Finance, Frugality

Guest Post: Should You Marry First or Pay Off Your Debt?

marriage, debt, paying off debt, personal finance, relationship

Today’s post is contributed by Amy Nickson. Amy is a professional blogger whom has started her own blog and also works as a contributor for the Oak View Law Group.

Disclaimer: I do not personally recommend any of Oak View Law Group’s services or products since I haven’t tried them myself. Do your due diligence if you decide to look into their offerings. Only get a debt consolidation loan if it has a lower interest rate than your existing debt and the monthly payment is something you can fit into your budget!

Marriage is a new beginning. It should be the start of making good memories. But, if you enter into the new journey with a lot of financial troubles, it can ruin your marital bliss.

Yes, debt can affect your marriage.

So, it will be better to get out of any financial mess (debt) before tying the nuptial knot.

The Burden of Debt Can Delay Your Marriage

A lot of millennials have chosen a debt-free lifestyle instead of debt-ridden married life. They are delaying the plan of getting married due to the burden of the debt.

As per the report of brides.com, due to the burden of debt, most of the students are unable to settle down after completing higher studies.

The American Student Assistance has also reported that 21% of students have admitted that they postpone their marriage due to huge student loan debt burden.

The unemployment and low wage job are also the reason people are delaying to start a family.

Bringing Debt Into Marriage: The Dilemma

Well, the initiative of choosing the debt-free lifestyle is appreciable. Most of the people hesitate to bring debt into their marriage because it often leads to marital problems.

But, some people are getting married with debt. It is very common that you or your fiance may have made money mistakes in the past, like we all did.

You should talk with your spouse-to-be regarding your debt before getting married. If your partner accepts your debt, then you can get married and both of you can work on the debt as a team.

If you hide your debt story and get married, then your partner may not accept your debt in the future. This will create more stress in your relationship.

Can You Put Your Debt Pay-off Goal on Hold to Get Married?

Believe or not, you can afford the cost of getting married even if you have debts to payoff. You just need to plan properly. Here you go:

  • Plan a frugal wedding

The average wedding cost in our nation is nearly $28,000. If you are in debt and trying to get out of it, then you shouldn’t plan a costly marriage. Instead of spending thousands of dollar, you should plan a modest and reasonable wedding.

  • Avoid incurring further debts while planning the marriage

The marketwatch.com has reported that almost 36% of couples use their credit cards to fund their wedding. Using credit cards to meet wedding expenses is not recommended especially when you are already in debt. You shouldn’t accumulate further debts before entering into the relationship. You should try to set aside money for your marriage.

  • Formulate a wedding budget

It can be difficult to save money when you have debts. Because, you should pay as much as possible toward your debts to get out of them fast. But, you shouldn’t spend your entire income to make debt payments. When you have to plan a marriage, then you should formulate a wedding budget. It will help you to organize your money. You can easily meet your basic expenses while making payments on debts and saving money for the marriage.

  • Be wise

When you’re in debt, you need to plan a small and intimate marriage. You can also get married during the off-peak season to reduce the costs.

How can you deal with debts after getting married?

It is advisable not to delay in paying off debt after getting married. Once you get married, you should prioritize your debt payoff goal to get out of it as soon as possible.

How can you payoff debt after getting married?

  • Take out a debt consolidation loan

If you have huge credit card debts, then you can consolidate your debt. Take out a debt consolidation loan to payoff your debts. Make sure you make regular payments on your new loan.

  • Talk to your creditors

You can talk to your creditors to explain your financial hardship. It will help you to get a revised monthly payments. If you were regular on your credit card bill payments in past, your creditors may agree on your proposal and offer you an affordable monthly payment.

  • Consider the debt snowball method

You will discover new expenses after getting married. But that doesn’t mean you have to stop making debt payments.

You should follow a debt payoff method which will not give you extra stress. Thus, you can follow debt snowball method. In this method, you need to target your smallest debt first. You need to make larger payments to the smallest debt while making minimum payments to the rest of the debt. It will help you to get out of debt and a sense of confident will grow in you.

  • Reduce unnecessary costs

Try not to spend a lot of money in planning the honeymoon. Instead of planning an expensive honeymoon, you should prioritize your debt payoff goal. Plan a budget honeymoon to pay as much as possible toward your debt to get out of it fast.

  • Consolidate your student loan debt

You can consolidate your federal student loan through federal programs. It will help you to simplify your student loan payments. The Govt. will pay off your loan and replace it with a direct consolidation loan. You will get a new loan term and the repayment term will start within 60 days of when your consolidation loan is first disbursed.

Lastly, taking the initiative to get out of debt before you get married is a good choice. By becoming a debt free couple, you can concentrate on other important financial goals.

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