Overcoming Financial Infidelity and $10,000 in Credit Card Debt

When two people get married, they bring different money habits into the new home. Their financial values and how they approach money management can enhance or create friction in their relationship.

Rose worried her financial infidelity would hurt her marriageFor the most positive outcome, it’s critical couples get comfortable talking about money. Matter of fact, research shows when couples discuss money with one another, they experience more relationship satisfaction. Sadly, a study by the Journal of Financial Therapy tells us married people have fewer conversations about money than any other type of couple.

Not discussing money and debt incurred before or after marriage can lead to colossal issues down the road. Rose is a primary example, but her story has a silver lining.

Rose kept an expensive secret for a prolonged period…

Some people worry when they get married, they’ll lose their financial independence. Quite the contrary—you are under no obligation to merge finances with your partner after you tie the knot. At most, you’ll have to inform your creditors about your name change (if you choose to change it), but your credit report remains the same.

This means you’re free to open new credit accounts without your spouse’s knowledge, which is what Rose did.

“It happened over a period of years during which I opened credit card accounts in my name and didn’t tell him about it.”

She blew her budget on house décor and clothing…

“I was shopping mostly for household décor and clothing,” Rose explains. Using your credit card to buy household items and everyday expenses can be a great strategy. However, without an effective budget and an understanding of how credit cards work, it can lead to mounting debt.

“For a long time, I made minimum payments on these accounts and thought I was handling it. Then I found myself running late on payments and almost before I realized it, I was underwater.”

Minimum payments can seem like a good idea when you don’t understand how debt works. Many don’t know that when you only pay the minimum amount required on your credit card balance, you’re likely barely covering the interest you’ve accrued. This means if you keep making new charges each month your principal keeps growing, often causing your debt to snowball.

Late payments (30 days plus) are equally harmful as they’re damaging to your credit score. Depending on your credit history, you could see a drop of up to 180 points. Additionally, you may be subject to late fees and switched to a higher interest rate.

$10,000 in, she could no longer keep the secret, so she came clean…

In a perfect world, it would be easy to tell your partner anything, but that isn’t always the case. Sometimes fear and shame keep people from telling their spouse when they’ve messed up.

“After years, I summoned the courage to tell my husband that I had gotten into almost $10,000 of debt,” Rose shares. Breaking the news to her partner was the turning point in her debt.

Rose had an honest conversation with her husband, and they found a solution together…

Rose sat down with her husband and had a discussion about how she got into so much debt. They’d heard about Consolidated Credit and it seemed like a solution worth trying.

Her credit counselor began by tackling the high interest rates she was paying and bringing them down to something she could afford.

“At first it seemed insurmountable, but gradually with the reduced interest rates Consolidated negotiated with my creditors, the balances started to come down.” —Consolidated Credit Client Rose #creditcounseling Click To Tweet

The silver lining is Rose’s credit score went from poor to great…

It can take years for your credit score to improve after missed payments and robust debt, but Consolidated Credit can fast track the process. They work with you to devise a payment plan and lower your interest rates, eliminating your overall debt in full. With consistent on-time payments, you can gradually see your score increasing.

“Now my credit score has climbed from poor to fair to good,” Rose tells us.

Aside from getting her credit score back to a healthy place, Rose now has peace of mind.

“I can see the end of the tunnel and I can sleep at night. Consolidated has completely honored their contract, and I have learned a valuable lesson.”— Consolidated Credit Client Rose #creditcounseling Click To Tweet

And now, for her closing remarks…

“Watching my credit being restored is so much more fulfilling than any of the purchases I made for things that were beyond my means. This was truly making the best of a really bad situation. I recommend Consolidated to anyone who finds themselves in a similar experience.”