Do not let debts mount up, so they go out of your control, posing a threat to your relationship. Financial infidelity is one of the causes of breakups. However, there are cases when you both know about each other’s debts and want to avoid tackling them together.
The rule of thumb says that you are to stew in your own juice. You cannot legally hold your partner responsible for your debts unless they are joint debts and they have acted as a guarantor.
Remember that your credit rating is separate. Timely payments and defaults made by your significant other will have no impact on your credit report. If you have joint accounts, a debt payment default will affect the other partner’s credit rating.
You can help your partner settle their debts faster but make sure that you handle your finances carefully so you do not end up with a bad credit score. If you are caught up in a cycle of “his and hers” debt, you should follow the following techniques.
You both have run up huge bills together and want to tackle them
As you both have racked up debts together, you are not supposed to do “his and hers” at this point. Just sit down and take a look at joint income and expenses to see how much is coming in.
If you can together afford minimum payments, debt snowball will be a better option. This will help you settle small debts sooner and improve your credit score. You will only face a few complications to qualify for a mortgage.
One of you can afford payments while your partner cannot. Try to explore more options. Consult a financial advisor or consider a debt management plan. It is worth exploring all possibilities, so you know you have made the right choice.
Only automatically rule out something at this stage if you have researched all available options to you.
It is your partner’s debt, so you do not need to pay
Of course, your partner has taken out a debt, so they are legally accountable for payments. Whether you are married or just living together, no liability will pass onto you, but you need to take a holistic view of the situation before making a decision.
Here are the things you need to take stock of:
- Did you spend the money partly on it? You may have contributed more than half as you will be earning higher than your significant other.
- Are you actually helping your partner’s debt problems or funding overspending habits?
- Is this a casual relationship if you are not married, or do you have plans?
Nobody will be ready to pay off their debt, but there is a likelihood of finding a middle ground. For instance, you may cut back on monthly expenses, with half of your savings already going toward your partner’s debts.
My partner wants me to take out a loan as I have a good credit score
You take out a loan when you are sure that the situation will improve. Yet, it requires careful deliberation. Most couples just part ways because of escalating money problems.
To avoid messing up your credit report, you should see if your partner can get rid of debt. If so, remember that the payments are to be made from your account.
You should have enough money in your account despite contributing to household expenses, including savings. Do not go for it if you suspect this will not be a significant help to your partner or they will fall back into it by force of habit.
My partner has debts and seems to want to avoid tackling them
If your partner does not want to tackle the debt, the lack of money may not always be the cause. Other things would be flooding their mind. For instance, they should be looking for a new job with higher pay.
They may have invested money, and unfortunately, the project might have turned out despair. Now your partner would be figuring out ways to recuperate that loss.
Or, they have already got enough on their plate, like down mortgage payment, ramping up emergency savings, preparing for a wedding or family planning, etc.
Given the chance you have got to know about your partner’s debts, you should talk to them about it. Discuss what you can do and what they can do on their own.
Make your other half realise that they should acknowledge the debt, a better solution than burying your head in the sand.
You have decided to break off
Things do not improve, so you both have decided to split up. Now you both are responsible for your debts and joint debts.
You should immediately close all your joint accounts. As far as it is about joint debt accounts, a lender can chase you for payments. Note that they can hold you responsible for the full payment.
Remember to establish a new address and inform your banks of the new address. Otherwise, benefit claims will be called off when an investigation office finds someone else at the given address.
The final word
There is nothing new in relationship split-ups because of problem debts. A rule of thumb says that you should carefully manage your finances. Before you move into a relationship, make sure that you see eye to eye with managing finances.
If you want to avoid taking up the responsibility for each other’s debt, try to open a joint debt account. You should not consider it for any debt other than a mortgage.
Consider your affordability before taking out a loan. For instance, if you need 24-month loans for bad credit and no guarantor, analyse your repaying capacity first. This will prevent you from falling into debt and, as a result, not involving your partner to help get rid of it.