debt-marriage-relationshipAccording to A New Horizon Credit Counseling Services (2010), approximately 43% of married couples argue over money and poor money management practices. In fact, many people enter into marriages without fully disclosing their money management practices, debt and/or financial challenges. If you happen to learn about these issues after you get married, it can cause distrust, hostility, anger, frustration and ultimately the deterioration of your relationship. Truth-be-told, it can be quite embarrassing to have to reveal to your fiancée or spouse that you are in debt, but it is imperative that you are honest with one another (in every aspect of your life) – preferably before you get married. If you hide important details from one another, it can cause an irreparable rift in your marriage.

Premarital counseling is highly beneficial for any couple wanting to get married because it helps you work through any issues that you have, for example, poor money management skills, before you take that long walk down the aisle. During premarital counseling, we, highly trained mental health professionals, create a safe, secure and supportive environment for you so that you can successfully work through any issues that are affecting your relationship. We also teach you better communication, problem-solving and money management skills and how to work together to reduce your debt.

Do not be afraid to tackle the tough issues like spending patterns and financial concerns early in the relationship – it will only benefit you later. It is true that everyone wants to feel financially secure so the best way to prevent a future break-up or divorce is to not only be completely honest with one another about any debt that you have incurred, but also work together to resolve those issues. If you are wondering how to discuss your financial concerns with your partner before you get married – you have come to the right place. Listed below are some helpful ways to discuss your financial concerns financial concerns with your loved one before you get married.

If you are in debt, you will need to discuss the following subjects before you get married:

Credit Card Debt

If you want to get married one of the first things you will need to do is openly discuss your personal credit card debt with each other. Make copies of all your individual credit card statements and/or bills so that you can go over them together. Pull out a calculator and add up how much you owe on each credit card (individually and as a couple). According to financial expert, Suze Orman (2014), you will also need to fully understand the interest rates and/or late fees associated with each credit card because they will affect how much money you owe. Discuss how you normally pay your bills and how often you are late with payments. Do not be afraid to be truthful with one another because honesty is a key factor in marital success.

Credit Scores

You will also need to discuss your individual credit scores with each other. This may seem insignificant, but in reality it very important for the longevity of your marriage. According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) (2014), there are three credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian and Trans Union) and each one determines your credit score from the information provided to them from venders and lenders. It is entirely possible to have three different credit scores because each agency looks at different aspects of your credit. When you decide to discuss your credit scores with each other have on hand a copy of each report so that you can look at them together. Make sure that you have a full understanding of how those credit scores will affect you (individually and as a couple), once you tie the knot.

A Debt-Reduction Plan

One of the most important things that you will need to do, if you want to get married, is set realistic goals and make a plan to reduce your debt and save money. Take a close look at your individual and combined monthly expenses, monthly incomes and taxes and determine how much money is needed to pay your bills. Once you have a good idea of what you need to live comfortably, you will be able to make a plan to reduce your debt. Do not expect to be debt-free overnight, depending on how much debt you have accrued, it may take months or years to eliminate all of your debt, but by taking a close look at your necessities, expenses and unnecessary spending habits, you will be on your way to financial stability, which is a nice way to start a marriage.
Written by Staff Writer
Dr. R. Y. Langham

References:

A New Horizon Credit Counseling Services. (2010). How credit card debt can affect your marriage. Market Wire. Retrieved from http://www.marketwired.com/press-release/How- Credit-Card-Debt-Can-Affect-Your-Marriage-1160418.htm

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. (2014). Credit reporting agencies. Retrieved from http://www.fdic.gov/consumers/consumer/ccc/reporting.html

Orman, S. (2014). Paying off debt. Retrieved from http://www.suzeorman.com/resource-center/managing-debt/