{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Married 🐠 - what are your thoughts on paying off your SO’s student debt? Not married yet but thinking about the future - buying a house, saving together. I have no debt & make over 3x what my SO makes. They are swamped in student debt, which I can easily contribute to pay it off quicker once married. Thoughts? Any change in response considering gender? I’ve read posts here of men paying their wives student debt but never the opposite..", "post_id": "61f1d77f7ae6820034e29f29", "reply_count": 41, "vote_count": 3, "bowl_id": "552d1d24dc1c586b09d2d051", "bowl_name": "Consulting", "feed_type": "crowd" }

Married 🐠 - what are your thoughts on paying off your SO’s student debt? Not married yet but thinking about the future - buying a house, saving together. I have no debt & make over 3x what my SO makes. They are swamped in student debt, which I can easily contribute to pay it off quicker once married. Thoughts? Any change in response considering gender? I’ve read posts here of men paying their wives student debt but never the opposite..

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The alternative, in which she pays for it herself out of her paycheck, ultimately results in the same outcome - you both ultimately have the same amount of money to spend collectively. Unless you’re planning on charging her rent and billing her for shared expenses then I don’t see how it’s possible to maintain separate finances. And if you’re going to let what she can afford individually dictate what you purchase in terms of housing, living expenses, etc., then your standard of living will be significantly lower than if you just combine finances. Separating finances only really works when 1) the financial profiles of both partners are similar, 2) they have similar spending preferences, and 3) money isn’t a concern.

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I should have read all the other comments first, but I didn't, sorry if I'm repeating. A couple of important practical considerations. Definitely get all your debts, credit card, cars, house etc organized. Always pay off or pay down the highest interest rate loans first. That may mean only making the min payments on the student loans. Figure out what loans have floating vs fixed rates. Are his student loans federal consolidated yet and locked in at a fixed rate? This may be the last chance to do that before rates reset and go up. Next, if you are otherwise debt free and just have his student loans, you still want to save your house down payment of 20% and more for other house expenses. Also, I recommend maxing your 401ks before paying down low cost debt (say less than 6% apr). Ok, so if you have your down payment, 401ks maxed and still have more cash, then yes, you can contribute to his student loans BUT I highly recommend a pre-nup agreement that sunsets after X number of years that gives you back student loan payments, your contribution to the house, etc - those being payments made to further the marriage and economic efficiency, not naked gifts of cash. So, highest interest first. And consider the pre nup.

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It all depends on how you view marriage. I do not have a concept of "my money" and "her money". When my wife gets a raise we have more money to invest and spend and vice versa. Any money going to debt is less money that we have to spend and invest so we tackle it together.

likeuplifting

Had a cousin who said this as well. Changed how I thought of it. At the end of the day, it all comes from the same pot.

I’m early in the process. Been dating my GF for 6 1/2 years from high school till now ( year out of undergrad) I have 0 debt and she has $50k in student loans. I make a good chunk more than her and our plan is this… I’ll pay for all of our living expenses such as food, gas, rent, insurance, etc while every penny she makes goes towards her loans every paycheck. In 7 months she has paid off about $30,000 so far. Once her loans are all paid off we will then spilt everything 50/50 until we get married

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You’re obviously young but have a really mature relationship- love seeing stuff like this

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I mean if I were married- we’re one team one fight. If I can help pay of her loans I absolutely will. One household income one household of debt. That’s just me.

likeuplifting

This wasn’t even a question when my husband and I got married 4 years ago. We combined finances - my debts are his debts and Vice versa. Same would have applied if he owned property and I didn’t, I think your question is more about debt than the origin. IMO if you can’t view everything as collective, it’s gonna make it really hard to have a marriage.

likeuplifting

I did it years ago for an ex. Still think it makes sense if the rates are bad but get married first….

likeuplifting

Once you're married, you're legally and financially partners. I'm a woman and I'd have done it in your shoes. We were both debt free when we got married, but I had a lot more savings and therefore paid more on our down payment when we bought our house (which we did a few months before getting married).

likeuplifting

I paid for our entire down payment on a house because I had more in savings

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I paid off my husband's (then boyfriend) student debt a few years ago. We had been together for like 7 years and I knew we were getting married and he was having trouble finding work after getting laid off. It was only like 5k left but it was a huge weight off for both of us.

likeuplifting

Female fish here and married my husband when he had about $50K in student loan debt. We both made the same when we got married and we worked together to pay it off. Bought a house together after debt was paid off. Once you're married, their debt is your debt, and you're a team. Work together, succeed and fail as a team.

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Let them worry about their debts. Keep your finances separate and put money towards a common joint account. Even if you have a prenup you cannot secure the money you paid off for her because it’s considered a ‘gift’ to her. I would advise against. My Experience - I combined all my finances with the view of it being a partnership but got divorced. She was entitled to half of everything.

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Personally, I’m getting a prenup. I don’t want to be responsible for my partner’s choices and be saddled with his debt. Not sharing details here, but he could’ve done things differently and didn’t. He agrees so that’s how we’re doing it. Moving forward, it’s one pot but not the past in our situation.

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If married, there is only “our money.” If you had the debt, would you pay it down ahead of schedule? (Answer depends on your risk tolerance and interest rate of student Loan)

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Following as potentially in the same boat…

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Having a conversation about how you view your finances is important. I paid off a huge chunk of my SO's student debt. I graduated with little student debt and paid it off within 4 years of graduation. He had a lot more debt and was still paying it 10 years later. At the end of the day, it all comes from the same pot. We wanted to make joint investments together so it made sense.

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Does it become "Our Money"? Marriage is about two becoming one. And I brought $40k in student Loans into my marriage. My wife and I worked together to pay it off and it was a driving force in getting our finances in order

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I paid off the rest of my student loan debt when we got married. My husband contributed a larger portion of the down payment of our home. As others have mentioned, it’s been a partnership.

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Consolidate and get rates low. Then use the cash to get invest

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I fully agree with what EYP1 stated in that this is truly a “what do you as an individual and as a couple” believe. It is a matter of what works for you. I have friends that in their marriage keep all finances separate, some that mix some and I and my wife share all money equally.

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Is your spouse a public/nonprofit employee and on an income based repayment program? If so, remember they do not include your income if you file taxes married filing separately. My wife is a teacher on the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program track, so we don’t get the tax break of married tax benefits.

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Find a partner with money

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