Marriage between millennials is often more than a union between two spouses. Sometimes, it is also a joining of two significant debt loads.
The Institute for College Access & Success reports that the average millennial is burdened by approximately $29,400 in student loans alone. That means that couples just embarking on married life together are carrying around a staggering combined debt of nearly $60,000 just in student loans. When credit card debt is added to that, it can become too much of a burden for a marriage to bear.
There are steps to take to ameliorate the damage debt can wreak, however. Couples need to discuss money issues together well before they head down the aisle. Both need to have a clear picture of the other’s financial situation and work together to determine how they intend to pay down their debts.
It’s also important to not go into debt paying for an elaborate wedding. Have the wedding that you can afford instead of tacking on tens of thousands more in debt for a single day’s party.
Couples should establish an untouchable emergency fund to be used just for that — emergencies. Another good idea is to establish prior to the wedding who will pay for what expenses to avoid unpleasant surprises later on.
Finally, if the combined debt of the spouses has become to heavy to bear and is threatening the stability of the marriage, it may be time to consider filing for bankruptcy. While student loans are not dischargeable by bankruptcy, other debts are. If the dual mountains of debt are making divorce look more and more likely, bankruptcy could be the best solution to saving a marriage.
Source: Yahoo.com, “I Now Pronounce You, In Debt,” Erin Lowry, March. 24, 2015