By Michelle Durham
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – It’s the season of weddings but for many young couples, the joy of the event is obscured by the amount of debt they bring to the marriage. It not only affects their wedding budget but their long range plans including the purchase of a home or new vehicle.
Finance Professor at Temple’s Fox School of Business Jonathan Scott says this conversation is very familiar. He just had a similar one with a family member and her boyfriend.
“When they have debts like student loans they have to understand they are going to have to repay them. Therefore, they are going to have a certain monthly payment. And I think they have to look at those monthly payments as to what they have to give up until they get them paid off.”
Scott says it’s important to have the conversation about debt and financial expectations before you get married because the payments are going to dictate the priorities especially when the payments are equivalent to a monthly car payment or rent.
“I also find that a lot of kids say,’ I’m not a numbers person.’ Well, I don’t know how you are going to survive if you are not a numbers person. There is some basic financial literacy that everyone needs to have.”
And it’s better to know up front what your debt to income ratio is before you plan the wedding or apply for a mortgate.