When it comes to marriage, open and honest communication is the key to success. We hate, yet sometimes hesitate to talk about money when we prepare to tie the knot. Probably, it’s because of shyness or something else, which compels many couples to avoid the difficult chit-chats before the marriage.
Debt has always remained an important part of marriage and is one of the topics that most couples avoid. However, discussing it beforehand can help build the foundation for a lasting marriage.
If you have a secret, it’s going to get revealed after marriage. You can’t keep secrets decade after decade, and from someone who you’re sharing bed with.
So it’s better to ask questions and make things clear even if awkward, and before it’s too late. Here are four most important debt questions you should ask before sending “Save the Date” magnets.
4 Big Finance Questions to Ask Before Tying the Knot
1) How much debt you got?
Such a question is definitely going to upset the romantic air that prevailed until now. But if you’re going to marry this person and spend the rest of your life together, you have to initiate such a discussion and similar ones. Your would-be spouse may have committed some financial mistakes in past, (we all do and it’s normal) and you have the right to know.
If it’s you who is bringing a significant amount of debt baggage into the marriage, you should certainly volunteer the information.
2) What would happen to debts incurred during marriage? Would you consider those as our and bail me out if required?
See if your partner wants to merge accounts or keep everything separate. See how he or she feels about financial self-sufficiency. Also, see how does he or she react to income discrepancies, if there has been any.
Ask what if you accumulate huge debt in future. See if he or she is willing to stand alongside and help.
However, in community property states like Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, etc., you may be liable for your spouse’s debt if the debt was incurred during marriage. Nevertheless, you can sign an agreement with each other to have your debts and income treated separately.
3) What about the wedding debts?
A wedding is a costly affair. The average cost of a wedding in the US is $26,645. Nobody wants a red wedding. Still, one-third of couples go into debt for their wedding day.
If the parents are taking care of all the expenses, you need not worry. But if you are among that 36% of couples who paid for their wedding with a credit card, you should ask your would-be spouse for how the debt will be taken care of. Or, who will be responsible for paying off the debts?
4) Have you got student loans?
This shouldn’t worry you since your spouse’s student loans aren’t going to be yours. He or she will be solely liable to make the payments, and the payment history for those loans stays on his or her credit history, not yours.
Still, you might be hesitant about this. You might be hesitant to marry into debt.
Technically, marriage means merging finances too. And, hypothetically, this might mean shouldering your spouse’s graduate school debt.
An affirmative disclosure may not hinder the marriage, but tricky questions linger. If one person brings huge debt to a marriage, who is ultimately going to be responsible for the same? And if it’s $1,00,000, isn’t the more solvent spouse going to begrudge for it over time? If a significant amount goes to pay off the student loan every month, it’s going to matter after marriage.
Author Bio: Barbara is a senior writer of DebtConsolidationCare community. She loves to write about personal finance and has an active social media presence. Get in touch with her on https://www.facebook.com/debtconsolidationcare/