The perils of starting a relationship shackled to debt

With summer well underway, many Southaven residents have probably attended, or will attend, their fair share of weddings this season. Weddings and marriages are happy occasions, of course, but they can also be occasions ripe for serious discussions about the future. Since one of the topics couples tend to frequently fight over is money, it can be helpful to discuss finances with one's partner before tying the knot.

In particular, if one or both spouses is bringing credit card debt into the relationship, it can be beneficial to discuss the situation thoroughly with one's mate. A recent survey of more than 2,000 adults revealed that, of those who combine finances, 35 percent brought credit card debt with them into the relationship. On average, those who brought this type of consumer debt into their relationships had a little over $4,000 in credit card debt. Interestingly, those in the "millennial" age range - despite being known for student loan issues - were more likely to have credit card debt than either student loans or car payments.

While some amounts of credit card debt can be managed responsibly, this type of debt can often get out of hand. According to the NerdWallet/Harris poll, a quarter of those with an indebted partner experienced negative results due to the indebtedness. One-sixth of those polled indicated the negative consequences could be quite severe, such as being unable to own a home or go on vacation due to debt.

Excessive credit card debt and reliance on credit cards can be a problem whether one is single, married, dating or anywhere in-between. Another poll of 1,000 adults indicated that two out of ten couples fought regularly over the topic of credit card debt. When consumer debt is overwhelming and causing problems in a person's life, it may be time to consider filing for bankruptcy.

Source: Time, "Help! I've fallen in love with someone with credit card debt," Taylor Tepper, June 24, 2015

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