Should I marry my partner if he has debt?

Does your partner have debt?I am always surprised when I hear this question. Yes, there is something inherent wrong about asking this question with a straight face but apparently this is a serious question for many.

There is some merit in addressing the practical side of this question, however. I think the logical approach would be to explore the issue more thoroughly and determine if there is a solution:

 

How did you acquire this debt? 

There is difference between consumer debt and educational debt. Consumer debt typically comes in the form of credit card debt, layaway items, and other means of borrowing money to for recreational items or vacations. I would be more forgiving of educational debt since most consumer debt is not intended to further your future self. After all, education debt is supposed to be an investment into your future, right? 😉

It also makes a difference if your educational debt was acquired from a degree in web design at a for-profit online “universities” or a medical degree at a reputable school. That helps us figure out how  to eliminate debt. This brings us to our next question.

 

Do you have a plan to eliminate this debt?

If your six-figure debt was from medical school, then logically you should have relatively easy (albeit disciplined) means to get rid of it, because hopefully you will have a decent income. It would also be nice if you have thought out how you plan to eliminate this debt (i.e. which loans to repay first, how quickly you can repay them, and approximate time frame to do so.

 

Are you willing to eliminate this debt? 

This is more important than the previous question. As long as you are willing to ask for help and modify your lifestyle as needed to cut the debt, you are salvageable! Are you also willing to prevent acquiring similar debt in the future?

 

Do you have habits that can contribute towards debt, and can you modify your lifestyle without sacrificing your happiness? 

Loaded question, but if you had to ask the first one, you might as well ask this one.

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