Yours, Mine and Ours: Debt In Marriage Q&A

So you’re a 20-something head over heels for a guy you met in college. He’s handsome, has a great personality, is loving, caring, and all you’ve ever wanted in a future spouse! So your guy proposes, you get engaged and then that wonderful most glorious day of your life comes when you say “I do” and are officially married!! What an awesome celebration as two become one. But what else becomes one? Your debts and finances…

Should I wait to get married until I’m debt free?

Many people who are money-minded think that they should have their finances in order before they get married. I personally don’t agree. Don’t let your finances get in the way of being married. You can still pay off debts and grow your portfolio together. Don’t fret about your debts and think you are unable to get married. It’s awesome to be married and work at paying off that debt together! Celebrating financial wins with your partner in life is an awesome part of marriage!

My wife has debts but I am debt free. Do I have to pay off her debts?

Oh yes!! Once you say “I do,” the two of you become one. This pertains to all of life, including your finances. Don’t refer to debt as a “his” debt or “her” debt. Since marriage, it is both of your debt! I have heard of couples who will only pay of “their own” debt. For example, if the wife has debt but the husband doesn’t, they will have the wife’s income go to debt while the husband gets to do what he wants with the income he provides. This should not at all be the case. When you get married, you have joint income and joint loans. Make sure that both spouses are working towards paying off any debts together!

I don’t have any debt but my fiancé does. Should I help him pay it off before we are married?

No. I know you love each other and are going to get married, but there is always a possibility that you might not make it down the aisle. If you are putting thousands to your fiancé’s loans and then end up not getting married could you imagine how messy that would be…? Instead, if you have a great job and know you will be paying off debts in your future spouse’s name, start saving. Put all that extra money into your savings account and once you get married, make that huge payment to that loan you just inherited! While this doesn’t sound romantic, it’s best to keep finances completely separate until you’re officially married.

What other questions do you have regarding finances and marriage? Leave a comment and I’ll get to it in my next Q&A!

Photography by Donny Zavala

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