Nobody likes secrets, especially if the secret is you are drowing in a sea of debt. This deep dark secret can break up a relationship faster than anything else. No Prince Charming would be thrilled about assuming your debt, especially if you neglect to tell him about it before you say "I Do".
Even if disclosure doesn’t render you unmarriageable, tricky questions linger. If one person brings a huge debt to a relationship, who is ultimately responsible for making good on the obligation? And isn’t the more solvent partner going to resent that debt over time no matter how early the disclosure comes?
I think couples should be required to have premarriage money talks. That way, you know what you're getting yourself into, and the shock of hearing the other person's attitude won't throw you for a loop.
So, at what point do you have a moral obligation to disclose your indebtedness during courtship? On the eighth date? When you get to third base? In your eHarmony online dating profile?
To find out the answers to these questions and more, I highly recommend reading Ron Lieber's article in Saturday's New York TImes. It's definetely a wakeup call for women of all ages. You are never too young or too old to start being responsible.
I am a real advocate for women becoming financially independent. That is why, starting this month, The Real Cougar Woman will be introducing you to Susan Hirshman author of "Does This Makes My Assets Look Fat". Susan is an expert when it comes to helping women figure out their money issues. She will be blogging on everything you need to know about gaining financial independence, so please take advantage of this fabulous new resource.