Money talks this Valentine's Day

Wendy Scarlett, of AMP financial planning, is urging new couples to beware of picking up debt this Valentine's Day.
Wendy Scarlett, of AMP financial planning, is urging new couples to beware of picking up debt this Valentine's Day. John Gass /TWE070212valentine

BEWARE this Valentine's Day - along with the gifts and flowers, you may end up getting an STD.

Sexually Transmitted Debt that is.

Tweed Heads AMP financial planner Wendy Scarlett has warned getting all loved up could land you in someone else's debt.

"When love is blooming, many people avoid discussing their personal finances for fear it will put a dampener on their romance," Ms Scarlett said.

"But it can be a real shock if a person discovers later on that their partner has several maxed out credit cards and a high-interest personal loan."

It might seem taboo to have the "money talk" early in a budding romance, but it could save you heartbreak later down the track if you get married or even become classed defacto.

"Although a person is solely responsible for any debts in their name, there could be financial implications for the other partner in the future," she said.

"For example if one person has a big credit card debt, it may affect a couple's ability to get a home loan.

"Also if one party defaults on their credit card payments, the bank may come after a couple's joint assets.

"Love comes first, but it's important for people to be aware of their partner's financial circumstances before they let Cupid's arrow strike."

So how do you have the awkward discussion and avoid a nasty STD?

Tips include:

Ask your partner how much debt they have and what kind of debt it is.

Find out if they have a strategy for paying off the debt.

Ask them whether they have a clear credit rating.

Be honest about money with your partner.

Bring it up casually, for example "I'm really serious about you, so let's talk turkey. How are you going financially?"

Topics:  valentine's day

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