Question about Credit Cards

Christy - posted on 12/01/2011 ( 16 moms have responded )

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I saw this in another community and wanted to get your take on it.

(not verbatim but from my memory):

My husband has one credit card, and I have one as well (separately). He insists we put everything on one card. I have nothing to hide, I just feel it is a good thing to establish credit long term with a credit card company. I have had my credit card since 1999, and he has had his a few years. I see nothing wrong with putting them together, but he wants to transfer both balances to a new card and I want to put it all on mine since there is a history there (and low interest rate-in the case a balance is carried over into the next month. We pay them off each month most of the time, BTW). Am I wrong to think this way? I have already expressed how I feel about it to no avail. BTW he isn't the best with spending money. Tends to "charge things" excessively and we are broke each month after paying ALL the bills! Help!

I think they should keep them separate, or put it on her card, personally.

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Krista - posted on 12/01/2011

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It is absolutely vital for both partners to have their own credit history. And their own bank accounts.

I used to work at one of the major credit bureaus, and counselled people on their credit reports, and also worked at a bank. And all too often, I saw cases where one spouse basically destroyed the other spouse's credit, due to everything being shared.

Has this spouse indicated WHY he's so adamant that they share a card? Is it a trust issue? If he's "insisting" upon it, that raises red flags for me...big-time. Spouses who are controlling often want to control their partner's money.

There's nothing wrong with having a joint account, or a joint credit card, for household purchases. But I strongly, strongly caution all women to have a credit card and a bank account separate from their husband's. If the husband dies and all accounts with his name are frozen, then at least the spouse has SOME financial means. Or, if the husband is a spendthrift and destroys his own credit (and partially destroys the credit of his wife via their joint accounts), then at least she has her own credit card and good credit to offset that nasty R9 on her report and bring up her Beacon score.

But yeah...I'd want to know WHY he's so keen on this. I think there's something worrisome there, if he's so dogged about this.

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16 Comments

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If there is an issue with overspending, then keep it separate.

Hubby & I use our debit cards, attached to the checking account, for almost every daily purchase and on-line purchases. we have 1 joint credit card for major purchases that gives us Disney Dollars. But, I'll also add that hubby & I are not overspenders in the least bit and always pay off monthly balances.

[deleted account]

keep it seperate. his insistence at doing things his way makes me suspicious and you don't want to be stuck shouldering a huge balance with high interest should he decide to take off

Stifler's - posted on 12/02/2011

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I don't have a credit card just a mastercard debit and Damian has a Visa debit. I would keep my own credit card if my husband had a bad rating too just in case you ever need to borrow more.

Sal - posted on 12/02/2011

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We have a visa debit on our savings account you can use it as a visa card for airline tickets online stuff or anything else but is our savings not credit.... The best idea ever

Sylvia - posted on 12/02/2011

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Well, that sure doesn't sound like a guy *I* would like to share my credit rating with :P

DH and I have separate savings and chequing accounts, separate RRSP accounts, and separate credit cards (one each). We do have a joint line of credit, and of course our mortgage is a joint account, so to speak. This isn't because either of us is particularly a spendthrift -- we've just never bothered to consolidate our bank accounts because we don't see any need to do so. If either of us wanted to know how the other had been using his/her credit card, the statements are right there in the filing cabinet to be examined.

I think it sounds like that person's husband thinks he can shore up his lousy credit score with her better one. Credit counselling seems indicated :P

Krista - posted on 12/02/2011

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@Sherri: Ah, okay. I didn't realize that your banks had that option. Ours don't. We have debit cards attached to our bank accounts, but you can't use them over the phone or the internet -- only in person.

[deleted account]

I don't HAVE a checking account. ;) I don't need one and I don't want one (only have savings account that I don't take money out of), so I do have a credit card. I only use it for online stuff and 'emergency' purchases (like when my microwave started cooking my counter top...) though.

Stacia - posted on 12/02/2011

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My husband and I use one card with both our names on it, the Capital One Venture card. It gives us double points on every purchase and we use the points to visit my parents in Texas. We live in CA. My advice would be to get a handle on your finances:



1) Get your credit scores. I use MyFico.com. It'll show you your full credit report and suggests ways to fix it.

2) Load all your accounts into Mint.com and start tracking your spending. The site is free and has a mobile app to check things on the go. You can build budgets and it will send you alerts for high spending and when you go over your budget. My favorite part is how it automatically categorizes your spending for you and lets you set goals and keep track of them.

3) Look at your credit cards and keep only three or less. Pick the ones with the best rates or best rewards. Credit cards aren't evil. You just need to make them work for you. We both have other cards we've had for ages and don't use, but keep them because having the same card for years does wonders for your credit score.

4) Doing this method, we've been credit card debt free for a year now and have almost paid off all my husband's student loans. Mine are minimal. His are another story. By next year we'll have enough for a house.



One last thought. I would recommend keeping the card with the long history and then research and find a new card with great rewards. Discover Escape, Chase Sapphire and Capital One Venture card are all great for points. That way both your credit scores will benefit from paying off the balance and you'll have rewards for your efforts.

Sherri - posted on 12/02/2011

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All bank checking accts come with debit MC/Visa cards so you can do all those things still with no actual credit cards but just coming from your cking Krista. So it is very feasible. FYI I have done all those things you mentioned using my Debit card.

Chelsey - posted on 12/02/2011

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My husband and i have a joint bank account but i also have my own personal account and i have my own credit card and i would never ever give that up.

Krista - posted on 12/02/2011

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Sherri, that's not always feasible. You try renting a car, or buying something online, or booking a hotel or airline ticket, with just cash.

Credit cards are not demons, but it IS very easy to be irresponsible with them. The key is to know yourself well. I'm not one of those smart people who pays their bill off in full every month. So, I only have the one credit card, and keep a VERY low limit on it, and have instructed my provider to never do automatic limit increases. But other people aren't as self-aware, and they'll get into MUCH more debt than they can handle, because they thought they could handle it.

Sal - posted on 12/01/2011

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Our card has an annual fee and Paying that twice doesnt make much sence but if your cards are low fee or no fee it makes no diffetence

Sherri - posted on 12/01/2011

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We personally have joint bank accts. and no credit cards refuse to have them personally.

Put it on her card or get rid of them all together is ultimately my advice. If you can't pay cash then you shouldn't be buying it anyways.

[deleted account]

I pretty much didn't want my name on anything my now ex did (just didn't want to deal w/ it)... We had one joint credit card account only... and I had one in just my name. I am SO glad I did it that way. It's probably one of the only reasons the judge only gave me 20% of the marital debt instead of the 50% he legally could've given me (though morally it was 100% my ex's crap).

Jane - posted on 12/01/2011

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Credit services look askance at folks who apply for too many credit cards. Because he tends to be a spendthrift he perhaps shouldn't even have a card at all, but, of course that can cause a huge rift in the marriage. In any case, since she is more responsible, they should use her card so she knows what's up and can cut him off as needed.

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