March 3, 2023

How debt can impact your loved ones

debt impact

Debt can impact your loved ones on multiple levels and it is therefore important to face it together. Debt slowly creeps up on you until you struggle to escape its grip. While many believe that it affects only you, it may affect your relationship or marriage too.

When you’re linked to someone, your debt does not just touch you; it touches them too. This is precisely what we’re here to discuss and dissect in this article, looking at how your debt can impact your loved one.

What is a debt review, and why is it needed?

When you find yourself heavily in debt, you might face debt review or need debt counselling. What does this mean? This is a measure that helps you get out of debt. The main aim of this process is to help anyone struggling to make ends meet get out of debt by reducing their monthly repayments.

If you can’t afford your monthly debt obligations while covering other expenses, you might be over your debt threshold. This is the ideal time to seek professional help. Debtline can negotiate on your behalf to combine your debt into a single monthly payment based on what you can afford.

How does debt review impact your spouse?

Debt review is a legal process where all your income is considered, which means if you’re married, it could potentially affect your spouse. This depends on whether the marriage is inside or outside of community of the property.

Customary marriage

A customary marriage is one that is conducted in accordance with the customs and traditions observed by the indigenous African peoples of South Africa and is recognized under the Recognition of Customary Marriages Act.

This type of marriage is automatically considered to be in community of property; meaning that both parties’ assets, liabilities, and debts become part of a joint estate unless an Antenuptial contract was entered into.

Under this system, both parties share equal ownership of all property and assets and any debts incurred by either party, whether incurred before or during the marriage. This can have significant financial implications for both parties, as they become jointly responsible for each other’s financial obligations, including any pre-existing debts.

Should you seek the assistance of a debt counsellor, you will be required to apply in the form of a joint application for debt review.

Married in community of property

If it is in community of property, it means everything is shared equally, which includes the debt review process. You must discuss the process and apply for the debt review with your spouse. You can’t do it without the agreement of your partner. It’s a responsibility taken on by both parties. Your debt becomes a responsibility you and your partner must deal with together.

Married outside of community of property

If you are married outside community of property, then you can act independently, and your decisions will not directly impact your partner’s finances. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t impact them at all.

If you’re responsible for covering certain costs in the home, that may not be possible while under debt review. This means your partner will need to step in and help. This is something to discuss as you focus on paying off your debt while your spouse takes care of the household expenses.

It can be hard to speak up about debt, but it’s important to have a conversation with your partner and let them know about your situation and what the foreseeable future will look like. Not only will it benefit you in terms of support, but it will ensure that you are not encouraged to spend funds where it isn’t possible.

What Debtline can do for you

Debtline is passionate about helping you gain control of your finances. If you are struggling with debt, then you can request a free call back on our website right away. Our expert team of NCR-registered debt counsellors will contact you as soon as possible.

As one of South Africa’s most innovative debt management companies, we’re here to help you regain control and live debt-free. We also provide a free credit score report that overviews your credit status and financial wellness.