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    My Partner Has Debt. What Should I Do?

    Dating someone with a lot of debt can have an adverse impact on a relationship. It’s easy to become resentful when you feel like you’re paying most of the expenses in the relationship.

    Additionally, there’s the understandable worry “can my partner’s debt affect me?”

    Love and debt are hardly compatible. Moreover, financial struggles are known to sabotage a relationship. 

    Get The Whole Picture

    When it first comes to light that your partner owes a lot of money, it’s necessary to have an honest discussion. It’s ideal to keep this conversation free of anger or judgment.

    Talking it over will help you assess the severity and nature of your partner’s financial problems.

    Once you know the facts and figures, make sure you find out exactly how the debt was accumulated.

    Again, your partner shouldn’t feel like they’re on trial when being questioned about this. Should they feel under attack, it’ll increase their chances of lying and trying to make light of the situation.

    It’s important to remember that it’s human nature to make mistakes. We’ve all done so at some point.

    However, it’s important to gauge whether the debt was accrued in a frivolous manner or not. 

    You’ll need to discover whether a repayment plan has been put in place. If so, find out if the plan entails a short or long-term commitment.

    Offer Support

    A problem shared is a problem halved and simply listening to your partner and taking on board their concerns will greatly help. Being trapped in large amounts of debt can be a very overwhelming and lonely experience.

    Here are some other ways to offer support:

    • Check-in regularly: Talking to your partner about how they’re coping with the financial burden is crucial and doing this regularly offers two additional benefits. Firstly, keeping the debt in the spotlight makes it significantly less scary. It also ensures that their installment loans remain a priority that must be addressed
    • Encourage, don’t shame: Eradicating a large sum of debt can be a slow and painful process. So long as progress is being made, try not to make negative comments when your partner makes purchases
    • Acknowledge landmarks: Try to recognize and praise achievements along the way, no matter how seemingly small
    • Offer financial support: This is entirely your call, based on your instincts and inclination. If it resolves the issue quicker then it may be advantageous to you in the long term. On a related matter don’t be afraid of marrying someone with debt. Arrears incurred prior to marriage won’t become yours and won’t affect your credit. You’ll only be legally liable for loans that are co-signed 

    Talk And Create A Plan 

    Formulating a relief strategy and keeping to it is the most crucial step in ridding financial burdens.

    For many, the snowball method works well. This is a strategy that entails paying off of the smallest debt at the earliest opportunity followed by the second smallest and so forth.

    Minimum payments are made on all other debts except for the smallest. The larger payments are made regularly on the smallest debt. This practice is repeated until all amounts have been paid back.

    Alternatively, the avalanche method might be more suitable. This aggressively concentrates on the biggest debt as its priority, the one that inevitably will have the highest interest.

    Other avenues are:

    • Making sacrifices together: Changing your habits as a couple can help your partner cope with the debt. Try to eat out less often and avoid shopping malls. Postpone that dream vacation until he or she is equipped to afford it
    • Discussing wider financial plans: Candidly share your credit histories and then explore savings and investment opportunities. Thinking ahead increases the chances of your relationship having a solid financial base moving forward
    • Meeting a financial planner: Seeking practical advice from a neutral third party might be the perfect solution if feelings are getting in the way of progress. Their expertise can go a long way in helping you realize your joint objectives  

    Bottom Line 

    Debt doesn’t need to be the cause of a relationship ending. With honesty from one side and support from the other, financial strife can be navigated and eventually overcome.

    Do your research so you can properly prepare to take on the situation with your partner.   

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