Single women need not worry about getting good credit for themselves. However, once a lady marries, the credit becomes conjugal responsibility. I know of someone who was emotionally shattered when she divorced and even more so financially because it was the husband who handled their money. She was at the ex-husband’s mercy and had to rebuild credit for her own. Being married for more than twenty years, she had to re-learn the basics of credit because statistics say that more women are bound to commit the mistake of having unstable credit rating.
In my research, I found experts’ advice noting the ways women can build good credit. One, avoid rushing it by starting small and few. Creditors will take it as desperate measures on your part when you apply for new credit cards or higher limits one after the other. Two, try to limit your cards to up to six cards only (lesser would be better). Generally, having one too many cards is not a good idea. You will have the tendency to forget to pay at least one due because you overlooked it. One missed payment will affect your score right away and will stay in your record for the next seven years! Also, avoid store cards as these usually have higher interest rates and penalties versus the regular bank card, and discounts are usually just offered on the first purchase.
Another tip is for you to consider having an account solely under your name when you marry, one that is not shared with your husband. You will be able to establish credit history apart from your husband’s. Remember that when you apply for a loan or credit under a shared account, you become jointly liable yet only the husband’s name is put on credit record. Thus, even if you as a couple have had good credit, you cannot carry that with you when you separate. If divorce is inevitable, avoid closing joint accounts all at the same because it will greatly affect your credit history. However, while in the marriage, never hesitate to question the husband about your financial situation. It is your right to know how much you still owe and your rates for interests on loans, mortgage, and credit cards.
Lastly, the usual piece of advice that really works is to pay your dues on time, pay off everything if you can or at least more than the minimum due. It is always best to keep at least 50% of your limits open and check the free copy of your credit report on an annual basis.