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I want to marry will my partner risk being burdened by my bad credit, credit debt and unpaid student loan?

Honolulu, HI |

I collect social security benefits and my student loan is not in default

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Attorney answers 3


My answer is only valid for Hawaii, I do not practice law outside Hawaii. In Hawaii, the spouse is generally not liable for the other spouses debts, provided that spouse is not a co-debtor (co- signed). One exception is emergency medical treatment debts. However, be carefully if you acquire property (ie, buy a home.) Jointly owned property can be attacked by one spouses creditor, unless the home is held as tenant by the entireties ("TE" - a special way to own property that is only allowed between husband and wife, and only available in a few states ... such as Hawaii.). Bottom line, keep your debts and your assets (bank accounts, etc) separate, and acquire any real estate as TE. If your debt situation is serious, you should consult with a lawyer to give you specific advice. Good luck!

DISCLAIMER: the answer to your anonymous question is not intended to create any attorney-client relationship between us, and as your question is posted in the public domain, it is not protected by any right of confidentiality. Further, the answer is based solely on the limited information that you provided and therefore not a complete legal opinion. Therefore, the answer may, or may not be correct for your situation, and is offered for INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. You are advised to seek formal legal consultation from an attorney before you take any action regarding this situation.


There are two elements to your question. Legally no, your spouse will not be effected. As a practical matter, however, there may be some limitations. For example, when you buy a house, most lenders want both spouses on the note and mortgage (although many do not ). In such a situation your bad credit could 'affect' his -not because he would be liable for your debts, but because your credit might be the cause of a rejection on the loan.

I hope this is helpful to you - good luck!


Great advice from Attorney Tamm.

Good luck.

DISCLAIMER: David J. McCormick is licensed to practice law in the State of Wisconsin and this answer is being provided for informational purposes only because the laws of your jurisdiction may differ. This answer based on general legal principles and is not intended for the purpose of providing specific legal advice or opinions. Under no circumstances does this answer constitute the establishment of an attorney-client relationship.

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