Monday

4 Tips for Helping your Partner Get out of Debt

Guest Post by Maria Rainier

If there is one thing in common that almost all American adults have is that they carry with them at least some personal debt. In fact, it's very often the case that what brings us together are the hardships—financial and otherwise—that we've endured over the years. Many adults, after becoming very involved in their respective romantic relationships, decide to pool together finances. Whether this means simply living together and sharing related costs, or going as far as to take on a partner's debts, deciding to entangle yourselves in each other's finances is a huge step. Here are some things to consider before helping your partner tackle his or her debts, or vice-versa.

1. Be completely honest about your debts as soon you get serious about your relationship.

There's nothing worse than being with a person romantically for several years, perhaps even approaching marriage, when your partner suddenly discloses the enormous pile of debt they've accrued over the years. Of course, when you love someone deeply enough, you'll do anything for them. But to be fair to your partner, and for your partner to be fair to you, it's important to be as honest as possible as soon as possible so that you can begin managing each other's debts.

2. Help control each other's discretionary spending.

One of the main reasons that most adults cannot control their debts incurred before marriage is that they don't make it a priority. Once you both become privy to your respective debts, you can help each other out by making a joint budget that allows each of you to pay off more than the monthly minimum on different loans and debts. If you aren't committed enough yet to where you are actually paying off your partner's debts, you can, at the very least, help each other prioritize your debts by controlling your monthly expenses.

3. Don't jeopardize your future to help your partner get out of serious financial trouble.

Perhaps one of the main reasons that married or otherwise committed couples end up splitting is over serious financial troubles. If you go so far as to cover all or a significant portion of your partner's debts, and in the process you incur significant debt yourself, the end result will only be mountains of resentment. Of course, if you can afford to help your partner out, then by all means do so, if you feel that the commitment warrants that sort of generosity. However, if you hurt yourself financially in the process, be wary.

4. Establish a long-term repayment plan.

If you do end up paying for a reasonable portion of your partner's debts, or if your partner pays for yours, set up a repayment plan that you can stick to. For example, my brother paid for about $4,000 of his then-fiancée's student loans. This ended up being a great idea, just because now she owed him, instead of a debt company that would charge her significant amounts of interest. Now, four years into their marriage, she's paid him back completely and they are both well on their way to being debt-free.
It's terrible that finances can have a huge, mostly adverse, impact on personal relationships. But if you're careful, you and your partner can use your relationship and teamwork skills to both relieve your debt load. Good luck!

Author Bio:
Maria Rainier is a freelance writer and blog junkie. She is currently a resident blogger at First in Education where she writes about education, online colleges, online degrees etc. In her spare time, she enjoys square-foot gardening, swimming, and avoiding her laptop.

1 comment:

Patricia Walkowiak said...

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