4 Financial Questions You Should Ask Before (Or Early Into) Marriage

You've covered all the details of the wedding. But what about your money matters?

  • 3. How much debt do you owe?
  • Census Bureau data show that the median age of a first marriage in 2010 was 28 for men and 26 for women. Since people are getting married later, both the bride and the groom have each had more time to rack up credit card debt or student loans.
  • Fortunately, just because you get married doesn’t make you automatically responsible for your partner’s debts. But that doesn’t mean you both shouldn’t know all the obligations each one of you has. And that includes everything from student loans to credit cards, mortgages, auto loans, outstanding taxes, and even family loans.
  • Paying off such debts will impact you both, affecting your ability to save and invest for your future. So you absolutely must be clued in to each other’s existing bills.
  • “The best way to avoid financial stress is to reveal these debts early in the
    marriage planning,” says Hardekopf. “It’s not romantic and may be difficult, but it’s not fair for your spouse to learn about these when the bills come in.”
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