It’s not easy to talk about money, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t—especially if you’re looking to take the next step with your partner.Some couples choose to merge finances after moving in together or getting engaged. Before you do so, however, it’s important to get your money matters out into the open. After all, financial disagreements are the second leading cause of divorce. With that in mind, here are seven questions to ask before you and your partner merge your finances.
1. What’s your salary?
As a starting point, both you and your partner should disclose salary information to one another. That means your annual salary before taxes, monthly take-home pay, and any bonuses you receive throughout the year. Combining finances means uniting your respective streams of income, and knowing how much you each earn lays the groundwork for budgeting and financial planning.
2. What are your assets?
In addition to salary, you and your partner should know each other’s assets, the accounts and items of financial value owned by an individual. Besides your checkings and savings accounts, that includes stocks, bonds, cars, real estate, and even jewelry and electronics.“If you’re not married but planning on it someday, you should consider outlining each partner’s assets in a prenup,” Rachel Ryan from Legal Templates advises. “It may not sound romantic, but a prenup can act like a financial contract and help couples determine how to treat their finances moving forward.” Laying out what each of you owns helps to paint a big picture of your combined wealth and set expectations for spending and saving together.
3. Do you have any debt? If so, how much?
There’s no avoiding this question, and for good reason. Before you merge finances with your partner, it’s imperative that you know whether your partner has any debt, and if so, the extent of that debt. From there, you can dive into further details, like whether you’ll handle it jointly or separately. Debt is financial baggage no one likes to carry—but the more transparent both sides are about it, the more prepared you’ll be as a couple to deal with it.
5. What are your financial goals?
That is, besides retirement, what other goals is your partner actively saving for? This could be buying a home, going on a backpacking tour of Southeast Asia, or having an emergency fund. Regardless, knowing your partner’s short and long-term goals will further set the stage for financial planning, and can also get you both thinking about your financial goals together.“Not being on the same page when it comes to financial goals can be a big issue when sharing finances,” personal finance blogger Dustyn Ferguson notes. “For example, one partner may prioritize saving for a vacation while one may prefer to invest savings. This can lead to money going to places both partners don’t agree with, which is obviously not good. Both partners need know what to expect when it comes to spending and saving before merging.”
6. How’s your credit?
Ask about your partner’s credit score and history. This information matters because many institutions factor it in when deciding whether or not to do business with you. That includes banks, insurance companies, landlords, and cable and internet providers. Some employers may even review credit history before hiring and promoting people.If your partner’s got a history of late payments or anything else that may cause a low credit score, it’s worth knowing about beforehand rather than being caught off-guard.
7. What are your spending habits?
It’s possible you don’t need to ask about this one if you’re already well acquainted with your partner’s money-handling habits. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to double check.Consider the following: How often does your partner eat out? What about entertainment—for instance, going to the movies or out to a bar? Is he or she an impulsive shopper, or someone who prefers to think over every purchase? Also, don’t forget any hobbies that your partner may spend on. Even if you have the same financial goals, differences in your spending lifestyles could cause problems if not addressed ahead of time.According to David Bakke from Money Crashers, “It’s quite rare when couples merge finances and nothing changes as far as spending habits, planning, organization, and many other aspects.” In other words, don’t expect combining finances with your significant other to go smoothly; merging your accounts requires both effort and compromise. However, while financial woes can strain any relationship, open communication ultimately helps to mitigate these issues.
Interested in refinancing student loans?Here are the top 9 lenders of 2022!
|Lender||Variable APR||Eligible Degrees|
|1.74% – 6.52%1||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.74% – 5.64%2||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.50% – 6.85%3||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.89% – 5.90%4||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.74% – 6.59%5||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.90% – 5.25%6||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.88% – 5.64%7||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.86% – 6.01%||Undergrad |
|2.13% – 5.25%8||Undergrad & Graduate|
|Check out the testimonials and our in-depth reviews!
1 Important Disclosures for Splash Financial.
Splash Financial Disclosures
Terms and Conditions apply. Splash reserves the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. Rates and terms are also subject to change at any time without notice. Offers are subject to credit approval. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet applicable underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. Lowest rates are reserved for the highest qualified borrowers. If approved, your actual rate will be within a range of rates and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, income and other factors. Refinancing or consolidating private and federal student loans may not be the right decision for everyone. Federal loans carry special benefits not available for loans made through Splash Financial, for example, public service loan forgiveness and economic hardship programs, fee waivers and rebates on the principal, which may not be accessible to you after you refinance. The rates displayed may include a 0.25% autopay discount
The information you provide to us is an inquiry to determine whether we or our lenders can make a loan offer that meets your needs. If we or any of our lending partners has an available loan offer for you, you will be invited to submit a loan application to the lender for its review. We do not guarantee that you will receive any loan offers or that your loan application will be approved. Offers are subject to credit approval and are available only to U.S. citizens or permanent residents who meet applicable underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers will receive the lowest rates, which are available to the most qualified borrowers. Participating lenders, rates and terms are subject to change at any time without notice.
To check the rates and terms you qualify for, Splash Financial conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you choose a product and continue your application, the lender will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull and may affect your credit.
Splash Financial and our lending partners reserve the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen and meet our lending partner’s underwriting requirements. Lowest rates are reserved for the highest qualified borrowers. This information is current as of January 19, 2022.
2 Rate range above includes optional 0.25% Auto Pay discount. Important Disclosures for Earnest.
Interest Rate Disclosure
Actual rate and available repayment terms will vary based on your income. Fixed rates range from 2.69% APR to 6.14% APR (excludes 0.25% Auto Pay discount). Variable rates range from 1.99% APR to 5.99% APR (excludes 0.25% Auto Pay discount). Earnest variable interest rate student loan refinance loans are based on a publicly available index. If you apply before 12/15/2021, the index is the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) and your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 1.89% – 5.89% to the LIBOR. If you apply on or after 12/15/2021, the variable rate will be based on the 30-day Average Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) published by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. In each case, the variable rate is based on the rate published on the 25th day, or the next business day, of the preceding month, rounded to the nearest hundredth of a percent, plus a margin and will change on the 1st of each month. The rate will not increase more than once per month. The maximum rate for your loan is 8.95% if your loan term is 10 years or less. For loan terms of more than 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95%. Please note, we are not able to offer variable rate loans in AK, IL, MN, NH, OH, TN, and TX.
3 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
Offered terms are subject to change and state law restriction. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900), NMLS Consumer Access. If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown. All Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 0.15% effective Jan 1, 2021 and may increase after consummation.
4 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.
Laurel Road Disclosures
All credit products are subject to credit approval.
Laurel Road began originating student loans in 2013 and has since helped thousands of professionals with undergraduate and postgraduate degrees consolidate and refinance more than $4 billion in federal and private school loans. Laurel Road also offers a suite of online graduate school loan products and personal loans that help simplify lending through customized technology and personalized service. In April 2019, Laurel Road was acquired by KeyBank, one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies. Laurel Road is a brand of KeyBank National Association offering online lending products in all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. All loans are provided by KeyBank National Association, a nationally chartered bank. Member FDIC. For more information, visit www.laurelroad.com.
As used throughout these Terms & Conditions, the term “Lender” refers to KeyBank National Association and its affiliates, agents, guaranty insurers, investors, assigns, and successors in interest.
Assumptions: Repayment examples above assume a loan amount of $10,000 with repayment beginning immediately following disbursement. Repayment examples do not include the 0.25% AutoPay Discount.
Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): This term represents the actual cost of financing to the borrower over the life of the loan expressed as a yearly rate.
Interest Rate: A simple annual rate that is applied to an unpaid balance.
Variable Rates: The current index for variable rate loans is derived from the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) and changes in the LIBOR index may cause your monthly payment to increase. Borrowers who take out a term of 5, 7, or 10 years will have a maximum interest rate of 9%, those who take out a 15 or 20-year variable loan will have a maximum interest rate of 10%.
KEYBANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE.
This information is current as of April 29, 2021. Information and rates are subject to change without notice.
5 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
Fixed rates range from 2.49% APR to 6.94% APR with a 0.25% autopay discount. Variable rates from 1.74% APR to 6.59% APR with a 0.25% autopay discount. Unless required to be lower to comply with applicable law, Variable Interest rates on 5-, 7-, and 10-year terms are capped at 8.95% APR; 15- and 20-year terms are capped at 9.95% APR. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on the term you select, evaluation of your creditworthiness, income, presence of a co-signer and a variety of other factors. Lowest rates reserved for the most creditworthy borrowers. For the SoFi variable-rate product, the variable interest rate for a given month is derived by adding a margin to the 30-day average SOFR index, published two business days preceding such calendar month, rounded up to the nearest one hundredth of one percent (0.01% or 0.0001). APRs for variable-rate loans may increase after origination if the SOFR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% autopay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. This benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit lowers your interest rate but does not change the amount of your monthly payment. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance. Autopay is not required to receive a loan from SoFi.
6 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.
Subject to floor rate and may require the automatic payments be made from a checking or savings account with the lender. The rate reduction will be removed and the rate will be increased by 0.25% upon any cancellation or failed collection attempt of the automatic payment and will be suspended during any period of deferment or forbearance. As a result, during the forbearance or suspension period, and/or if the automatic payment is canceled, any increase will take the form of higher payments. The lowest advertised variable APR is only available for loan terms of 5 years and is reserved for applicants with FICO scores of at least 810.
As of 11/15/2021 student loan refinancing rates range from 1.90% APR – 5.25% Variable APR with AutoPay and 2.49% APR – 7.75% Fixed APR with AutoPay.
7 Important Disclosures for Navient.
8 Important Disclosures for PenFed.
Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is the cost of credit calculating the interest rate, loan amount, repayment term and the timing of payments. Fixed Rates range from 2.89%-4.78% APR and Variable Rates range from 2.13%-5.25% APR. Both Fixed and Variable Rates will vary based on application terms, level of degree and presence of a co-signer. These rates are subject to additional terms and conditions and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. For Variable Rate student loans, the rate will never exceed 9.00% for 5 year and 8 year loans and 10.00% for 12 and 15 years loans (the maximum allowable for this loan). Minimum variable rate will be 2.00%. These rates are subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change.