In today’s marriage money tips, we’re talking about whether you should pay off debt of your future spouse. Finances within relationships and marriage can be one of the toughest spots to handle. Not only will you regularly have one person not agreeing with the other, you have potential for major credit issues long term if you aren’t careful. This brings us to a place of asking the question – Should You Pay Off Your Future Spouses Debt? For some the answer is an instant yes. For others it is an instant no. Let’s look at some of the reasons you should say yes, and some reasons you should say no.
MARRIAGE MONEY TIPS: SHOULD YOU PAY OFF DEBT OF YOUR FUTURE SPOUSE?
Reasons Yes Is The Answer
Are you planning to buy a home in the next 5-10 years? If your goal is to buy a home together in the next 5-10 years then paying off debt and working toward building a better credit score is optimum. You do have to consider though, how paying off large amounts of debt will effect your income and ability to save toward a home purchase.
Is the debt a small amount? If your future spouse owes a small amount that could easily be paid off in just a few payments it may be a good idea to start your journey married with that debt out of the way. Not only will it help you with your overall credit and budget, but it can be a great way to start your family budget out on a good note toward savings for the future.
Was it a necessary emergency expense and not frivolous spending? There are things on occasion that will put you into debt that are seemingly necessary. Medical expenses, emergency car repairs and bills due to job loss are items that could be filed in the category of necessary expenses. If you look at your future spouses debt and see that it is not from their poor spending habits but because of an emergency expense or job loss, it may be a good choice to pay off and start anew together.
Reasons No Is The Answer
Will you hold a grudge? While some would say this is a choice and you shouldn’t hold a grudge, we must be realistic. If paying off your spouses debt will end up with you being resentful of that money spent, or constantly waiting for them to pay you back it isn’t a good idea. If you keep your finances separate and arrange for repayments each month directly to you it might work out. Having finances mingled together can often leave one spouse feeling like they pull more weight than the other spouse – and this isn’t good in some relationships.
Is this debt from poor spending habits and bad choices? Did your future spouse simply buy everything on credit and not pay attention to what they could actually afford? Bailing them out is not going to teach them how to handle their or your joint finances any better. If they created debt due to poor spending habits, it would be wise to make them pay that debt off for themselves in their own time.
When dealing with finances within relationships, every individual is unique. There are many conservative views which state you should always have joint accounts and mingled finances upon marriage, regardless of what either person brings to the table. Reality is, the debts incurred prior to your relationship are the individuals responsibility, not their future spouse. While there are some instances a debt being paid off by a future spouse is a good choice, it is my opinion that it typically will only enable the poor spender to continue with bad habits.
We strive to bring you money tips that will help your relationships and marriage be healthier overall. Making the decision if you should pay off debt of your future spouse isn’t something we can tell you the right answer for. We can however share some key reasons to consider when making a decision regarding money within your marriage. Find more money tips in our should you split expenses article.
Do you have any marriage money tips on this subject?