If your spouse-to-be has a “bad” debt scene…
Dear Clients and Friends,
Love can blind a person to many things, and bad credit is one of them. But that’s an issue that can come back to bite you later. If your spouse-to-be has bad credit, it can cause huge problems, keeping you from having the kind of married life you’d planned on. It will rear its ugly head when you’re thinking about buying a house, when you’re trying to give your kids the best possible educational, athletic and enrichment opportunities and even when you’re trying to plan the wedding of your dreams. That’s why it’s important to sit down with your intended before getting married and having an honest financial conversation.
One thing you need to talk about is what kind of debt you’re both bringing into the marriage. For example, do you or your significant other have “good” debt? In other words, long-term debt at a reasonable interest rate, like a student loan, a mortgage or perhaps a business loan? If your fiancé has this kind of debt and a solid job with a promising career trajectory and a good track record of making payments on time, chances are you’re OK.
But what if your intended has a lot of “bad” debt: short-term high-interest debt, like credit cards and car loans that show he’s living beyond his means and which he/she can’t realistically pay back? This is the kind of situation that could ultimately put a huge crimp in your lifestyle, serve as a source of tension and perhaps imperil your marriage.
This isn’t to say you shouldn’t marry this person, but you may want to think about putting off the wedding until your fiancé straightens out his/her financial situation. Because even though you generally won’t be personally accountable for debts your spouse incurred before the marriage, much of both of your incomes will go toward servicing these debts. Perhaps you’re OK with that. But you may decide that waiting is the best option, or perhaps a Pre-Nuptial agreement should be considered. If such issues are of concern to you or yours we continue to invite you call us for a free phone evaluation of your matter to see if we can be of help.