(Closed) Yet another anonymous post, from yet another sad girl. Please help! Need advice!

posted 11 years ago in Emotional
Post # 3
53 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

Yes, money and financial responsibility is important.  However, I think you’re being more than a little harsh.  If this man is the LOVE OF YOUR LIFE and you were ready to marry him before this whole situation, don’t you think this relationship is worth fighting for?  Is someone’s credit score really more important than how they treat you and how you feel about being with them?

That being said, if you love him, you should stick by him and help him through this.  Is it possible that he didn’t know about some of these debts?  Perhaps he didn’t mean to decieve you, or he felt completely embarassed and helpless against his debt issues.  Can you sit down with him and plan out a budget for him that would allow him extra money each week to put toward his debt?  You could make a budget for yourself too, to show him you support him.  Make a reasonable goal when this debt can be paid off by, and plan a reward at the end of it, for him, or for both of you. 

I wouldn’t get married until you sort this out, and I would definitly keep your accounts seperate until he can prove that he’s handling his money like an adult and not a teenager. 

Post # 4
2204 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

Finances are a seriously concerning sisue in a relationship.  They are the source of many fights, strains, stresses, and tensions.

I do not necessarily think his situation requires a breakup, unless you are seriously concerned that this is a pattern he isn’t willing to change.  I think you were right to take a step back, and that he was was wrong to be dishonest with you about the specifics of his financial state.

He needs some serious help to get back on track, and it’s good that’s he’s taking some intiative.  I would keep things at arm’s length while you observe if he’s making some real changes.  Then step back in slowly and go to financial counseling together to talk about what your situation would be like if you get married.

Ultimately, it’s your life, your finances, your credit score in jeopardy and only you really know him! 

I hope for both your sakes that he gets it together and takes things seriously.  If you don’t see it coming, it’s a very large red flag that is worth ending things over.

Post # 5
3162 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

I think a major issue here is the fact that he has lied to you/deceived you about the state of his finances and credit score, etc. Maybe this is because he feared you would leave him if you knew about these things because things like house, car, etc are important to you. I do agree, though, that if he is truly the love of your life, you should try to stick it out and help him through this. Granted, he needs to take responsibility for this debt, but I like the PP’s idea of sitting down and helping him with a budget and a plan for getting out of debt. It seems like he very much needs help doing these things because he is clearly incapable of doing it on his own.

It’s a really bad situation and I’m so sorry you’re dealing with this, but I think that at least for now you should try to help him even though you are angry. You’re right to think about your future and what you ultimately want out of life, but in the here and now you love this man and he needs your help.

Post # 6
606 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

I agree with SaraNightly as far as if he is the love of your life, he is more likely than not, worth fighting for. At the same time, this guy needs to learn some financial lessons, STAT. When you get married, his debts are then tied to you too. If he starts getting more financially irresponsible than he has been already, then you’re going down with it too. I would say you should both sit down with his credit report and those bills and figure a way out of this. Credit counseling may help, but another way is to literally sit down with EVERY DEBT and look at the ones with the highest interest rates. Pay those down as quickly as you can (pay more than minimums even if it’s a few dollars more – pay minimums on everything else until the first one with the highest APR is paid off). Once you start getting debts paid off, take the money you would have paid on those and apply it to the next highest APR debt. You keep snowballing the money you would have paid on the other debts, to the rest of the debts one at a time and pay them all off. I swear, this works. Also, if some of it is credit cards you may be able to get a credit card consolidation through one of them with a decent rate and pay it down quicker that way.  This is definitely an issue you both need to be crystal clear on before you walk down the aisle. My 2 cents!

Bon Chance,


Post # 7
4464 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

I was in a similar situation.  Maybe not as drastic (there was no wage garnishment involved) but similar all the same.

When I met Fiance (a long time ago) he seemed to have resources to do whatever.  Took me out to dinner, bought me gifts, etc.  I never really questioned it because I figured he had the money.  We didn’t know each other too well then and it wasn’t really my business.

Things were going fine for a long time and I didn’t think he was overly spending…until he bought a new truck.  This truck seemed to definitely be over his income level.  Also it got about 11 miles to the gallon.  My suspicions started to arise. (We’d been together about a year at this point)

One day, he broke down and it all came out.  He couldn’t afford the truck.  He was late on the payments and was charging everything else in his life because all he could really pay for was his rent and (barely) the car payments.  The credit card situation — astronomical.  $40K+ in debt, including a loan that he took out to pay credit cards he couldn’t afford.  So he was in possession of a $25K truck and $40K in credit card debt.

I almost left him.  I couldn’t deal with it.  I was only 21 at the time and headed for a good career and a good life.  I couldn’t look at my future of financial ruin with him.

I talked to my parents (he would never tell his parents — they still don’t know) and we sat down with him.  My mom convinced him to get into credit counseling.  We worked on a budget.  He exchanged the truck for a car lease.  I did everything I could.  I helped him go grocery shopping to save money.  We sold what belongings of his that we could.  For six years, we’ve struggled at times, even though we both make good salaries.  We’ve eaten Ramen while my co-workers ate at Morimoto. 

He’s paid the credit counseling service every month for the last six years.  Next April, it will be paid off.  Will he admit now that he was incredibly irresponsible and stupid?  Yes.  Would I stick by him through it again?  I would.  It’s been hard, but we’ve done it together.  His credit score has gotten better although we still rely on mine.  We don’t use credit cards except for emergencies and make an immediate plan to pay the bill.  We make a budget every week.  It’s been hard, but we’re moving forward.

Anyway, I’m obviously feeling particularly open today because I’ve barely shared this story with anyone else.  Only you can make the decision whether to stick by him…just sharing my experience.  Please feel free to PM me.

Post # 8
4479 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: March 2010 - Calamigos Ranch

I would give him another chance. It doesn’t matter why he turns it around (if you think he is only even starting to address it because of you, it only means you’re a good influence on him) as long as he turns it around. But I would definitely not move forward towards marriage until he does. Let him talk to the Consumer Credit Counseling people (whoever they are… and make sure he knows this before following their advice) and come up with a plan. It won’t take him that long to get his credit back into decent territory if he makes payment plans for his debt and starts paying it back–on time, every time, from now on.

And then… just see where it goes. Keep your finances separate for a long time (but have open discussions about it), and see what can be saved.

Post # 9
303 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

((Hugs!!)) It is definitely hard to see someone that you love in a tough situation that they are obviously uncomfortable with and probably embarrassed about (otherwise he would have told you!).

I would recommend seeing a debt counselor together if you plan on staying together. Are you willing to help him pay his debt off? Because if you want to get married, that is going to be your responsibility as a spouse, whether you help support him financially or by helping him make better financial decisions and stay on track with his bills.

Honestly, this is something that can easily be a dealbreaker if he’s not willing to change (IMO). You’re smart to wonder how this will affect your life down the road. Although going to debt counseling can help him, it can also hurt your ability to qualify for a mortgage over the next 5 years.

Also, your relationship will change as you age and work towards common goals. I think you need to have a sit-down and lay out the goals that you have as an individual (house, family, career, education, etc), and talk about whether he will be able and willing to work with you towards meeting those goals.

Best of luck girl, but remember that your happiness in 10 years should be taken into consideration!!

Post # 10
7172 posts
Busy Beekeeper

You have to ask yourself if you are willing to take on the finances for the both of you – forever.  It doesn’t sounds like he’s a deadbeat and unwilling to work – he just really sucks at managing money.  Is he irresponsible in other areas?  If not, I think this is something you could overcome – you just need to be willing to take it on (and not be bitter about it in the long run).  My Fiance was very bad with finances and made some poor decisions (I don’t even want to know his credit score) – to me, the decisions he made would have been no brainers to NOT do… but he just didn’t see them that way.  I recently helped him get on track with a financial plan that made sense.  If you aren’t good with money – and you move forward with the relationship – I’d suggest talking to a financial planner to help you guys get on track.  It’s not impossible, but know you’ll likely be the one ‘in charge’ of getting his finances back together until he starts learning responsible behavior.


Post # 11
436 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

Obviously, to each their own, but I would NOT give him a second chance.  I would view this as a huge gift that you found out before you were legally responsible for his money troubles.  Seriously.  Finances are the NUMBER ONE PROBLEM in marriages, and that’s just normal couples with normal money issues.  I don’t mean to be harsh, but I think you are setting yourself for a life of stress if you still marry him.  Not to say that you can’t marry people who are in debt!  Just that he was so dishonest about it, or worse yet, didn’t know the gravity of his own situation.  Scary.  And I’m really really sorry for you.

Post # 12
3761 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

I agree that you guys maybe need some financial counseling to discuss the current standings of his past finances (yours as well) and discuss how you guys are going to handle your finances as married couple.  Yes a credit score of 470 is bad and yes he should have checked his credit before and figured out what those charges are.  However, I agree that if he is really THE ONE then you love him including his baggage. 

Also, the government probably garnished his wages becaues it has to do with education.  It’s not that its a horrible thing (well it is) but it is just because the student loan and/or non-paid tuition is like not paying your taxes since it deals with the government. 

Also, just because he has a low credit score doesn’t mean that you will never buy a house and/or car.  I needed a 720 to do a convential loan, but there are also FHA (government loans) that accept much lower credit scores. 

While this obviously is the nightmare you hate to have to deal with, I think the couple thousand here and there isn’t the end of the world.  Especially if he has a good paying job right now and a strong career and would be willing to work a second job to help pay for all of the bills. 

Again, I think financial counseling would be helpful not only to mend the situation in now, but also to determine how you guys TOGETHER can have a strong financial future and marriage.

Post # 13
472 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

Just about a year ago my Fiance went through a disastrously horrible four months.  My friends thought I was nuts to stick by him but it was during that time that I realized that usually when things get tough I bail, but with him I wanted to work through it together.  He was the first guy I ever felt was worth the “sickness….and poorer” of the commitment.  A year later things are amazingly better and I have no regrets.  You have a lot to reflect on.  Feel free to PM if you need an ear. 

Post # 14
1676 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

I think you’re definitely doing the right thing by taking a step back.  Also, it is certainly the responsible thing to do.  If you guys get married, your finances will merge, and it will be terrible for both of you if he continues to act financially irresponsible.  On a side note, I may be biased b/c my finance’s parents ultimately divorced due to the fact that they argued all the time over money issues, and their very different approaches to their finances. 

I think your relationship *might* deserve another shot, but only if he can make some serious changes in how he handles his finances.  Also, if he makes some changes, you need to be sure that those changes are going to stick.  Probably he should talk to a financial planner to put together a strategy for paying off his date (and saving up some money thereafter).  Also, you guys might benefit from some couples counseling. 

My fiance had A LOT of debt when we first started dating, but it was basically due to the fact that his parents didn’t support him *at all* financially when he was in college, and so he had to take on debt to finish his schooling.  The difference was that he was working hard on paying everything off, and he had a financial strategy to get that done.  B/c I knew he was being responsible with his money and paying off his debt, I was much more comfortable taking our relationship to the next step and deciding to get married. 

Hope this helps.  I just want you to know that you really are doing the right thing here, and I can only image how hard it has been to call things off for the time being.  I hope he learns how to handle his money so that you guys can continue with your relationship.  Other than the money issues he sounds really great.

Post # 15
53 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

To add to my previous response – I think that if you try to help him and he keeps on acting irresponsible with his fiances, or refuses to reform, it is a reason to walk away.  I was just saying that if you really love him, you should at least try to help him help himself before giving up the relationship completely. 

Post # 16
1371 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

If this was me, as long as he stepped up and was responsible about things, I would definitely stay.  Money is a really difficult topic for some people.  They hide what is really going on because they are embarrassed and don’t want people to know their real situation.

Hotchild gave you some really good advice!

Also I would like to point out (as I’ve noticed people have said it here and on other threads), debt in one person’s name does NOT become “your debt” if you marry them.  Only if your name is on whatever the debt is in relation to (e.g. a mortgage, a loan etc) is the debt ‘yours’.  If you’re looking at your money as a combined entity and from a marital standpoint you see all your finances as together, then you could say your money is going towards paying that debt.  But you do NOT assume debt legally unless your actual name goes on the information!

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