54% think debt is a reason for divorce

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Does your couple encounter problems and stress related to money? You’re not alone.

According to a SunTrust Bank Survey conducted online by Harris Poll, 35% of people blame finances for the stress they experience in their relationships – and often at the heart of many couples’ financial conflicts is debt.

Being in debt can cause you to give up on the things that you would really like to prioritize as a couple, which can delay the achievement of various goals. In fact, recent discoveries of National debt relief report that 38% of couples miss dates and date nights when in debt.

According to the same study, people have such negative feelings about debt that 3 in 5 Americans have considered postponing their marriage to avoid inheriting their partner’s debt. In addition, 54% of respondents believe that having a partner in debt is a major reason for considering divorce.

“Debt can cause conflict and friction in a relationship, but it’s all about communication and how each partner views their debt,” says Dr Regine Muradian, psychologist and National debt relief crew member.

Although these indications seem dismal, there are steps couples can take when it comes to paying off their debts together. Here’s how debt can affect your marriage and what you can do about it:

Disagreements about how you spend money

Huge debts can cause partners to disagree on how to spend disposable income. For example, maybe one person wants to aggressively pay down their debts and throw extra money at the couple’s balance, but the other person wants to take more vacations together. These different debt, budget, and spending goals can give partners the impression that the money is not being used as they would like.

And those disagreements can drag on if high interest charges make it seem like you’ll never fully pay off your balance. Without additional debt, however, you can spend more of your money on other goals, like saving for a house, investing, or taking more vacations together each year.

Financial infidelity and secrecy surrounding expenses

Financial infidelity is when a partner deliberately chooses not to tell the truth about money. A survey of US News and World Report reveals that the biggest money-related lies that appear in relationships are secret purchases (31.4%), hiding debts (28.7%) and dishonesty about income (22.6%).

Partners who are already feeling the pressure of high debt may feel inclined to hide any additional debt — or lie about their true debt balance — to avoid shame and alleviate some of their partner’s stress. In reality, TD Bank Love and Money Survey 2019 found that 43% of respondents hide significant credit card debt from their partner.

Additionally, stressful debts can make one or both partners feel like they have to hide some of their expenses — like daily coffees or other purchases they really wanted — to avoid disappointment in their partner. joint.

Feelings of shame and lack of motivation

Debt can be a powerful tool to help you achieve your goals, but most of the time people tend to feel shame or embarrassment. debt bearer. A NerdWallet Poll found that 87% of respondents would be embarrassed to incur credit card debt.

There are several reasons for this. On the one hand, debt has become associated with the image of overspending and irresponsibility when it comes to personal finances. The feeling was that if you are in debt, you are irresponsible with money. According to this same NerdWallet Poll60% of people think the most common way to rack up credit card debt is by spending more than you can afford.

In addition, high debts can lead to feelings of isolation. According to American Institute of Bankruptcy, debt-bearers may avoid interacting with friends or family because they feel like they don’t have extra money to spend on a night out or activity. Married couples in debt may also feel isolated from friends and family members if high debts force them to be more restrictive. Eventually, this could cause one or both partners to feel hopeless, depressed, and even as if they are alone on this journey.

“Debt can have a direct impact on a person, specifically causing depression-like feelings such as low motivation and feelings of hopelessness and shame,” says Dr. Muradian. “If discussions about these emotions don’t happen, the relationship will start to seem to be affected.”

feelings of resentment

In some cases, a partner who has little or no debt can become dissatisfied and resentful if their spouse has enough debt to put a strain on the things they want in life. Resentment can also arise if the repayment of their the debt of the spouse makes the partner feel like he is making considerable sacrifices.

For this reason, it’s also important to remember that while marriage can make it easier to achieve some financial goals, your spouse shouldn’t be your plan A for debt relief.

“Setting expectations and boundaries around each person’s financial debt before marriage is key to preventing tension, stress, and arguments,” says Dr. Muradian. “For example, the person who marries in debt must recognize that their debt is their responsibility and must not depend on their partner to incur that debt.”

How to manage your debts as a couple

Debt management — especially larger amounts — can seem daunting and difficult, but Dr. Muradian outlines some impactful steps you can take to get started on the right foot.

She notes that it’s important to keep communication open about how much money it’s okay to spend.

“Avoid criticizing each other’s drinking habits and instead work to find solutions together,” says Dr. Muradian. “Each person can write out what their spending plan looks like separately, and then they can come together and merge the plan for a great path to success.”

She also says that it helps to create specific and clear goals together.

“For example, you can say ‘by this date we will have paid that much by creating monthly savings together.’ This way, the relationship is cushioned by teamwork and support.The couple will feel motivated as they achieve this goal of being debt-free together,” says Dr. Muradian.

There are also many tools available that can help you pay off your debts even faster. Balance transfer cards let you transfer high-interest credit card debt to a new card and make interest-free payments for a set period of time, usually for at least six months and up to 21 month.

During this 0% APR introductory period, you can pay off your principal faster since you won’t accrue interest charges. the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card and the Citi Simplicity® Card offer an introductory offer of 0% APR for 21 months on balance transfers (afterwards, 13.74% to 23.74% variable APR on the Citi Diamond Preferred and 14.74% to 24.74% variable APR on the Citi Simplicity). All transfers must be completed within the first 4 months and there is a balance transfer fee for both cards, 5% of each balance transfer; At least $5.

Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card

  • Awards

  • welcome bonus

  • Annual subscription

  • Introduction AVR

    0% for 21 months on balance transfers; 0% for 12 months on purchases

  • Regular APR

    13.74% to 23.74% variable

  • Balance Transfer Fee

    5% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum

  • Foreign transaction fees

  • Credit needed

Benefits

  • No annual fee
  • Balances can be transferred within 4 months of account opening
  • One of the longest introductory periods for balance transfers

The inconvenients

  • 3% foreign transaction fee
  • No rewards program

Citi Simplicity® Card

  • Awards

  • welcome bonus

  • Annual subscription

  • Introduction AVR

    0% for 21 months on balance transfers; 0% for 12 months on purchases

  • Regular APR

    14.74% to 24.74% variable

  • Balance Transfer Fee

    5% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum

  • Foreign transaction fees

  • Credit needed

And if you have different types of debt, personal loans can be an effective way to consolidate your debts into one simple, organized monthly payment at a lower interest rate.

So let’s say you take out a loan like the LightStream Personal Loan or the SoFi personal loan: You will request a specific amount sufficient to cover the total of all your debts and the lender will send a specific amount to each of your creditors to pay off these debts. Thereafter, you will only be responsible for repaying the personal loan in the form of fixed, equal monthly payments plus interest. This can sometimes be more feasible for those who feel that managing multiple monthly payments to multiple lenders is overwhelming.

SoFi Personal Loans

  • Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

    5.74% to 20.28% when you sign up for autopay

  • Purpose of the loan

    Debt consolidation/refinance, home improvement, relocation assistance or medical expenses

  • Loan amounts

  • terms

  • Credit needed

  • Assembly costs

  • Prepayment penalty

  • Late charge

LightStream Personal Loans

  • Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

    2.49% to 19.99%* when you sign up for autopay

  • Purpose of the loan

    Debt consolidation, renovation, car financing, medical expenses, marriage and more

  • Loan amounts

  • terms

  • Credit needed

  • Assembly costs

  • Prepayment penalty

  • Late charge

However, it is extremely important to have discussions about money before getting married so that each partner is clear about what their financial situation might look like.

“The conversations couples have about debt and finances are just as important as discussions about other topics like starting a family,” Dr. Muradian says. “Before marriage, couples need to know if their partner is in debt and understand how their debt arose. Additionally, knowing their plan for repaying their debt is equally important as it can impact their financial planning as well. that couple.”

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Editorial note: Any opinions, analyses, criticisms or recommendations expressed in this article are those of Select’s editorial staff alone and have not been reviewed, endorsed or otherwise endorsed by any third party.

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