5 Reasons to Enter Marriage Debt-Free
Make your start to marriage an easier one by getting your finances under control.
According to a study by Money Magazine, 70% of couples fight about money and those who fight once a week about money are 30% more likely to get divorced than couples who fight once a month. This study highlights the importance of sorting out your finances before tying the knot.
Although money will not solve all your marriage problems, being debt-free before marriage can reduce the financial-related frictions. You will be setting the foundation for a more peaceful, long-lasting relationship when you get married debt-free than if you or your partner is carrying a significant debt into the union.
Still not convinced why you should enter marriage debt-free? Here are five reasons to pay off your debt or encourage your partner to do the same before tying the knot.
You want a fresh start in marriage
Marriage is supposed to be a fresh start with your partner. You are meant to start anew with this person to build and grow a future together.
Carrying debts from your unattached days defeats that purpose. It seems like your partner is forced to suffer because of the bad decisions that you’ve made in the past – a life they were not part of. The issue, if not talked about, could lead to resentment, anger and a sense of burden, which are all recipes for fights in marriage.
Money causes tension. Making room for discussion and accommodating each other needs early on can save a lot of heartaches later.
Debt diminishes room for loan flexibility
Life happens. Un-budgeted emergencies can occur, which may push partners to apply for a loan. Maybe you are ready to own a house as most people do after getting married, only to run into issues because of a high debt-to-income ratio.
A high debt burden gives you little room to negotiate better terms when taking out a loan. And your mortgage application can be outrightly denied because the lender fears you might not keep up with the loan repayment.
Regardless of your credit history, you can still apply for car loans, business loans and more. However, lender interest rates will vary, depending on the risk that they take in lending you the funds.
Debt before marriage can tell a lot about your future partner
You want to agree with your partner on crucial issues, including handling money and debts.
A quick way to gain insights into your partner’s money habits is to look at their financial state when single. Do they have any outstanding debts? If yes, what kind of debt?
Student loans and mortgage are considered good debts because they are loans taken out to either improve one’s knowledge and skills and hence, ability to earn more or to own an asset which under the right market conditions may be worth more.
If, however, you discover your future spouse has lots of consumer debts, that could be a major red-flag. It could mean they are terrible at managing their personal life, have an addiction or lack of self-discipline.
You may want to ask questions to learn what led them into debts and what they are doing to pay it off.
Paying off debt before marriage teaches commitment
Nothing says you are responsible and dependable more than creating and sticking to a plan to pay off debts.
Paying off debts requires a plan, self-discipline, focus, and sacrifice. You are going to deny yourself so many things while scrimping and saving. And above all, you will need to stick to the plan regardless of distractions.
Now, those are desirable attributes everybody wants in their partner. By staying committed to being debt-free before marriage, you demonstrate these qualities.
Paying attention to the spending and saving habits of your future husband and wife, though handled with care, will give you a good idea on how they are likely to handle money within marriage.
This may not be a make-or-break issue between newlyweds, but to be fore-warned is to be fore-armed. know one another’s weaknesses and strengths and learn to adapt to those. At the same time, be prepared to work together and be committed to a good money management process together.
Being debt-free is the new sexy
This might sound a bit cheeky, but the reality is, being debt-free makes one more attractive to others. Most people want to be in a relationship with individuals who have their act together.
Being debt-free signals you know what they are doing with your finances. Also, people desire partners who will help them get ahead or in the least, not draw them back. Hence they will often appreciate it if their partner has a clean financial history.
There is a good deal of liberation for couples who learn to manage debt early and overcome it through a consistent habit of good money management. It reduces anxiety and free’s couple’s to pursue their interests without the added pressure of unmanageable debt.
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