Post # 1
My fiance has debt and I am debt free. I know that marrying him I am taking on the good and bad of him and that is ok with me. He has credit card debt and student loan debt. i’m ok with the student loans but I feel that I shouldn’t have to pay his cc debt but I also hate thinking about the interest that is racking up.
He has tried all the different rolling over to 0% cards etc but sometimes it the transaction fees makes it not even worth it. Should we just get it over with and use our wedding gift money to pay the debt? I just don’t want to feel bitter about it later….. What would you do?
(the gift money would probably pay 20% of his debt, I have savings where I could pay the rest but I hate to part with it right when we get married, I sorta feel like financial mistakes he made before me shouldn’t be my problem, is that too harsh?)
my plan was to have separate accts and one joint acct for our combined bills until he has the debt paid on his own but he thinks we should just take our money and combine it and pay his debt immediately.
Post # 3
That’s a toughie. . . I would probably use the gift money to pay down the highest interest debt. I know that technically it is his debt, but you will also be responsible for the interest rates and that is costing you money every day. The more you pay down, the less interest you will be responsible for.
Post # 4
it sort of makes sense to not pay interest. are you eventually combining everything? If he is making huge payments every month is that coming out of your household budget?
Post # 5
I would definitely pay down outstanding CC debt. Like pp said, you will be affected down the road. If you guys don’t pay down the CC debt now, he’ll have to continue paying, meaning he won’t be contributing to your household funds. Always always always pay off credit cards first. And once they’re paid off, start a savings fund. Don’t let him get back into his old ways of racking up debt.
Post # 6
So when you get married, does his debt become your debt? What I mean is, if something happens to him, to which he can no longer pay his debt, will you be liable? (I really don’t know the answer on going after a spouse for the other spouse’s debt.)
Also, even if he is paying off the debt on his own, with his own pay check, is it still affecting you? (Ie less money for a house downpayment? Vacations? Your Christmas or birthday presents?) My guess is it still has an impact on you.
Ultimately, I think it’s wise to get out of debt. And more importantly, make sure his spending habits have changed. (I agree student loans are different than cc debt.)
Post # 7
I agree with the others. It’s smartest to pay down the cc debt. The less of a burden it is for him, the less it is for the household/you. And in the long term, you’ll be glad it’s just gone.
Post # 8
I say keep debt separate for a while. I had a large limit cc and my now xh ran it up when we were building our once dream house. It fell onto me..and yes I authorized him to have an extra card. I sure wish I did not.
Let him pay down his debt himself and keep the debt SEPARATE from you or your debt for a while. I might LET him him have SOME of the money to help pay it down but this is his baby imho to rock. I learned my lesson on some of this stuff the hard way..
Post # 9
Thanks everyone, that really helps! You are all right that either way it’s a burden to me/our household to wait til he pays it. One thing that I do want to make sure is that he has learned his lesson, I really don’t want him to get "bailed out" (like what has been going on all over the country! 😉
But, I think that hopefullly he has learned from it because this has been hanging over his head for awhile and stressing the poor guy out. He knows he is marrying a very frugal girl and he would have to deal with the wrath of me if he went back to his old ways–just kidding. I guess the gift money is for the start of our marriage and if part of the start is becoming debt free then that is what we should use it for.
Post # 10
Post # 11
thanks bellenga, it’s good to see the other perspective too. Especially since you’ve been there-ouch!
Another concern I have that could be silly is I don’t want him to feel like less of man by bailing him out. that might sounds weird but I saw that happen once and I don’t even think the hubby realized it made him feel that way at the time but later you could tell that she totally wore the pants in the relationship. I think my fiance wants a quick fix but I feel like he’d feel way more proud to get rid of the $9000 cc debt on his own.
(that might sound confusing because now i’m talking about using the $2000? gift money + $7000 of my own savings to pay the debt)
also, the savings that I am building up I plan to use for our future house/children so it will help him in the end but in a different way. He is a teacher so I realize that we will probably not be able to afford having me be a stay at home mom but I’d at least like to have some cushion to stay home longer than a typical pregnancy leave.
(more details: we have been together 5 yrs, getting married next month and won’t have kids for 3-5 more yrs i’m just trying to plan ahead 😉
Post # 12
Listen to Ms. Orman!!!
And maybe AT MOST give him 1k of your gifting monies. SAVE your savings! You never know when you will need several months of survival monies in this fluctuating economy.
Not eveybody will do what my xh did (and I sure hope NOT) but it did happen and it was awful..he messed my cc up and also defaulted on HIS vehicle (a super expensive BMW that was in both of our names but the court ordered it to remain his and him to make payments on it.) By the way, the court order is DIFFERENT from reality as the creditors didn’t care WHO the court deemed responsible..both of our names were on that vehicle!
He was to keep that one and I kept my suv. He defaulted and it hurt MY credit. It’s been five years ago now and things are finally great with it.
Post # 13
My friend is paying off all of her fiance’s debt once they get married. She’s dumping her ENTIRE savings to pay off HIS student loans. She says that once they’re married, they both start off at ground zero together.
I don’t believe in this. Things can go sooooo badly. You earned your savings. You never know when you might need it. Your FI needs to take care of his own finances.
Post # 14
3 mos of savings is recommended for most families in case of troubles. Do hold onto that savings!
What if either of you lost their job? What if somebody had a prolonged illness?
Post # 15
yeah, that is a bold move on her part. and so scary, I think we are a very solid couple at this point but I don’t want to change the dynamic by dumping all my savings to his finances like your friend is doing. I worry that I would judge his every purchase/fishing trip in the future and feel owed or something….
Post # 16
his debt is your debt now, i agree with most people by saying you should help pay off his highest interest debt off right now (probably the cc one?).
you will feel better down the line… you can’t treat it like it’s only his problem because you guys are now a team. ^_^