Paying off student loan debt can be a long, complicated process – and for some couples, it can even be a relationship killer. On the other hand, imagine almost never having a money-related argument with your significant other..
Here’s the good news: it’s not nearly as impossible as it sounds.
Teamwork makes the dream work
Think of yourself as a team. Make sure you know each other’s financial history. Debts, savings, investing accounts, credit reports etc. Good communication is essential to the success of any relationship, and while money can be a tough topic, you’ll get your marriage off to a great start by getting accustomed to talking about your finances. Sometimes these can be tough conversations to have and it may help to attend a financial workshop together to get the conversation started – or find an advisor who is willing to do a consult and can help mediate the discussion together while providing some advice and insights.
Have a conversation about goals
The first step in becoming a team is to talk about your goals. Take some time to discuss your dream life together (this is the fun part). The majority of financial disagreements stem from seemingly inconsequential day-to-day spending decisions that tap into one person’s fear that those decisions are jeopardizing larger financial goals. If you discuss your goals first, it’s easier to hold each other accountable and more importantly, visualize what’s at stake if you’re off course as a unit. Shifting your mindset from “I” to “we” will help you get on track for your goals faster and more efficiently.
Understanding your loans
It’s important to familiarize yourself with each loan’s details as the loan type dictates your repayment options. Generally speaking, federal loans have far more options for repayment than private loans, such as income-based repayment plans. And for those that work at non-profit and public service organizations, the student loan forgiveness program may be a viable option.
Consider consolidating or refinancing your debt
Consolidating student loans allows you to combine multiple loans into one, and offers benefits such as fewer bills and payments to keep track of each month and lower monthly payments. Student loan refinancing is when a new loan is used to pay off one or more existing student loans. If your financial situation has improved since you first signed on the dotted line, you may be able to refinance student loans at a lower interest rate, which can allow you to lower your monthly payment, shorten your repayment period and save money on interest.
Still wanting help with your finances? Contact a financial pro who can help you love birds get things started off on the right foot.