When it comes to perfect matches, Bethany, I’m sorry to say that money can quickly combat funny. The laughs dry up pretty fast if a joint bank account has been emptied but the rent or electricity is due. It’s concerning that you sound so concerned. You also sound really conscientious… and from the brief amount you’ve told me, your partner does not.

You need to find out three things double quick:

  1. Does your partner have debts and what are they?
    It’s called sexually transmitted debt for a reason… and you could be affected even if your name’s not on it. Firstly, if money becomes tighter down the track for him or for your combined future finances, it may be hard to resist helping him with repayments. Love does that. Secondly, his debts could reduce your collective capacity to borrow.
  2. Has your partner’s credit score been affected by his attitude towards money?  Remember that we have a US-style of credit report and score now, if he’s been tardy with any repayments or, worse still, defaulted on any, this will have depressed his. If you’re looking to get a loan together, that will hurt your chances. If it helps, a finder.com.au study reveals almost one-in-three Aussies are worried their partner’s credit rating will affect their ability to borrow (46 per cent for Gen Ys). The only saving grace is you say you’re five years away: the same time it takes for defaults to clear.
  3. Can your partner rein-in his spending to target a goal so tantalising you can almost taste it? For instance, a home of your own. Even if he passes the previous two tests, a ‘no’ here may kybosh your home owner dreams. And if you qualified for a mortgage, you’d need of course to diligently meet repayments.

It’s time for a serious chat with your funny man, Bethany.

Nicole Pedersen-McKinnon is a money educator and consumer advocate. Contact: nicolehelps@fairfaxmedia.com.au.

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