

While the respondents may not be communicating about their financial information, 80% said credit scores are important, according to Experian. 

When asked what attributes were important in a spouse, 92% of respondents said financial responsibility.

"Credit impacts many aspects of building a life together,” Rod Griffin, director of public education at Experian, said. "Couples should check their credit reports and scores and discuss them. Knowing these scores will help couples better plan for a future together and give them the opportunity to take steps to better manage their credit."

Respondents also reported that they spend money without telling their spouse, more than $800 on average, and 16% reported they have a separate financial account that their spouse does not know about.

The biggest financial goal among newlyweds surveyed is saving to buy a home, according to Experian. But 32% said their spouse’s credit score impacted their ability to secure a home loan. Since getting married, 19% of respondents reported they needed someone to cosign on a loan for major purchase, including a home.

When asked about their financial concerns as newlyweds, 56% of respondents said they considered the impact of their spouse’s credit score before getting married and 39% said credit scores are a source of marital stress. Twenty-three percent said their concern includes developing a shared budget, while 19% said not being able to pay off debt, according to Experian.

Other findings from the survey include: 25% of respondents did not know their spouse’s annual income before marriage; 31% did not know their spouse’s long-term financial goals; and 31% did not know the amount of their spouse’s student loan debt.


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