When it comes to saying, “I do,” there are few topics that come up faster than the issue of money.
Whether it’s paying bills, sticking to budgets, combining finances or consolidating debt, the topic of money has the potential to divide or unify.
So, whether you’re recently engaged, newly married, or just finally getting around to merging your finances, there’s no better time than the present to conquer the financial challenges marriage has to offer, and for some that starts with consolidating the debt you incurred before your nuptials.
Saying “I do” to debt consolidation
No matter what kind of spending habits you had before you tied the knot, once you became man and wife you probably decided whether to merge your finances or keep them separate. You probably also found that keeping track of two sets of credit card bills, school loans and other bills quickly became a time-consuming and complicated task.
If you’re looking for a way to keep track of your debt in a more simplified manner, and possibly save money in the process, debt consolidation may be the right option for you. If you do decide that joining your income, expenses and your debt is the way to proceed, then you may want to consider the two following debt consolidation options.
Consolidate onto a credit card
When you’re looking to consolidate your debt, one option is to find a credit card that offers a low interest rate and a credit line large enough to transfer all of your other balances onto. Some bank credit cards even offer zero percent balance transfer options to those with excellent credit for an introductory period to help you easily transfer your existing balances.
However, keep in mind that unless a low introductory offer is long enough for you to pay off your entire balance (usually by making monthly payments that are significantly higher than your minimum payment requirements), the new, higher APR will probably not put you in much better shape than you were before after the introductory offer expires. Make sure the offer is still helpful to your situation when the low introductory period comes to a close.
Take out a loan
While taking out a personal loan is a good option for many, a home equity loan may be the right option if you own a house. Oftentimes a home equity loan offers lower interest rates than what credit cards and consolidation companies can offer because it uses the home you own as the collateral. It may be best to use the equity you’ve built in your home to save money as you pay off the debt you accrued before you became husband and wife.
Whatever debt consolidation option you choose, you’re sure to find the one that’s right for you once you do a little research. Explore your options and save with either credit card consolidation or by using home equity. Start your marriage off right and ensure future financial success by making smart money decisions together and finding the financial solutions that work to create your happily ever after.