(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 # 77
    3054 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: April 2012

    This is long, but I feel myself relating to this, although my debts were not due to buying things for myself necessarly.

    This is just to paint of picture of what happens when debts go un-resolved.

    Oh boy… see I am 20k in the hole due to some stupid decisions I made to help out a boyfriend I had the time. This all happened before I even met the husband. I was a student at the time and was not able to pay off any of it. So almost 6 years later, it is basically up to me to pay this back out of moral obligation. I have a hard time justifying paying the debt in full to a bunch of debt buyers though (none of them are willing to take a settlement, I have debt buyers from hell, yay!). They had bought the debt for nearly nothing, want to collect in full plus interest. When I tell them I can’t afford to pay what they are telling me, they get nasty, like I have the money but do not want to pay. (Um, no really I don’t have some magical money tree in the backyard…wish I did). Not my proudest moment, but one of them filed a lawsuit against me, which I won because the Judge did not feel a debt buyer had any merit to being suing anyone in the first place. The debt buyer made sure to make me feel pretty lousy though and are still trying to collect from me. I have had to resort to blocking their number. So, be careful of the fact that you can be sued for a debt and you may have to suffer the consequences even if it is his debt. It is not fun at all, it is totally humiliating and these people that are suing you, they are not the nicest people. I do not about laws in Ontario, but here if they get a judgement, they can garnish your wages and levy your assets.

    I would really rather pay it back to the original creditors, but it is too late for that now…another year to go and the debt will not be on my credit report, but I will have no credit whatsoever. Also, now all my debts are outside of statute of limitations. Will that stop a debt buyer from filing a lawsuit, no. But if I do not go to court I am slapped with a default judgement. I have complimented bankruptcy several times, but that sticks around for 10 years. I also hate the fact that I have to file BK, because my ex refused to help pay me back like he said he would. Again, my fault, I know this. But a mistake that have to deal with for 10 years?

    Now when we first started dating, I made it clear to my husband what had happened. He said he knew plenty of girls that had dated loser exs like I did and were actually worst off then I was. Now to me, $20K is shameful and alot of money! However, he put that in the back of his mind and said I was not a bad person, I was just a very trusting person that was taken advantage of. Now we are married, granted I can’t get credit right now, but it hasn’t really affected us that much. I also have learned to be very frugile with my money. I do not know what advice I can offer you, be wary of some of those debt consolidation people if you decide to go that route though. Trust me….

    I have to pay everything in cash and if I do not have the money to afford it, I do not buy it. Yes, this is depressing sometimes when I go shopping and the fact that if I wanted to buy a car it is very difficult…I have had to work my up with my bank to get an actual checking account, so I am proud at least that I was able to get that in the right direction. For the longest time, I was having to pay to get my checks cashed. I also did not have a debit card for the longest time.

    I just wish…that I could go back sometimes and told myself to kick that fool to the curb fast…oh well…


    Post # 78
    1884 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: April 2012

    I have a lot of debt, but it’s mostly student loan debt… which is close to 40k.  I have about 3k in credit card debt that I racked up in college and when I moved here before I found a job.  I did have another loan (7k) when my husband and I started dating, but it is paid off now.

    As for my husband, he has a mortgage, and a 100k “loan” from when he bought his BIL’s business, but it’s a friendly agreement, not through a bank or anything so I don’t believe that affects his credit… He also has a small car payment from when I got in my car accident and we replaced my car.  Since I have so much debt it was better to put the car in his name, but it was a used car so the loan was only around 5k.  Otherwise, his credit card debt is minimal ($100 here and there, paid off regularly).

    Post # 79
    3274 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: September 2018


    There’ been a lot of good advice on this thread but here’s my two penneth.

    • I’m really surprised you didn’t know about this debt before now.  Maybe it’s just me but money is extremely important and as soon as I realised SO and I were in it long term we talked about finances.  He does have debt (although nowhere near the figures you’re talking) and he knew from the outset that this was make or break for me, he’s working to become debt free for our relationship so we don’t enter into a marriage with debt (and I hope he will be by the end of the year)
    • Do not fall behind on his payments, or you’ll both be an even worse situation that you are now (like my SO was).  If necessary get a debt managment agency involved.
    • I highly doubt with that sort of debt you two will get a mortgage.
    • Sell his car, sorry but it’s a luxury he can’t afford (and he should take responsibility for it)
    • Wedding wise,  I feel you should be cutting costs where possible so any “extra” money goes onto paying his debt.

    Good luck!

    Post # 83
    572 posts
    Busy bee

    I’m confused about the needing a professional looking car thing…Sam Walton, owner of Walmart, drove a ’79 pickup.  My SO works in one of the most prestigious law firms in our state and he doesn’t need a nice car.  Most of the attorneys I work with have beat up cars and I know mine didn’t cost over 15k and I was floored even by that (my parents contributed to the cost or it would have been cheaper, it’s the same car I’ve had since high school and I’ll keep it until it falls apart).  Unless you have a really really good reason why you need a “professional” car (like your business is selling really nice cars), I’d look into downsizing and get something that runs.  

    You also don’t “need” a home yet.  I know it’s frustrating throwing money away every month on rent (or if you’re not renting, living in a crampd space), but minimizing your debt needs to be priority number 1 right now.  Do you really want to add house debt on top of all that?  I hate my tiny little apartment and I’d LOVE to get my own home and I’m saving like a crazy person to afford the downpayment, but I know it just won’t happen for two or three more years and that’s okay.  All you “need” is shelter.  Anything else is gravy.

    As for the teeny extravagant lifestyle, that needs to come to a screeching halt.  I’m not sure what extravagant means (to me it means lunch out more than once a week, but I’m a poor student), but y’all need to forget about that for awhile.  Bring your lunch to work (or cook if you work from home), cook dinner together, cheap or free date nights (walks in the park, game nights, afternoon movies at the cheap theater etc).  Turn weeklong vacations into weekend or day trips and don’t take those too often.  

    I know it sounds scary, but just reflect a little on your post and what you actually need versus just want.  There was a lot in your post that you said you needed that many, many people go with out and are still okay.

    Post # 85
    595 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: September 2012

    We have no car loans, no mortgage, no credit card debt or anytbing like that.

    BUT. In his younger days my Fiance purchased a shelf company off his father that his father was not using anymore for around $500 to use to set up his own company. Cheaper then starting fresh, good idea.  Yeah, no!

    What his Dad didn’t tell him is that when he wound up the company he sold off all the assets and didn’t pay any company tax on them.  And as the new director of the company, my Fiance now owned the $50K worth of tax debt that went with it.

    It caused him to become bankrupt.  Which he has now been discharged from for many years.  But it never cleared the Tax Debt.  So it still lingers.  Not great!!!! but not by any means  deal breaker for me.

    Post # 86
    572 posts
    Busy bee

    @fivemonthsnotice: I can live just fine off what I have. He cant. 

    See, you just called it a partnership not two seconds ago in a previous comment…do you see how you’re contradicting yourself?  You CANNOT distinguish between your incomes/your debt/your choice in lifestyle.  My 600 in debt, his 100k in debt, the sh*thole HE’s in etc etc.  It is ALL your debt and ALL his debt and ALL your money and ALL his money and BOTH of your sh*tholes.  Can you both live off of what you both have?  Do you both have similar lifestyles and patterns of spending and means of and will to pay off debt?  

    I don’t like playing the cousneling card, but I think you both could benefit from premartial counseling.  And I still say y’all don’t need a 35k car when you have 100k in debt.  Downsize, get back in the black, THEN buy whatever you can afford.  You comment a lot on the “potential” money you can make.  I don’t care if you have a 7 day weather forecast of 99% chance of raining Benjamins, potential money should never be counted on as real money.  


    Post # 87
    6980 posts
    Busy Beekeeper
    • Wedding: February 2011

    We’re in about $140,000 of non-home debt together. 

    me: $80k student loans + 15k car debt

    him: $40k student loans + 5k car debt

    It kind of sucks… but I also feel like its kind of the necessary cost of getting to where we are (good jobs). We both went to reasonable priced schools and worked through school, but our parents didnt have a lot of money to help us through school and I went to law school…. so it is what it is. 

    The big issue is that you didn’t KNOW. I’m never quite sure how people get engaged before understanding the other’s financial situation. Especially because you own a business together. 

    Post # 88
    54 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: November 2012

    I would run away, quickly.  What concerns me is not the amount of debt he owes, but you said that his work ethic is unreliable and weak.  High ability to incrue consumer debt + Low work ethic = Combustible situation.  This would be deal breaker for me because I could not spend the rest of my life worrying about his financial choices and his working.  

    I know that you love him, but marriage is also a contract; when you say “richer or poorer” and “good and bad,” you’re signing up for whatever choices he makes.  You don’t want to have to babysit your husband.

    Post # 89
    3615 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: June 2013

    My fiance and I are not in debt at all…unless you count our car loans or like $200 on a credit card…which never carries over to the following month.

    He had school loans of about $20k but have since been paid…we will go into our marriage debt free and we’re looking to buy a house! πŸ™‚

    Post # 90
    99 posts
    Worker bee


    I’m sorry, I wasn’t meaning to come across as harsh.  I’m happy to hear that you already knew a lot of what I posted and no consumer debt.  I should have considered your shock in finding out that your Fiance had overspent to the point that all of a sudden your dreams and plans just crumbled in front of your eyes.  I do understand what that feels like.

    It sounds like you’ve got a plan to extricate yourself from the hole, which is great.  If I may suggest that you help him for the simple reason that – he most likely spent a lot of that money on you (the plural you – as a couple).  Yes, you didn’t ask him to, and yes, if you had known he was doing that, you would have told him not to. When you have a partner who’s got bad money management skills and wants to make his/her partner happy it’s a recipe for overspending so long as there’s still room on the credit cards. Plus, if you both work to pay down that debt, I’m sure you can do it faster than if he’s doing it alone – especially if your business continues to take off!  Maybe this is just a bump in the road (or in Toronto- summer construction lol) and won’t slow you down as much as you feared.  Good luck!

    Post # 91
    260 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: September 2013

    Buying a home should not even be a priority right now. I’d immediately go to counseling b/c honestly, he may not listen to you and having a neutral third party there will help you both be open with your feelings. Id also use this counseling to make sure you are 100% ok with marrying this man….It does seem like he is on a path to where you absolutely will besupporting him or at the very least, constantly having the burden to watch finances and get him to work hard. What will happen when you have to tend to your children and will be so occupied with other things in life? Can you trust him to run the household? Honestly these money conversations shouldve been had long before engagement, but hopefully counseling can help.

    You could also meet with a financial planner/advisor to get on track  with finances. Good luck! πŸ™‚

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