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Couples urged to talk about credit card debt before marriage

Many couples preparing to walk down the aisle already know about the potential debt they can accrue from the wedding of their dreams. Many experts in Michigan and elsewhere, however, are urging the soon-to-be spouses to have important discussions about credit card debt, student debt and other financial baggage they'll be bringing home ahead of the nuptials. Financial advisors remind young couples that a frank discussion about debt before the wedding day can lead to fewer arguments and money troubles further down the line.

In a trend that some financial advisors are calling the "anti-dowry," having honest conversations about what level of debt each member of a couple is bringing to the table can help both individuals develop a comprehensive plan to deal with what they will soon mutually owe. Credit card debt in particular is a subject of interest as the interest rates tend to be quite high and paying the minimum amount sometimes just isn't enough. Some experts suggest having "money dates" in lieu of traditional evenings out to jointly save money and discuss how to best deal with financial issues well before the day they sign the wedding paperwork.

It is important for couples to understand the potential impact their debt can have on their lives moving forward. In a dangerous trend, many couples envision their lives together based on an incorrect view put forward by Hollywood that does not consider the reality of credit card debt and other debt, which can have a damaging influence on lifestyle. Ultimately, developing a strategy to deal with debt is key.

It is not always possible to foresee what debt will be accrued over the years of a marriage, but it is definitely possible to look backward and take stock of what has already been built up. Credit card debt, as many Michigan residents know, can be a heavy weight to carry both individually and as a couple. Thankfully, many options are available to couples facing a new life together who wish to be debt-free. Restructuring and filing for bankruptcy can also help give new couples a fresh start in their new lives together.

Source: The Register-Guard, "Talk debt before you talk marriage," Susan Tompor, June 9, 2013

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