Can You Combine and Consolidate Your Shared Debt After Getting Married?

Debt in Marriage

Dealing with Debt in Marriage

Marriage is the gateway to a life full of new experiences. As soon as you say ‘I do,’ you open yourself up to being equal with your partner, emotionally, spiritually and yes, financially. But what exactly does being a financial equal with your spouse mean? Newlyweds often have dozens of questions about shared debt and how you go about resolving it. Luckily, Liberty Debt Relief has the answers. For those asking themselves if when you get married, do you share debt, the answer is not black and white.
Dividing the Debt Can be a Solution
Sharing debt in marriage is not automatic by any means. Unless you sign onto a loan or credit card with both of your names, debt can only impact the actual account holder, aside from death, divorce, or annulment, which is something that states typically decide. Couples can choose to keep their individual debts separate to avoid complications, but most do choose to join their finances to create a more unified marriage in all possible aspects. The answer may seem a little alarming, especially with how much debt has taken over U.S. households, but, don’t worry, because sharing the debt may actually be a step in the right direction, depending on your situation. Seeking credit counseling services before you make such a large financial decision can help you and your spouse kick off marriage in the best and most fiscally responsible way possible.

Get Interested in Less Interest

The average student now carries almost $40,000 in student loan debt, and when one student marries another, the cost of education can seem a lot higher. If you and your spouse both have private student loans, you may be in luck and can look into combining and consolidating your debts so that you can work together to tackle the financial burden. If one of you has a better credit score than the other, combining your debt into a single loan could significantly lower the interest rate so you pay less interest combined than you would separately. Since you will be paying the amount together, you may also be able to pay off the total in less time so that you can spend the bulk of your marriage saving for retirement rather than fighting your way out of long-term debt.

Considering Federal Loans

While consolidating private loans is a viable option for many couples, federal loans can be a different story. Typically, federal loans are the best kind to get as an individual because they offer numerous benefits. Students, for example, can generally wait until six months after they graduate to begin making payments, can request to be part of income-based repayment plans, and, generally, have significantly lower interest rates than they would with private lending companies. If you are planning to get married while attending college or soon thereafter, your best option is to keep your federal loans as they are. Doing so will not only prevent you from having to worry about spending hundreds or thousands of dollars just on loans while in school but will also allow you to maintain a lower interest rate and better your credit score.

Get the Credit You Deserve

Joining current loans and other debts is not the only financial situation that newlyweds (or soon-to-be newlyweds) need to consider. Debt in marriage can occur even after you say ‘I do.’ Many couples, for example, open up joint accounts, whether that be in the form of co-signing loans, opening checking and savings accounts, or applying for a credit card that you both have access to. If you decide to open up a new credit card, for example, you can look into completing a balance transfer and moving another debt to this new card so you are both responsible for it. Having a joint credit card account can help couples work as a team to tackle finances while also building both individuals’ credit scores, but couples should only go this route if they are comfortable having equal responsibility for joint finances.

Making a Two-Way Plan

If you are considering combining your debt in marriage, you should make sure that sharing this particular expense is something you are both completely comfortable with. Money is often a large problem for couples, and it is better to be upfront and ask your significant other, ‘When you get married, do you want to share debt?’ rather than find out later down the road. In a way, it is good to consider “dating” your spouse’s finances before tying the financial knot. Spend time learning exactly how many credit cards your partner has, the length of their credit and loan accounts, how well and often they stick to payment plans, their spending and saving habits, and all of their financial obligations.

Speak to the Experts

If unifying your debts sounds as good as unifying your families after learning all of this information, then the best way to get started is to work with Liberty Debt Relief to determine individual debts, lending companies, interest rates, credit scores, and incomes. The individual you work with will create a credit relief plan to help you both decide how much each person will pay towards the consolidated loan every month and how long it will take you to be out of debt as a couple.

At the end of the day, finances should not dictate a relationship, but understanding the financial history your partner will bring into your new marriage is crucial to its success. If you are looking to combine and consolidate your private loans, credit cards, and other forms of debt while in marriage, asking for outside help from legitimate credit repair companies, such as Liberty Debt Relief, can help you find out your state’s requirements, narrow down a financial goal, and make plans to achieve that goal. Set aside some time to meet with Liberty Debt Relief today and start taking your steps down the aisle of success.

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