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How to Really Deal with Debt as a Couple

You’re compatible, you make each other laugh, you share the same interests — your relationship is perfect. Well, almost perfect. There’s one thing that comes between you and your significant other — debt.

If you and your partner don’t see eye to eye when it comes to managing your money and dealing with debt, you’re not alone. It’s an issue for many Canadian couples.

Our new Ipsos poll revealed that six in 10 Canadians in a relationship wish they could change at least one of their partner’s financial habits. Surprisingly, we also found that 36 per cent of Canadians rarely or never talk about money with their partner and one in five never discuss their debt!

The key to finding relief from the debt you carry is to have a plan. To create a plan, you and your significant other need to be on the same page.

Communicate, communicate, communicate

First things first, it’s important that you and your partner are open and honest with each other when it comes to discussing your finances, and especially your debt. To make that happen, set aside time once a week or once a month that’s strictly dedicated to talking about topics like your budget, spending habits, household expenses, financial goals and any outstanding debts.

Know how much you actually owe

If you’re not quite sure where you stand when it comes to your debt load, a debt calculator can help you get to know your debt. Use the calculator to figure out how much you owe, how much interest you’ll need to pay during the repayment process, and how long it will take you to repay your debt.

Create financial goals together

Creating mutual goals will help you work together in order to find debt relief. Remember that the best goals are specific and measurable as they keep you accountable and motivated. For example, instead of simply saying that you want to pay off your credit cards, you and your partner can pledge to reduce your credit card debt by 50 per cent in the next two months.

Learn about your debt relief options

There are a few different ways to learn more about the debt relief options that may work for you. Online research, including the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) website, is often a great place to start. For more in-depth advice and guidance, you and your partner may also choose to visit a debt relief professional such as a credit counsellor or Licensed Insolvency Trustee (LIT).

Create a plan to defeat debt

To be successful, make sure your plan is both detailed and realistic. Depending on your debt situation, either an accredited credit counsellor or an LIT can work with you and your partner to create a debt relief plan that works. Finally, whatever plan you choose, make sure you and your spouse are in it together. Work as a team and keep those lines of communication open.

Are you and your partnering working together to defeat debt? Share your challenges and your successes using the hashtags #DebtSolutions #LoveAndMoney.

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