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

posted 11 years ago in Married Life
Post # 17
Member
1981 posts
Buzzing bee

Yeah, I’m the one coming in with debt, but Fiance has known about it the whole time. He was lucky enough to have his parents pay for school, and I wasn’t–and he is grateful that we do not have two sets of student loans to be paying. 

I agree with vistagirl, though–for richer or poorer. I’m also the only one of us both right now with a job, so we’re all kinds of screwed up. But we are working it out and we’re both very conscious of how to budget.

Post # 18
Member
946 posts
Busy bee

My SO has some debt, but we’ll be keeping our finances separate.  We’ll only have a joint account for joint expenses.

Post # 19
Member
236 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

I think “in richer and poorer” is actually legal. I’m pretty sure I’ve heard financial planners talk about the legality of debt – and how if you use the same checking account to deposit your check and pay a DH’s debt with, and then they default, maybe you even divorce, that they can garnish wages from you for debt occured pre-marital bliss. I could totally be off base here, but my limited understanding of debt and marriage is that once you get hitched you can be held responsible, legally, for debt they occur that you might not even know about.

Someone correct me if I’m wrong? Any lawyers out there that know about this?

Post # 20
Member
115 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

My Fiance has never been great with money. He stayed in undergrad for 6 years (never getting a degree) and spends frivolously. He even got in trouble with money at one point before we were engaged and had to borrow a couple thousand dollars from me. So he not only has a lot of his own debt but he was in debt to me personally for awhile. I think that opened his eyes that he needed to be smarter with his money. He is much better now and working to pay things off. I’ve always been the smart one with money but since I’m in grad school I will be bringing a much larger debt into the marriage, though I will be making much more than he will. Here is what we are planning on doing: we will both be working full-time but we will be living on his salary alone. This way we will be putting almost my entire salary towards our debts and we can get rid of them as quickly as possible. Money has always been a source of arguments in my family and while I don’t necessarily want to pay back his debt, it will eventually become *my* debt anyways. And I feel that the quicker we just get it out of the picture the better our relationship in general will be. 

Post # 21
Member
6659 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2010

Fiance is the one bringing debt into the relationship, student loans. The way I see it is once we’re married, our finances are our finances. We’ve both decided to get married and become one unit, to trust each other. If we’re working towards the same goals, we’re going to have the same budget. I am 100% uncomfortable with the idea of Fiance making less $$ than me and having debt to pay off while I’m living more comfortably once we’re married. Not going to happen. We’re each going to have equal access to the checking account and savings. And be on the same terms with the budget to pay off his student loans and save towards our future.

Post # 22
Member
27 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: May 2010

I have kind of the same situtation: I have student loan debt, and he has student loan debt.  Thing is, his debt is much higher than mine due to the choices he made.  Ever hear of the saying that goes someting like “Live like a king when you’re a student, and you’ll live like a pauper when you’re not”?  He lived like a king when he was a student.

I’m not really bitter, I guess, but I do think it’s unfair for me to have to help pay off his debt when he could have easily made better financial choices when he was in school.  I think he was quite the high roller, and I detest the thought of paying for his ex-girlfriends’ dinners, gifts, etc.  LOL

So what we’re doing is: Say I have $50K in loans and he has $80K.  We would pay off $100K together ($50K each), but the $30K that was his overspending, he would pay off himself with his “own” money.  We are combining finances after we get married, but the assets we have before marriage continue to be our “own”.  So he would take his “own” money to pay off that extra $30K.

We’re going to have a sunset clause in our prenup that says in 40 years, it all going to be “our” money (including the assets we accumulated prior to marriage).  If we make it that long, I feel like I wouldn’t care a whit by then if I indirectly financed his going out with his exes.  We’ll be old codgers by then, and will probably be glad just to be able to find our dentures!

 

Post # 23
Member
4464 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

We are both bringing in different kinds of debt.  I have a very hefty student loan and Fiance pays a credit counseling service each month (long story).  We’ll be paying these debts off together when we get married.

Post # 24
Member
1508 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

No students loans for either of us all gone due to getting maried at the ripe old age of 36. Neither of us have credit card debt, but , a huge but is he is hugely underwater in his condo. It would sell today, for 50,000 K less than he owns. Also all the money he has put into it the last five years including a down payment would be gone. I made 50K on my condo I sold. It hurts to pay a huge mortgage on something that’s not worth it anymore. My mortgage payment was at least three times less than his and his is not three times bigger or nicer. Ack. I’m still struggling with the issue. I also have more in retirement savings than him, but he hisd more in general savings than me.

Post # 25
Member
5822 posts
Bee Keeper

Unless you are bracing for an eventual divorce, I don’t see how this is even an issue.  If you plan to be together forever, then his debt becomes your debt, and you now share it.  Sure, he incurred it before you were married, but you’re an item now!  You will probably apply for a mortgage based on shared credit, and by not helping to whittle down his debt to credit ratio, you are only hurting yourself.  I guess this may fall into the separate/combined finances category.  I know to each her own, so maybe you’ve chosen not to combine your finances?  For us, we’ve combined everything from the start, so it’s hard to look at anything as “his” or “my” debt anymore.

Post # 26
Member
1260 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

I am the one bringing student debt into our marriage this June. My personal views is that my student debt is my responsibilty to pay off, and I plan to do so. Everything else is a joint venture. Mighty Sapphire has some good points though.

I think that if you are harbouring resentment, it is time for a talk. Fiance and I had a huge talk the other day about what our plans our for our financial future as a married couple, and we got EVERYTHING out in the open. We plan to contribute to a joint account for our shared expenses (mortgage, bills, retirement, savings), and have our own accounts with money left over for miscelanous expenses (such as clothes).  I think you need to work out a family financial plan that you are both happy with. It can be a scary conversation, but a necessary one!

Post # 27
Member
2186 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

im the one bringing debt into the marriage – i paid of my college loans, but in the process when i was making less lived off of credit cards to buy groceries and the like, and also inherited a hefty amount from my last relationship when he left me high and dry (and all the bills he left were in MY name not his). most of it is almost paid off however, and should be debt free in a little over a year. I have good credit however, and make more than Fiance, so i doubt its much of an issue with him. we dont hurt for $$ ya know? but it will be nice when i can get the CC paid off and we can buy a house or condo! 🙂

we plan on having one joint account probably …havent put much thought into it yet though – we live together now, so we will probably continue to pay for things they way we have been.

Post # 28
Member
818 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2009

My husband and I both have student loans, but I also have a car payment due each month. However, I make more than him. We are using a joint account with me having an additional account for business since I am self-employed. He is more money-wise than me, which is hard, but we just keep considering that we are helping each other and it ought to get easier!

Post # 29
Member
1184 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

We actually both have debt. I have more debt than his. Together we have a huge debt. I don’t mind it we will just pay it off slowly. That’s actually one of the first things our pastor asked us when we first started talking about money in our marriage counseling classes. We told him what each of our debts were and he was all are you two willing to accept each other’s debts. And we were like yea.

Post # 30
Member
2343 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

It’s interesting to see how everyone sees this, as it is a touchy issue. When Fiance and I first began discussing finances, he was very much “my debt and your debt” but I see it as “our” debt, mainly because practically, that’s how it’s going to work out. The sooner we are both out of debt, the sooner we will be in a better financial position to buy a house or have a family. It only makes sense to have a game plan where we work together to pay down our debt as efficiently as possible to work toward the common, long-term goal of financial security as a couple. Not to mention I am a big believer in combining finances in general. As our relationship as grown, Fiance sees things more my way, and we will work together to pay our debts.

To answer your question, Fiance and I have probably about the same amount of debt, but its different kinds. He has a lot of credit card debt – not tons, but much more than me – and he has a car payment. My car is paid off and I carry pretty small balances on my credit cards, but I will have over $10,000 in student loans when I graduate. A lot of other couples are in a lot more debt than we are but we still want to work hard to pay those debts down so its not something holding us back.

Post # 31
Member
453 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2011

Though my fiance plans to have his medical bills paid off I highly doubt it will happen as he’ll probably have to have surgery soon. I’m not bitter about it. It’s part of life. It’s not a lot of debt. And though I won’t have student loans to begin with I will aquire them my last yr of college and for vet school. He’ll be starting back to college as well and will have student loans. The plan is that we save where we can in all things. We work hard to get finicial aid and scholarships where possible. Sh*t happens, fact of life. Debt happens. We just have to be smart about it. In a perfect world we could live debt free, but this isn’t a perfect world. It’s going to be REALLY hard, and I’m going to freak out a lot, because I’m one of those people that likes to feel safe at every turn, but life being what it is at this point we don’t have the luxury. Might sound stupid and some one reading this will shake their head and say I’m naive. My dear head shaking friend I’m far from it. I just know that I’m ready to get married and we’re going to do a lot better together then we would apart. Few things in life worth having are easy.

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