Ladies, wake up! When it comes to money, you must learn to think with your heads and not your hearts – exchanging love for debt doesn’t cut it. Be vigilant with your money.
Have you ever been in a relationship where your entrepreneur boyfriend duped you into borrowing money for him so he can conclude his “multi-million rand” deal and nothing came of it in the end?
Maybe you have signed as a guarantor for his car loan and now he can’t pay? Or maybe you are living together, have a child or two and even bought a house together but you are the one paying the bond?
Are you the one footing the bill for your engagement ring which you bought on credit and the promise is that he will pay you back the money? Or you went on holiday together and used your own credit card as he had promised to pay the money back?
Sexually transmitted debt (STD) is where you can become responsible for your partner’s debt upon the breakdown of a relationship. It is not uncommon, following the breakdown of a relationship, for one party to be in the dark about what is owed or how much those debts are. Prevention is always better than cure.
In most cases, it is easier to stop something happening in the first place than to fix the damage after it has happened. If you have concerns about your partner’s financial responsibility, here are some handy tips to prevent or reduce sexually transmitted debt:
l With money, silence is never golden. Talk! It might be unromantic but it’s essential to know what you are getting yourself into. Be open and honest about your financial position and credit history.
Check if you share the same financial goals, have same spending habits and if not, negotiate the middle ground. Know each other’s debt burdens if any.
l Don’t enter into joint loans unless you understand your obligations and the risks involved. It’s very unromantic again but always think about whether you will be financially okay if this relationship were to end.
l Don’t allow secondary use of your credit card. If you decide to do it, be diligent in checking your statement on the card so that it doesn’t get misused.
l Have your utility bills set in both your names so that you are equally responsible for those bills.
l Make sure that loan accounts or overdrafts can only be accessed if both parties consent to it.
l If your partner wants you to guarantee loans, make sure you have all the information necessary including copies of the company’s financial statements. If someone is not willing to be completely transparent then it’s probably not a good idea to become responsible for those loans.
So what if you already got an STD?
We don’t live in an ideal world and there will always be cases where one party finds themselves responsible for another party’s financial irresponsibility.
If you find yourself in this position and are arguing that the other party should be responsible for the debt, then this is where you will need to have an attorney who will advise and assist you to gather evidence to show the court that you should not be paying.
In fact, your attorney will tell you whether this issue is worth pursuing. The trouble is that at that time, you will be flat broke and may never afford an attorney. This is the reason why it’s better to avoid STD at all costs.
Don’t be naïve and assume that everything will be all right if you decide to guarantee your partner’s loan. It only takes a couple of seconds to sign your life away but it can take years to repay the debts of a former partner. Crying isn’t going to help after the disaster. So be warned!