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How student debt affects choices when getting married

Julie Lord
 


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The debts you bring to the table could have an impact.

Getting married is a wonderful moment in life but also tends to shine a light on things that you might not want to think about. Debt is often one of those things. Up to this point, you may not have been that willing to admit to your partner just how much student debt you have. But when two lives are about to become intertwined, emotionally and financially, there’s no hiding place.

Does your partner know?

This is a big one. The numbers differ, but anywhere between and third and half of people admit to lying to their partners about money. At the same time, a poll of adults by legal firm Slater and Gordon also found that money worries are the single biggest reason for couples splitting up. It’s always preferable to enter into a marriage with complete honesty so, if you haven’t been entirely straight about how much debt you have, it could be time to put your cards on the table. Why? Well because it could affect your partner, and your wedding, in a number of different ways.

  • Low – or no – savings. If your student loan debts are high then it’s likely that you haven’t had any spare cash to put aside to save for something like a wedding. That means that, if your partner has a wedding fund that they’ve saved, the contribution to your wedding day is going to be rather one sided.
  • Liability of your spouse for your debts. Depending on where you live and how and when your student debts were incurred there could be a small chance that your new spouse could become liable for your debts if you can’t make payments on them. This shouldn’t be the case if your student days are now some years off but it’s always worth checking this beforehand so that your financial matters are clearly laid out before you tie the knot.
  • The impact on your credit score. Simply having student debts won’t affect your credit score. But the debt will show up on your credit report and will be assessed by any potential lender in terms of how affordable any new debt is going to be for you. With the average cost of a wedding now more than $31,000, around a third of couples go into debt to pay for their big day. However, if your student debts are throwing your debt-to-income ratio off then lenders may simply not be willing to give you the loan you need to pay for your wedding.
  • Availability of credit for wedding costs. If you have a lot of debt then wedding venues, furniture hire, caterers etc may be reluctant to give you credit and may require large deposits up front.
  • Mortgages and home buying. If you’re planning to buy a home as newlyweds, student debt won’t necessarily stop you. But it will have an impact on what a mortgage lender feels is an affordable level of borrowing for you – and whether they are willing to lend at all.

So if you’re considering getting married then these are the things to think about when it comes to your student loans, according to the experts at Solution Loans (www.solution-loans.co.uk ).

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