Will my husband's financial advisor be able to learn about my personal credit card debt when reviewing our finances and joint tax return?

My husband is just starting to seek out financial advisor help for investments, taxes, and more. Will my husband be able to find out about my personal credit card debt through this financial advisor? Is the advisor allowed to search my credit without my knowledge or agreement because my husband is providing our joint 2017 tax return?

Co-Published on Investopedia

Co-Published on Investopedia

No, your financial adviser will only have access to information approved and provided by you and your husband. This information may come out if you and your husband were to submit your credit reports to the adviser for advice on debt management, but you would be the one providing your credit information to the adviser.

I recommend, however, that you view your husband's seeking a financial adviser as an opportunity to disclose and work toward eliminating this debt. A good adviser is very familiar with these types of issues and can help guide the conversation toward solutions and hope, and keep the conversation from centering on blame.

I have had several couples deal with a similar issue, and with proper guidance it usually ends up being a very freeing and positive experience for the person who had the debt. You may want to talk with the adviser separately about your general goals just to get a sense of whether you trust the adviser. If you do trust them, tell them about the debt and enlist them in helping you deal with this issue. Together you can present the issue to your husband in a way which doesn't attack you or put you down. If the adviser is a Registered Investment Adviser (hopefully they are) then make sure you are a client as well as your husband. This will require them to act in your best interest.

If your husband hasn't chosen an adviser yet, I recommend you become involved in the selection of the adviser. In this way, your voice will be heard in choosing the person who might help you through this situation.

Joshua Escalante Troesh is the President of Purposeful Strategic Partners and a tenured professor of Business at El Camino College. To explore working with him on your personal financial planning and investment advising needs, simply schedule a free Discover Meeting.

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