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Avoid credit card debt while living together

After spending a significant amount of time together as boyfriend and girlfriend, Tennessee couples may decide to take their relationship to the next level by living together. As if that isn't challenging enough, many couples may also decide to share finances by opening joint credit card accounts. This is a major decision that shouldn't be taken lightly because if one person racks up most of the credit card debt, the other party must still pay for it.

When couples divorce after having been married, there are processes in place for legally dividing debts. But when couples live together without getting married, getting rid of debt is much harder. There are no processes in place, so when the couple shares a credit card, maxes it out and then splits up, they are both still equally responsible for paying off the debt. If the minimum monthly payment is not met, both can suffer damage to their credit score.

Those in romantic relationships need to think long and hard about allowing the other person access to their credit cards. In many relationships, one person is the saver while the other is a spender. There has to be a high level of trust in the other person's spending habits. Every purchase needs to be carefully thought out. Most relationships don't last forever, so there needs to be a plan in place to pay down the debt, regardless of who made the actual purchase.

When one person uses the credit card more than the other, communication is key. The couple must be able to sit down and discuss the situation. While both parties are responsible for the debt, they should be able to come to a workable agreement. After all, relationships are about dealing with any and all issues that couples face - including financial challenges.

Finally, if the credit card debt situation becomes too acute, there are a number of legal options available to consumers. These can include filing for bankruptcy. Bankruptcy attorneys can provide more information to consumers.

Source: Credit.com, "I Want to Break Up With My Girlfriend (& Her Credit Card Debt)," Christina DiGangi, July 25, 2014

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