“What’s your credit score?” might not sound like the best first date conversation fodder (and you should certainly wait longer than that!), but knowing where your significant other stands credit score-wise is a must. Credit Karma explains why and asked me about my own experience. I was surprised when I checked the credit score of my wife, Kristy, and myself when we were getting ready to apply for a joint car loan. We’d only been married one month when this happened. Yes, we had discussed finances and she’d told me about credit card and student loan debt, but when our application was denied I had to dig deeper.

It turns out Kristy had a score in the 400s, largely due to unpaid bills that totaled under $300. It was only then that I found out her real financial struggles, living paycheck to paycheck and sometimes unable to pay bills. Having these kinds of talks can be a little awkward, but they are necessary to build a healthy life together. Since then, we’ve worked together to clean up her score, but we could have avoided that shock (and embarrassment of a denied loan) with a more honest discussion.

Top reasons you need to know each other’s score include finding financial secrets, getting a partner to improve scores with, and maybe even save thousands on a mortgage.

Find out the fourth tip and more here:

4 Reasons You Should Know Your Significant Other’s Credit Score-with John Rampton