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Your Spouse & Credit Debt: What You Need to Know
Am I Responsible for My Spouse’s Credit Card Debt?
If you are engaged or recently married, you probably have questions about what your finances will be like in marriage. One of the top questions is whether a spouse is responsible for their partner’s credit card debt.
This is an important question, especially if you or your spouse is in a lot of debt. Here’s what you need to know about marriage and credit card debt.
Do I Have to Pay my Spouse’s Debt? Yes and No.
Here are a few tips to help you navigate this potentially difficult situation.
- Do you live in a community property state (Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, or Wisconsin)?If you do, then you and your spouse are collectively responsible for the debts you incur during marriage.
- For example, if your partner buys a $30,000 car and can’t make the payments, half of that debt is now yours.
- If you don’t live in one of these community property states, the rules are somewhat different. Technically, you’re only responsible for debts in your name.
- If you have a joint credit card account with your spouse, you’re just as responsible as they are for the debts incurred on that account.
- If your spouse has outstanding debts that have gone into collections, then your collective property may be at risk.
- These are general guidelines, but laws vary state-to-state, so consult your state’s law regarding this matter.
Am I Responsible for my Spouse’s Debts Incurred Before We Married?
Earlier, we mentioned that debts in collections could result in legal action against your collective property or assets. For this reason, it’s essential that you discuss and resolve any outstanding financial problems before you get married.
How Do I Talk to My Spouse about Debt?
If you or your spouse has incurred debt, you need to discuss it. The worst thing to do is ignore it. Debt doesn’t magically disappear. Moreover, it can easily seem like it magically GROWS. If you’re worried about talking to your partner about debt, chances are, you’re in a financial situation that could be serious. This is a good time to consult a certified credit counselor. You may also consider talking to a marriage counselor about the best way to approach your spouse on this matter. Each situation is unique, and only a professional can advise you. To speak to a credit counselor now, call CreditGUARD today.
When Do I Need to Get Help?
If you’re receiving harassing collections calls or threatening letters, chances are your situation is serious. At CreditGUARD, we understand your distress. Let us help ease your concern a bit. Call one of our certified credit counselors today to learn about what options may be available to help you make the best of your current financial situation. Once you’re on the road to a better financial future, you can rest assured that the call was well worth it. Talk to your spouse and take control of your financial situation today. Call CreditGUARD today to learn more about how we can help with debt management.