(Closed) Just found out FI is in a load of debt. Now what?

posted 9 years ago in Money
  • poll: How much debt will you and your FI carry (NOT including mortgages)

    Nothing-we are debt free!

    $10,000 or less








  • Post # 33
    7382 posts
    Busy Beekeeper
    • Wedding: January 2011

    Looking at some of your updates, it sounds like the bigger issue is that you two do not have the same goals.  For me, that would be a major issue going into a marriage.  You need to figure that out for youself.

    If he’s not interested in paying of debt and saving for the future, I would not want to combine finances.  Keep the business finances as business.  Split that debt/profit 50/50 (or whatever you two work out based on what you’ve put in).  Do not have joint credit with him.  Discuss rent/mortgage payments and if it will be split 50/50.  Same for household expenses.

    Post # 35
    892 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: November 2011

    Between Student Loans, 2 car loans, and 2 CC’s, we are $60 – 70K.  But, if my Fiance was hiding anything, I would FLIP!!!!  Sorry OP, I don’t have any advice for you other than to see a financial advisor – hopefully this can be resolved.  And maybe couples counseling to deal with the issue of his hiding the debt from you?

    Post # 36
    7039 posts
    Busy Beekeeper
    • Wedding: September 2010

    I would look into credit and marriage counseling, just to help you guys sort this out with a level headed third party.

    I brought $6000 in student loans to our marriage, and he has no debt. We don’t own cars, and don’t believe in carrying a car payment – we would pay cash for a used car. Honestly, my husband needing a camaro would have been a deal breaker priority for me. I’m more of a “save money for security and great travel” kind of gal, and my husband is the exact same way, thankfully! It’s all about what you are comfortable with and can budget for. If you can afford the car payments (you never said if you could or not?) then maybe it’s ok. You can snowball the rest of the debt. BUT, it sounds like he lacks self control with spending on material goods if he has tens of thousands of debt towards consumer credit. And that is not ok. That means he needs a reality check and a budget plan.

    Post # 37
    7039 posts
    Busy Beekeeper
    • Wedding: September 2010

    Also, look into your state’s laws. In CA, for example, all debt and income earned during marriage are split 50/50 during a divorce regardless of who made the bad choices/earned the money. Unless you have a prenup, it doesn’t matter that you two technically divided your finances to keep him from drowning you. You’ll be held responsible for his mistakes.

    Post # 38
    2865 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: October 2011

    i’m so confused.  How did you not know this if you run a business together?

    My mother found out about my father’s poor financial situation right after they got married and she was VERY smart and never put her name on any loan/payment/down payment/credit card, etc. with his name on it. That way if he made bad financial decisions it wouldn’t affect her credit.  And guess what?  He’s filed for bankrupcy twice since then because being financially irresponsible is something that most people can’t get over.

    Post # 42
    4090 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: August 2012

    I believe there is a huge difference between wracking up student loan debt and wracking up consumer debt.

    You have a huge problem on your hands.  This lies of omission is concerning.  After so long together then he tells you???  Did you find out or did he spill the beans?  People who wrack up consumer debt like this are going to be very hard to build a long term happy relationship with.  It will always be an issue in the foreground.

    I would not marry him until you see a few YEARS of responsible financial well being.  You’ll need to define what that means to you so that he knows what you are expecting.

    The general laziness and lack of worth ethic would bug me.  My ex was like that. 


    I’ve been awtching tons of Suze Orman podcasts (free) and she warns engaged/dating couples where one partner is not financially responsible.  Check out one of her more recent podscasts.  She even had a guest whose Fiance told her of his debt years into the relationship.


    ETA: If you don’t want to postpone the wedding, then I think a pre-nup would be great for this situation since it appears it may not be worked out before you get married.  There are some great books on Amazon.com for prenups.


    Fiance and I both have zero CC/consumer/student loan debt.  Money values/theories are so important.  I was married before and while we didn’t have that much money to spend, my ex would buy something as soon as we saved $1000, wrack up overdraft fees (sometimes $200 a month), and generally had no concern for retirement.  When I was dating all over again, I really wanted someone who was financially responsible and one has similar money values. 

    Post # 43
    7439 posts
    Busy Beekeeper
    • Wedding: December 2012

    Debt is a BIG issue.  And contrary to what some folks think… YES when you marry (or join into a business together) your Debt can most definitely be considered joint …

    Know this because I went thru a Divorce in Ontario… those things you “assume” about personal vs joint property to be true … in the end, (when applied by the courts) aren’t really necessarily done as you thought.

    Example… You ASSUME that you own half of everything if you should split up… in reality you only own half of (a) whatever is left OR (b) in court you win YOUR case… and he loses his.

    Let me tell you having done that, that it sucks.  In the end with the courts, in some ways it is whoever has the biggest pile of “active” cash can drag it thru the courts forever.  In my case, my Divorce in the courts took 5 years… and left me over $ 100 K in the hole (Lawyer & Court Fees – My Ex missing SUBSTANTIAL payments that put me out of pocket for that same amount of money… I still had to live and make ends meet – And money he “blew” by cashing out some Investments… money that he got to play with, that I will never see again)

    Protect yourself, go see a Lawyer BEFORE you get married.. find out what you need to do to get this Debt documented as HIS and not yours !!

    And do the same for your Business as well (hoping that that one isn’t too late as you already are in a Buisness Partnership)


    Post # 44
    444 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: August 2013

    Fiance has little debt; I on the other hand have lots of debt most of which is from student loans. His debt will more then likely be paid off before the wedding; my debt I hope to have lowered (or gone) before the wedding. Luckily when I finish school and I get a job, the hospital will help pay off my student loans so they won’t be as painful.  

    Post # 45
    3968 posts
    Honey bee

    @fivemonthsnotice:  My DH came into the marriage with a ton of debt – but, I knew everything about it going into it.  It boiled down to him being an impuse spender, liking nice things, and wanting lots of toys.  Part of what we dealt with was him realizing he was spending money he didn’t have.  Just because you have a 10K credit limit, doesn’t mean you max it out.

    Something that was INSANELY important to me was that DH had a handle on his spending habits and came to terms with the fact he just couldn’t spend because he could.

    He did a complete change of his spending habits and I don’t think I could have married him if he hadn’t.  He brought a crap load of debt into the marriage and it took me awhile to embrace it and work together to get rid of it.  I didn’t view it as his debt but our debt – since our state of affairs was affected by his outstanding money.

    I think it’s great that you guys are talking about it and the truth about what he owes is out there.  Do you think he was embarrassed to tell you?  Or maybe he was in a bit of denial about it himself.  I see it kind of like getting on a scale when you are overweight – you know things are out of control, but it’s not until you see the number that reality hits.

    I’d strongly encourage you to talk about money goals, how you view spending on credit, getting rid of any assets you can (DH had to sell his prized truck that he had bought on a ridiculous loan and he was way over his head in payments).  He ended up buying a modest car and started enjoying no car payments.  Was it his dream car?  No – was it a hit to his ego – yeah, probably.  But, guess what?!  He couldn’t afford that dream car and he was fooling himself by buying it and drowning in debt.

    Do you guys have a financial planner you consult for the business?  If not, maybe talking to a financial planner would help…. having a neutral third party involved might help prompt the discussion.

    Also – have you discussed who will handle the finances between the two of you?

    Post # 46
    3389 posts
    Sugar bee

    Two simple words – prenuptual agreement

    His debts remains HIS and your debts remain YOURS before the marriage, after marriage all debts incurred after… are BOTH your responsibility.

    So his $60,000 debt is his to pay not yours

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