Credit card debt and student loans are far greater issues in marriages now than they ever were. Bringing large amounts of debt into a marriage can take a substantial bite out of the family income, and it can be a terrible source of friction in the family.
While there is no way to simply wish debt away, there are smart ways to manage debt. You need to learn to work together as a couple, however.
Be honest with each other
If there are things that you haven't told each other about how much money you owe, you should start now. Budgeting for funds to repay loans works best when both members of the team plan together for it. You'll be able to plan on cutting back on expenses together, saving on your taxes together and prioritizing your financial goals together.
Work out a plan to deal with your debt
If you've always been free with your money, you need to learn how to plan every dollar that you spend now. Drawing up and following a budget can take a major shift in attitude, and both of you need to be onboard. You should set yourself a goal -- say, three years -- and throw yourself into making it possible to erase all your debt by then. With a goal in mind, you can decide on what to cut back on, and how.
Consider every alternative
If even one of you has a reasonably good credit score, you could qualify for a 0% APR balance transfer credit card. If a large part of your monthly payments goes toward paying off the interest you owe on your cards, however, applying for a balance transfer credit card can help get rid of the problem for as long as a year.
You can transfer the balances that you have on all your credit cards onto the 0% balance transfer card. You need to do your math, however. These credit cards come with balance transfer fees. Make sure you run the numbers on how much you'll actually save once you've paid the fee.
Take out a personal loan
It's possible to take out a personal loan to consolidate your loans in other places. These loans are granted for between three and five years at a time. You'll have a simple and definite plan, and know when you will finally be off the hook. You do need to do your research, however, to determine that the loan comes with a lower interest rate than you already pay on your loans.
Finally, consider debt management
If you feel as though you've been paying and paying with no visible effect on the size of your debt, it's possible that you're paying too much interest, which is no way to make any headway. In this event, you should consider a debt management plan. You should do your research, find a good, reliable, well-reviewed debt management service, and have them negotiate with your lenders to have your debt or your interest rate dropped.
Each one of these ideas is a workable step toward freedom from debt. These are huge steps to take, and they require that you pull together. When you make the process a joint effort, that freedom is entirely achievable.