Should You Hold Off on Marriage Until You Are Debt Free?

The cost of planning a wedding is often the most stressful event in one’s life. It can either empty your pockets of all savings or drop you in copious amounts of debt. Marriage is different for everyone but before you tie the knot consider the financial effects.
Your Debts Could Double
The most important point to consider is the amount of debt you will accumulate post wedding. Your debt could be close to double because of the following reasons.
1. Interest Rates

Putting off debt equals high interest rates. The interest rate on your debt will soar if you take a long time to pay it off. It will also be expensive if you can only afford the minimum payments on a tight, post wedding budget.
2. Wedding Loan

If you or your parents cannot afford to pay for the wedding, you’re going to need a new loan. The average wedding will cost around $20,000. Add that to your existing debt and decide if it’s better to wait it out.
3. Shared Debt

What’s mine is yours! Your partner’s debt will now be weighing on your shoulders.

 

Distinguish Between Good and Bad Debt
We are not perfect; somewhere along the line you will have accumulated some form of debt. Before you say I do, consider what type of debt you have and how vital it is to pay it off.

Good debt is a smart investment or has little to no interest rates. Good debt includes student loans or home loans. If you only have good debt, it may in fact be the perfect time to tie the knot! Besides, if you wait until these debts are paid off you may be married by the time you are old and grey.It’s large credit card or personal loan debt you should be concerned with. These debts have high interest rates that are going to continue plaguing you every month until it’s paid.

It Could Delay Future Plans
Spending all your money on a wedding could delay your hopes and dreams. For example, purchasing your first home or starting a family. Traditionally, the wedding comes first but often this is not practical. Considering the rapid rise of house prices in New Zealand, it is more difficult to buy a house than ever. You need to save all the money you can.
Same goes for children, they always incur more costs than you could have ever imagined! Raising kids with an extensive amount of debt can make life more difficult than need be.

Importance of Your Credit Score
If your debt is damaging your credit score, it is best to pay it off before marriage. Your credit score could come back to bite you during the time you need it most. After marriage you may need a loan to buy your first home or a new family car. Most banks and loan companies will not give you a loan with bad credit!

So what’s the answer? It is an individual decision. Considering all points, do you think having a wedding is within your current means? What is most important to you; marriage? Investing in a home? Having children?

As a suggestion- Make a plan. Set a date for your wedding a couple of years in advance. Plan and budget how much debt you need paid off before your big day. Even if you cannot afford to pay all your debt, paying off a large sum will benefit your future.

Disclaimer: The above information is general in nature and not intended to be financial advice. You should consider seeking professional advice before following any suggestions in this blog/website.

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