For some people debt and finances are the last thing on their minds when they begin planning to tie the knot. However, marrying into debt can play a huge role in your financial future with your spouse and it’s important that it’s discussed prior to saying “I do.” Especially if you’ve worked long and hard to keep your credit in good standing and your partner hasn’t been quite as vigilant.
Working with your fiance to sort out their past mistakes is important. But assuring that your credit remains in good standing will benefit you both. If you happen to run into trouble financially then having at least one good credit score to fall back on will be extremely helpful. Here are a few ways you can protect yourself from marrying into debt.
Understand when you’re Liable for Your Spouse’s Debt
It’s common for people to assume that once they get married they automatically take on their spouse’s debt. This isn’t the case. The combined debt begins when you take on debt together. Opening accounts together, adding your partner as an authorized user, or cosigning will all be reflected in your credit reports. There are also some cases where you may be on the hook for debt that your spouse solely incurs during the marriage. For example, if your spouse racks up credit card debt, even though you aren’t on the account, you may be responsible for the debt. This doesn’t apply to all states and laws vary, but if this is a concern then a prenuptial agreement can help spell out what debt belongs to whom and make things less complicated.
Be Open about Your Financial Pasts
Honesty and openness is a staple in every happy marriage, especially when it comes to finances. While it may not seem like a pressing issue right now, money is actually one of the leading causes of marital problems. It’s important that you find out now what your future spouse’s relationship is with money. Do they spend? Do they save? Do they have delinquencies that will need figured out? The more aware you are now, the better prepared for the future you will be.
Realize that Waiting is an Option
If your fiance is deep in debt then waiting a year or two to tie the knot may be in your best interest. Give them some time to work on their credit score, fix their back taxes and figure out any other debts they may have on their own. Also, if they’re planning on filing for bankruptcy then it’s better that that gets done before you get married as well.
Getting on the same page financially and helping your partner work to fix their credit is important. It’s also important for you both that your credit remains in good standing. As long as you communicate, understand your options and are aware of the risks and liabilities, you can make sure your marriage is on the right track financially.
If you find yourself struggling with debt or would like to find out about becoming debt free, call Debthelper.com at 800-920-2262, or schedule a free consultation today.