Should husband and wife have separate checking accounts or even entirely separate finances? Or should all of their money be merged? A verse in the book of Mark will help us answer that question today on MoneyWise. We often get questions about merging or separating finances in marriage, particularly with people who are remarrying. One spouse might enter into the marriage with a lot of debt or a bad credit rating. They think that by keeping separate accounts, one spouse’s bad history won’t affect the other. CREDIT REPORTS RATINGS ARE NOT MERGED UPON MARRIAGE Sometimes we hear from listeners who have heard that when two people marry, their credit histories are automatically merged into one by the credit reporting agencies Experian, Equifax and Transunion, but that’s not the case. Each spouse’s credit history is tied only to that person’s Social Security number. If one of them applies for credit solely in his or her name, only that person’s credit history is taken into account. Having joint or separate bank accounts has no effect on getting approved for the loan. A creditor will only consider the credit of both spouses if they apply jointly for the loan. Returning to the original question, should spouses merge finances or keep them separate? BECOME ONE FLESH The Bible doesn’t tell us explicitly that spouses should share one account, because people didn’t have bank accounts back then. But we do find a helpful principle in God’s Word to guide us. In Mark 10:7 Jesus tells us, "A man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. If you’re of one flesh why have separate bank accounts? As Jesus said in Mark 10, marriage is about two people becoming one. Obviously they both remain individuals but marriage is a partnership that requires trust, openness and communication. That’s especially true when it comes to finances. Joint checking and savings accounts promote transparency and communication between spouses. It prevents spouses from developing a mine and yours mentality. It also promotes trust by ensuring that neither is making hidden purchases. Another plus of merging your finances is that it simplifies your household accounting. BOTTOM LINE It’s not a sin to keep your finances separate in marriage, but it’s generally a much better idea to merge your accounts. LISTENER QUESTIONS On today’s program, Rob also answers listener questions: ●Is it wiser to use an inheritance to pay off a mortgage or continue to make payments and invest the funds? ●What should you do with a 401k account after retirement? ●What are some conservatives saving/investing alternatives to CDs? Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000 or email them to [email protected] Also, visit our website at MoneyWise.org where you can connect with a MoneyWise Coach, join the MoneyWise Community, and even download the free MoneyWise app. Like and Follow us on Facebook at MoneyWise Media for videos and the very latest discussion! Remember that it’s your prayerful and financial support that keeps MoneyWise on the air. Help us continue this outreach by clicking the Donate tab on our website or in our app.