Money advice for a lasting marriage

Agree on credit use

When it comes to your credit score, your marital status is not considered, but your history is.

"Your credit scores are individual; there are no 'married' scores," says Beverly Harzog, an Atlanta-based credit card expert and consumer advocate.

Instead of closing the credit card accounts you established before marriage, Harzog advises couples to maintain individual accounts.

"A big part of your credit history is how long you’ve had the card," she says. "If you close individual accounts, it will impact your credit score."

You can open a joint account to cover household expenses.

Financial vow: Decide how you’re going to use credit.

If you use credit for everything but pay the bill at the end of the month and your partner only uses plastic for emergencies, it could cause disagreements. You may decide to take a his-and-hers approach to using individual cards, but it’s essential to have an agreement about how you plan to use joint accounts.

"Having the conversation now can help you avoid arguments when the bill comes in," Harzog says.