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Debt Dilemma: Helping Your Mate Handle Debt

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By Mia Bolaris-Forget

We’ve all been in some kind of financial bind at one point in life or another. Yet, allowing such arduous financial mistakes to proliferate is a very costly mistake. It can be especially costly if your mate is the one in (perpetual) debt and may need you to come to the rescue.

While, it’s true that couples are suppose to support each other, experts suggest that neither is expected to support the other’s constant bad judgment or behaviour.

While your first objective is to show love and support and mutually come up with a mutually acceptable plan for helping eradicate the date, its imperative note experts that you devise a plan that allows the partner who racked up the debt to pay it off (or most of it off) so that he or she does not take advantage of your financial savvy, easy way out, or fall into the same financial trap again.

You’ll also want to come up with some more acceptable spending habits that you can both commit to and agree upon. They key is making intelligent decisions that won’t hurt either of you financially, as individuals, or as a “family” and that won’t damage or destroy your reputation and/or credit score.

And, while working together as a united front (to some capacity) IS advisable, you’ll have to make sure that the partner that incurred the debt is not continuing his/her excessive spending and is working at rectifying the situation.

· Start by discussing the situation in a loving manner and NOT arguing but rather supporting your partner in an effort to stop overspending and to come up with a way to get rid of the outstanding debt. If however, behaviours don’t change, you may have to take more drastic measures such as canceling or cutting up credit cards, hiding them, or declaring the relationship as being in potential jeopardy.

· Work together to come up with a spending (and savings) plan that will deter your partner from spending. Make sure to incorporate into the plan a monetary allocation geared toward paying off the debt over a specified period of time. Keep in mind that your mate’s commitment and enthusiasm will be a fairly good indication of his/her determination to achieve financial freedom and success and making your relationship work.

· Take the pressure off by treating you partner to something special or fun for his/her efforts, perhaps something you KNOW he or she can’t currently afford to enjoy or do on his/her own.

Long Island Money & Careers Articles > Debt Dilemma: Helping Your Mate Handle Debt

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