Telling your partner about debt

By Staff Writer

Being in debt is not ideal for anyone. Being in debt and not having your partner know about it is even worse. Lots of people might be in this position and confronting it is not easy. You need to be honest and confront your issues, here are some tips on what you can do.

Open up and admit the problem

Yes, it sounds obvious – and likely painful. But honesty really is the best policy when dealing with a hidden debt problem. So by all means, open up. Do so in person, and avoid phone calls, texts or emails. Dialogue is going to be a huge issue, and conducting that dialogue face-to-face should increase the chance of a decent resolution. If your spouse really is on your side, he or she will appreciate, sooner or later, the fact that you came clean in person.

Bring your debts with you

Another painful, but in the long run, helpful exercise is to bring your debts with you when you discuss the problem with your spouse. Print out your bills and debts, your bank account records, and any appropriate receipts, organize them into a binder and show them to your spouse or partner. This tactic serves twin purposes – it helps you acknowledge exactly what you’re up against, and demonstrates to your partner that you’re serious about working the problem out.

Schedule a “budget meeting”

Don’t make the discussion a one-off. Ask your spouse for a weekly “budget meeting” where you can discuss bills and debts, and work out a long-range program to pay them off. That shows your commitment to solving the problem together.

Create a debt repayment plan together

There’s no getting around the fact that you have to pay the money back on your debts. In fact, not only is your credit rating on the line, but your marriage may very well be, too. So build a debt resolution plan together. Visit a financial advisor as a couple or contact a debt relief agency together. Make sure you find one that’s legit, though.

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