Your fiancé, Jim, is a wonderful human being: even-tempered, thoughtful and kind to children and animals. He is a hard worker, too, but there is one concern: Jim is deeply in debt and about to declare bankruptcy.
You have a fine career and a sterling credit rating. You cannot help wondering how Chapter 7 is going to affect your marriage and your own financial future.
You may worry that when you marry, the poor credit rating attached to your husband will link to your excellent credit rating and bring it down, but you can relax. If you and Jim choose to share all your finances, your credit reports would overlap. However, the two scores can remain separate. In fact, after you marry, you will probably want to continue keeping your finances separate from those of your new husband.
About the mortgage
You will find that separation is easy in terms of bank accounts, retirement accounts and credit cards. You could even obtain a car loan in your name only. However, when the time comes for the two of you to buy a home, you may want to apply for a mortgage together, mainly because that will allow you to get a bigger loan. On the other hand, if you apply in your name only, the interest rate will be better than if Jim’s poor credit rating was included. Remember that if you and Jim decide to open a joint bank account for paying household expenses, it is going to be commingled property and money that creditors could come after.
For the future
It appears that Jim has made a good decision in filing for bankruptcy protection; Chapter 7 is going to help your fiancé get a fresh start. Still, you may wish to keep your financial life separate from his, at least until he proves that he has settled his debts, repaired his credit and is making responsible choices in his own financial life.