According to a poll of over 2,000 adults in the Unites States, around a third of individuals who combine finances during a relationship bring some portion of their partner’s credit card debt into the mix. The poll also showed that younger individuals — those aged 18 to 34 — were even more likely to mingle credit card debt since about 45 percent of that age group carries some form of revolving debt.

On average, says Time, individuals in these circumstances enter a relationship with around $4,100 in credit card debt, and that debt does spawn negative consequences for some. Some consequences included not being able to take vacations or purchase a home, and 20 percent of couples report that they fight about credit card debt on a regular basis.

One of the biggest tips experts provide for not allowing credit card debt to ruin relationships is not to hide the debt or credit card use from each other. This is certainly especially true at the beginning of a relationship — when things get serious and money is going to be commingled, be honest about how your financial situation sits.

Experts also advise couples to create a plan for paying off debt — no matter who brought the financial baggage into the relationship. One common method for success is to start by paying off smaller balances first to get a mental boost from getting rid of one or more accounts.

Paying off debt through traditional methods isn’t always possible for many reasons, and couples who are trying to develop a healthy relationship don’t want to deal with problems such as creditor harassment. Understanding options for dealing with debt is the first step in getting out of a bad financial situation so you can concentrate on your relationship.

Source: Time, “Help! I’ve Fallen In Love With Someone Who Has Credit Card Debt,” Taylor Tepper, June 24, 2015