Marriage is supposed to be a beautiful thing, but sadly, so many newlyweds don’t know each other’s finances before tying the knot. If one spouse is entering the new courtship with a newfound debt from their partner, there are probably a lot of questions that need to be answered.
To help you understand debt that comes from a partner after marriage, here’s what you need to know:
Is it Mine, Yours or Ours?
Every state has their rules when it comes to who owns what debt. One of the first questions that newlyweds have when it comes to debt is: Who the heck is responsible for this debt?
The first thing that you need to look into is if your state is a community property state. In a community property state, such as Arizona, Idaho and more, the spouse may be liable for the debt upon marriage. However, in anon-community state, the spouse won’t be liable for any debt they didn’t sign up for. A quick search for your state laws can let you know where your state falls.
Regardless of what your local state laws are, many couples often want to combine their debt to pay it down fast. If this is the route that you want to take, there are many options that you can take advantage of.
For instance, many credit card companies offer balance transfers for zero percent interest for a limited time period. This is a great way to combine your debts all under one account. If you’re going to take this route, just make sure that your balances aren’t too high, because if you don’t pay your bills off in time, you may be stuck with an interest rate that is higher than 20 percent.
If you don’t want to take the credit card route, consider talking with a reputable debt resolution company. A good debt resolution company will be accredited with the American Fair Credit Council (AFCC), have at least an A BBB rating and never charge you upfront fees. Generally, they will be able to save you around 50% on your original account balances, if not more. To learn more about how Pacific Debt can help, check out the details on our debt settlement program.
Lastly, if most of the debt is coming from student loans, look into various federal programs to help consolidate the loan. This is a route that should be taken if the student loans are in the tens of thousands.
If you believe your spouse should pay for the debt they created, that’s fine. However, keep in mind that a successful relationship works on teamwork.
When going this route, it’s best to wait on a joint bank account or combining any other accounts until the debt is entirely paid off. Aside from the debt, also make sure that you put in your fair share to the bills that have to be paid every month, such as the utilities, rent, cable and so forth. Try to find that happy medium that works for your relationship
In the long run, debt is going to take time to pay off. As long as you work as a team, create a budget and motivate yourself to pay off these debts, there’s no reason the debt will ruin the newfound marriage.