(Closed) HELP Boyfriends credit issues.

posted 5 years ago in Money
Post # 2
Member
3323 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2017

First off, I don’t believe in financing a ring – if you can’t afford it, get something cheaper.

Second, you need to talk to a financial counselor/bank about this. You need to know exactly how HIS situation will affect you now and for the future. There may be ways of keeping yourselves separate for this, and helping him rebuild credit in the meantime. You should also discuss HOW it came to need filing for bankruptcy, to make sure it won’t happen again.

But tbh I’d be a bit upset that he kept it from me, but he’s probably embarrased.

Post # 3
Member
860 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2017 - historical mansion

I hate to sound unromantic, but marriage is a business arrangement in a lot of ways. You really do have to consider the financial ramifications of tying yourself legally to someone who is not on good financial footing. Part of why I broke up with one ex (besides him being a jerk) was that he was very irresponsible with money. He owed money to the IRS, credit card companies, etc., and was still buying stupid things on eBay. I own a condo and am financially savvy and refused to let myself be dragged down by someone who had bad credit and debts. Also, as the PP said, definitely do not exacerbate the bad credit situation by financing a ring, or anything wedding-related really. Enjoy your boyfriend, but I would advise against taking your relationship to the next level before he sorts out his finances. Finances before fiance-ness (or something).

Post # 4
Member
9254 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

View original reply
kezisoup9033:  “I again brought up that you finance it” — No you don’t. You buy what you can afford with the money you have. This kind of attitude of “buy now, pay later” is surely what got your guy into trouble. Hopefully he learned his lesson, and when he said “I can’t finance anything” he meant can’t do it because he sees what a slippery slope of bad decisions that is, and not simply that nobody will give him credit now.

Regarding him not telling you about it, have you had money talks before, where it would naturally have come up? That’s not exactly the type of thing you just start talking about out of the blue. TBH, I’m not sure he sees the relationship the same way you do if he shuts down all talk of engagement, rings, and marriage. In light of that, and the fact that you’re still learning important things about each other (like a bankruptcy), I think you need to pull back your focus from happily-ever-after to the here-and-now. Stop planning your engagement and wedding and concentrate more on getting to know each other better.

Post # 5
Member
309 posts
Helper bee

How old is he? Why did he file bankruptcy? BK is not the end of the world. A lot of people have to do it for a lot of reasons. It does not make him irresponsible necesarily. It also does not mean he kept anything from you. It is a very private matter and something people don’t go blabbing to just anyone.  Until he knew you were serious and talking marriage he probably didn’t want to share that information.

Post # 6
Member
1739 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

As long as he has learned his lesson about how to manage his money and credit, this is not a huge issue.  It’s better to have a bankruptcy in his past than to be overly burdened by creditors now.  Bankruptcy is not a long-term issue — it will stay on his credit report for another 6 years, but he WILL be able to get credit before that 6 years is up.  Probably in another year or so he will be able to get a credit card – it may be at a higher interest rate, but that won’t matter if he pays it off at the end of the month.  He may even be able to get a secured credit card now.  From there, it won’t take long for him to build a good FICO score.  

Having said all that, I agree with the PP that you shouldn’t finance a ring.  You should only finance the big necessities in life – namely, cars and houses.  

Post # 7
Member
5077 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: December 2014

Has he cleaned up his act? Is he financially responsible now or does he continue to overspend? Why did he file for bankrupsy (there’s a big difference if he did it because of CC debt or if he did it becuase of medical bills, for example)?

You don’t need to be talking about spending money on a wedding/ring right now. If you want to be together, he needs to make sure that he’s on a good financial path to rebuild his credit (that bankrupsy will be on there for 7 years). You also need to realize within that time that you will likely not be able to finance a house (or any other large purchase) jointly with him. Even if you do decide to marry him, you can keep your accounts separate and his credit won’t effect yours. 

I wouldn’t necessarily worry that he didn’t tell you previously, especially if you haven’t talked finances yet. It’s something very private and embarassing. 

Post # 11
Member
1805 posts
Buzzing bee

This wasn’t and wouldn’t be a deal breaker for me. My DH claimed bankruptcy after going through a difficult divorce. He was left with mortgage debt on a foreclosed home. In order to resolve that, bankruptcy was the best way–neither he nor his ex could afford to pay the deficiency balances on a 1st and 2nd mortgage. This was 2 years ago and his credit score is now back up at a 700. He is able to get sizeable credit cards and loans. We worked on rebuilding his credit profile in a variety of different ways.

I work in finance and I can assure you, bankruptcy is not the end of the world. It’s not necessarily a hallmark of financial irresponsibility, either. I know many people who were affected by the recession and experienced a job loss or a double job loss in their household. No income coming in means after the savings is gone, the bills can’t feasibly get paid. There are all sorts of reasons for bankruptcy. It’s certainly not the end of his/your credit world and possibilities. If you feel he is now back on track and has learned a valuable lesson, I’d be inclined to let this one go. As far as him keeping it from you, I can see where the embarrassment may lie. Does it exonerate him from holding onto the information for so long? Nope, not really. But I do understand where he is coming from. It is what it is now and if he doesn’t make a habit of holding things back from you, I’d be inclined to let him know how important it is to keep one another in the loop about such things going forward and let it go at that.

For the record, my now DH had just claimed bankruptcy when he decided he wanted to get engaged to me. He sold a car and scraped up the rest to get a ring. It’s amazing what can happen when a person really wants it to!

Post # 12
Member
1292 posts
Bumble bee

Nooooo you don’t finance a ring. No no no no no.

Post # 13
Member
5077 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: December 2014

View original reply
MelissainNC:  I knew you’d jump on that! Fair enough, but it will be a while before he can build up his credit enough to get financed at a good rate, maybe not the full 7 years though, since things do tend to impact credit less as they get older.

 

Personal anecdote: My now-husband had terrible credit when we met 3 years ago. No bankrupsy, but like 9 collections accounts, back taxes, late payments, etc. It wasn’t a dealbreaker for me because he was willing to work on it (or allow me to work on it). With my help his credit is much better now (no more collections on there and a ~700 score) and we just bought a house. He had a car loan with an outrageous rate that is now refinanced at less than half the original rate. These things can be repaired, as long as he’s willing to keep himself out of trouble.

Post # 14
Member
1202 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

I agree with PPs… it’s not great, but if he’s willing to work on his finances, then bankruptcy is not a dealbreaker. In a way, this makes him more suitable as a long-term partner because he learned his lesson the hard way and is less likely to make the mistake again. I’m betting that if you two work as a team, you can accomplish your goals (buying a house, etc.) and even come out ahead. It may not happen as quickly as you would like, but good things come to those who wait.

Post # 15
Member
1739 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

One more thing I want to add:  OP, you haven’t said what types of bills your BF incurred that caused him to go bankrupt, and so this may not apply to him.  But to anyone else reading this post that may think that a prior bankruptcy is or should be a dealbreaker, please keep in mind that, in the US, medical bills are the number one cause of bankruptcy.  At least 60% of people who file for bankruptcy do so as a result of major medical expenses, and at least 70% of them actually had some form of medical insurance.  But co-pays and deductibles can add up fast, plus there are some other absurd situations that make it so that even if you have good insurance, you may be stuck with a bill for tens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of dollars, following a major medical issue.  

For example, I was once hospitalized for a major MRSA infection (I’ve written about it here before — it almost cost me my leg and/or life).   I had very good insurance – a PPO plan through BC/BS from my large employer, which coincidentally enough, was an insurance company.  The hospital I was admitted to was in-network.  But the subcontractor who owned and ran the MRI machine in the hopital was out of network.  And the lab which drew and analyzed my blood each day (sometimes multiple times a day) was out of network.  It didn’t matter that both the MRI machine and the lab were located inside the in-network hospital.  And it didn’t matter that I had no choice but to use that MRI machine and lab.  Thus, I was hit with bills exceeding $50,000 after I was released.  A couple of states have tried to address this issue, but as of yet, I have not seen any articles or research that shows if the laws are effective.  And the vast majority of states have not addressed it.  Here is an interesting article about these situations:  http://www.slate.com/articles/business/moneybox/2014/10/surprise_out_of_network_hospital_bills_why_it_s_so_hard_for_states_to_protect.html

Having said all that, the number 2 cause of bankruptcy is job loss, which can sometimes be the fault of the employee, but sometimes isn’t.

So all I’m saying to anyone who is judgmental of others who may have gone bankrupt, please keep in mind that the leading causes of bankruptcy are NOT reckless spending and irresponsibility.  At least not in the US.   And bankruptcy is not the “death sentence” that so many people treat it as.

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