Credit Card Debt Takes a Toll on Marriage for Many Atlanta Couples
A marriage-wrecking infidelity doesn't always involve another person. For many couples, it involves a credit card.
More than half of people who share finances with a partner admit to lying about a purchase, according to a survey by the National Endowment for Financial Education. And 31 percent surveyed cop to being downright deceptive about money.
Debt has a habit of spiraling out of control when untended. Living with too much debt is difficult enough when you're the only one affected - but when you share financial responsibilities with someone else, things really get complicated.
For many Georgia couples, filing for a bankruptcy in Atlanta is the best way to eliminate debt - and save their marriage.
Many times, Atlanta bankruptcy lawyers have watched marriages fall apart because one spouse or partner was keeping financial secrets for years.
The longer one person hides a purchase or debt, the more likely it is that the problem will become unmanageable. Often times, the spouse hiding financial troubles feels anxious, helpless, and depressed. And of course, when the cat is let out of the bag, the partner kept in the dark is likely to feel resentful and angry.
When people have different money priorities, it can be difficult to repair a relationship damaged by financial infidelity. But if you have the same money goals, it's possible to work together to overcome debt and get back on track. Bankruptcy can help.
This Valentine's Day, perhaps it's time to have a heart-to-heart with your husband/wife or boyfriend/girlfriend about the state of your finances. It might not sound romantic, but it may be the best thing you can do for your relationship.
Couples who work together are more likely to succeed financially - even if it takes hard work to get there. After all, two heads are better than one.
Even better, consider seeking advice from a financial expert such as an Atlanta bankruptcy attorney. Many couples are able to eliminate most or all of their unsecured debts with a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
Meanwhile, here are some relationship tips from CNN Money.
Discuss Money Before Marriage
Once you're married, what's yours becomes ours. It's important that couples are honest with each other about their financial situations and priorities. A problem like student loans or credit card debt doesn't have to be a deal breaker - and it can be overcome if you work together. But if you're hoping to save up for a house while your significant other is a chronic over-spender with no plans to change, you may never be on the same page financially.
Know the Warning Signs of Debt Denial
People hiding their financial behaviors often exhibit red flags. For instance, they may hide credit card bills so that you can't see the balance. You may find shopping bags with recent purchases stashed in the closet. You might see more bills arriving more frequently. And often times, you'll notice that your partner becomes irritated when you bring up finances. All of these signs indicate it's time to talk about money. No matter how large the debt troubles, bankruptcy may provide a solution.
Go Over Your Finances Together
One of the best ways to prevent debt from spiraling out of control is to manage your money together. Sure, it's fine if one spouse handles the bill paying, but you should both have an idea of how much money is being spent and saved. Make a point to go over your bills, bank account, and credit report periodically so you're both on the same page. You can access one free annual credit report from each of the three credit bureaus from AnnualCreditReport.com.
More Blog Entries:
How to Tell If You Have Too Much Credit Card Debt in Atlanta: January 11, 2012
When Debt Comes Between You and Your Spouse: February 15, 2011
80 Percent of Spouses Lie About Spending, Chris Friedrich, CreditCards.com
Financial Infidelity: Catching a Cheating Spouse, Jessica Dickler, CNNMoney