(Closed) Inheriting debt from FI – How are you handling it?

posted 8 years ago in Married Life
Post # 3
2474 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

Well, my situation is in the reverse.  I have a lot of student loans, and my Fiance is already going to start putting some of his money towards my loans because he just paid all of his off this month.  I am certainly grateful for that, seeing as we aren’t even married yet.  Sorry, I don’t have any advice on reducing the bitterness 🙂

Post # 5
5670 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2010

I am with Tulip. I have a lot of debt for my college. Once we get married we will have joint accounts and that bill is just part of the budget.

As long as your FI’s debt is legitmate and he was honest with you, then you have to try to understand that he didn’t do anything wrong. It’s just going to be another bill you have to pay every month. Maybe you have a car loan and he doesn’t. Just think of it as another bill and not whose fault it is for having that bill.

Post # 6
6597 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2010

Mine is reverse also and I am still in school, incurring even MORE debt. He has known all along and we combined finances when we bought a house two years ago. I am very grateful to him that he is so OK with everything. 

Post # 7
2226 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

I’m in your same boat.  However, we decided that he would pay off his own debt (in actuality, his family paid the bulk of it off for him.  But, that’s another story for another day).

Just remember that even though you’re helping him pay it off, it’ll help you as a couple in the long run.  The faster the debt is paid off, the faster it can be fixed (although most bad debt is on their credit report for 7 years).  And, that means it can help you guys faster – buying a house, etc.  Repeat to yourself – IT”S FOR THE GREATER GOOD!

Post # 8
626 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

We were in the same boat.  Darling Husband had a lot of debt when we got together from being laid off a lot in the past and not controlling spending.  He was being really immature about it and ignoring it.  This made me crazy!  We got in a few fights about it ad I was definitely bitter about it.  I tried to take over and fix it myself, but  he wasn’t ready for change and it made our issues worse.  Then, after I got pregnant and we got married he realized how dangerous his actions were for our future family and he started a budget and has done a complete 180! 

Personally the only way I could cope was to ignore it and keep our finances separate.  But now that he has almost completely fixed it we have combined our finances and I constantly praise him for doing what he has done… He really appreciates the positive reinforcement.

Post # 9
1684 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: February 2010

I might be the minority here but his debt = his responsibility.

I’ve already paid off all my college loans & his loans are his to take care of. I’m all for covering other bills and throwing extra into savings for a home etc. while he puts his monies toward his loans but $0 of my salary contributes to his monthly loan payments.

Post # 10
85 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: November 2010

Hi oracle, I can totally sympathize.  Before Boyfriend or Best Friend met me, he was the absolute worst with money… completely irresponsible.  This has meant that he has a fair amount of debt.  Yes, it makes me mad at times (furious at times)… or did. 

But, as soon as we moved in together (which was soon into our relationship) we essentially combined finances (not getting joint bank accounts or anything), but paying for things out of the same pocket of money.  What has made it work is that he has allowed me to take complete control of the finances (I have access to all his bank accounts and know exactly what is there or not).  There was a point in time when we had very little monthly income and we had to watch every single dollar closely.  He knew that if he went out to lunch, I would know about it (and sometimes question the choice).  

If at any time during our relationship I had seen him doing something irresponsible with money, we may not be together now.  But, I can see that he is completely changed… he is now feeling the brunt of his bad choices and I know he completely regrets those poor decisions.

With regard to the debt.  My major anxiety with it was not knowing exactly how much debt there really was.  Now that i know exactly what needs to be paid off, I’m okay with it… because we have a plan to pay it off.  Yes, it means eating out a little less and him not being able to put money toward his retirement right away… but at least it is under control… and I am 100% confident that he will not let it happen again.

I’d say… spend one hour (or night) yelling and screaming.  I had a few of these… where I took it all out on him for one night… yes making him feel like crap and pointing out how stupid he was… but then at the end of that… tell him you love him, you know he is changed and will be different, and that everything will be alright and you will get through this.  Then, forgive him, and move on.  Money is not everything and as long as you are now on the same page you will be just fine.


Post # 11
7417 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2010

I am the one bring debt into our relationship.  I view it as mine to pay off.  He would pay it off if I let him, but instead he is putting his money away toward retirement at this time.  I know it will all even out in the end, but I would feel wierd if he were to pay my debts.

Post # 12
3709 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

My Fiance and I both agreed that certain debts would be paid off prior to the marriage. The big things…mortgages, etc…and maintenance things…life insurance…will be considered joint bills. Neither of us have any student loans or anything like that to consider so overall we don’t really have that much debt.

Post # 13
1154 posts
Bumble bee

I think this one depends on what kind of person you are and how you view money.  I’m not sure you should be paying off his loans if it is making you bitter.

For me, I would want to pay his loans for him, same as I’d want to do it for my sister or anyone I loved.  He’s not bringing in debt though… I am.  🙂  He wants to pay it off as soon as possible together (well not really as soon, after the wedding).  I would find it really hard to be with someone who didn’t want that, not as a way to punish them or anything but just because it meant they view relationships and money in a very different way than I do.  To me marriage is a legal contract about sharing your money with your Fiance and a binding agreement to monogomy.  So if I didn’t want to share/give all my money I wouldn’t be marrying him.

Post # 14
2249 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2018

what about “for richer or for poorer”? I say you take it all! my Fiance has debt but we pay it off as we can, so we can save for having a family someday. we are both all in financially!

Post # 15
2201 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

He’s bringing in the most debt, but he also makes more money, so I can’t be too upset Smile.

Our plan is to pay off my car first, because it has the highest interest rate (it’s also my only debt). Then his car, followed by his student loans (but those have a super low interest rate). And then all we’ll have left is the house. And realistically THAT’S never going to be paid off!

Post # 16
267 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

Must agree with vistagirl. When your marrying someone your taking them for who they are. However I also think it depends on the amount of debt. Fiance has some debt but not a lot. It’s only about $4,000-5,000. (depending on what you consider a lot or little) For us we decided to put our finances together. We make about the same and I have no debt & he has that payment plust a vehicle payment. But; we’re also not strapped. If we were strapped & i wasnt’ able to buy the things I wanted I guess I may feel a little bit differently. But for now and as for the future I can see; we’re in things together. Weather its Richness or Debt…… That posts another question for you girls. If your Fiance was suddenly rich; would you want him to keep his finances seperate from yours then?

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