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Valued Contributor
Posts: 1,053
Registered: ‎03-04-2013
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Did myFICO ruin my relationship?

[ Edited ]

I'm half-joking, of course.Smiley LOL  But this site has made me not only self-aware about my credit/finances, but caused me to ask some deeper questions about my current girlfriend.  So here's my story:

 

I’ve been dating the same girl for 2.5 years.  The relationship is going great with the exception of one thing:  Her credit and financial management skills are not very good.  She is 31, has already one bankruptcy on her report from a few years ago, and seems to heading into dangerous waters again.

 

A little background…she moved in with me in Sept 2013 (I own a townhouse).  At the time, we agreed that she would wait to until April 2014 to pay rent. The logic was to give her 7-8 solid months to funnel the money she had been paying toward her rent and utilities to pay off (or at least significantly paying down) her CC debt.  She told me at the time she owed about 5K in CC debt, and had been paying close to $750 in rent/utilities. (7 months x $750 =$5250)

 

We have not spoken much about her progress, and I assumed her CC debt was being paid down per our agreement.  Then a few weeks ago, I noticed she had a couple of envelopes arrived in the mail that looked like overdraft notices.  I confronted her on it, and she admitted her checking account was overdrawn.  I asked her where she was in her “debt reduction” program and she told me all of her CC’s were maxed out.  I was floored!  I don’t see any evidence of excessive spending by her (although she did take a trip to Puerto Rico with her sister in January).  She then hit me with a double whammy…her CC debt is now $10K!!! (she had told me last Sept it was around 5K)

 

I’m really dispirited and am not sure what to do.  My thoughts behind her moving in were 3-fold:

1)   It would give us a chance to strengthen/deepen our relationship

2)   It would end up being cheaper for both of us (share costs)

3)   A break in rent/paying off her CC’s would put her on solid financial footing and we would be well positioned for if/when we wanted to get married and buy a home.

 

Instead, it seems the opposite has happened.  MY expenses have increased (food/utility costs), and she is actually in WORSE shape financially than when she was paying rent. 

 

Our self-imposed deadline of April is nearly here, when I assumed she’d be able to start chipping in on rent/utilities (we had agreed that she would pay $350 total including utilities).  She has already told me there’s no way she can pay me rent in April.  Although I am able to make my mortgage payments and other obligations comfortably, it deeply worries me that she’s not able to come up with even $350/month. 

 

I am in a position to help her.  I went to my CU the other day, and pre-qualed for a 48 mo, $8,000 personal loan at 8.9%.  Monthly payments would come in right around a very comfortable $200/month (she’s paying $200/month just in interest per month on her cards) .  This would instantly help her credit and in a year or so, she could refinance with the loan in her name only.

 

But as I walked out of the CU, it started to hit me...what if she’s as irresponsible with the loan as she is with everything else?  Do I really want to be with someone who is so unserious about her finances.  To be fair, I was similarly irresponsible with my finances in the past.  It took me YEARS to dig myself out.  So I know how hard it can be.  But I now consider myself to be responsible about money/credit.  Do I really want to go through another roller coaster with someone else’s debt (especially if I am unsure if she’s willing to fully committ to improving her credit and finances)? 

 

So what do you think guys…should I help her by getting the loan or not?  I am really torn, and don’t want to end the relationship.  But at the same time, I feel like I’ve already tried to help her by giving her a break in rent, the past 8 months and that’s blown up in my face.  I am starting to feel like an enabler for irresponsible behavior.  Has anyone else on here gone through something similar?  If so, what was the outcome?

 

My profile:

Income: 81K

Debt Obligations: Mortgage, small student loan, car loan, cards in siggy, no kids

 

Her Profile:

Income: $50K

Debt Obligation: $900/month student loans, $10K in credit card debt, car loan (~$250/month), no kids.

Established Contributor
Posts: 538
Registered: ‎03-13-2008
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Re: Did myFICO ruin my relationship?

[ Edited ]

By you taking out a loan and paying her credit cards you would be putting all of HER debt into YOUR name. Why would you do that? I understand love and all.... but is this a woman you are planning on marrying and having children with? And even so... why would she be irresponsible and you reward her irresponsibility with paying her debts free and clear?

 

And I am sorry, but if she makes 50k a year and can't come up with a measly $350 she has very, very serious financial issues... and good lord!! $900 in student loans!! What is her student loan debt?

In the garden until December 4, 2015
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Registered: ‎03-04-2013
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Re: Did myFICO ruin my relationship?


barbaralee wrote:

By you taking out a loan and paying her credit cards you would be putting all of HER debt into YOUR name. Why would you do that? I understand love and all.... but is this a woman you are planning on marrying and having children with? And even so... why would she be irresponsible and you reward her irresponsibility with paying her debts free and clear?

 

And I am sorry, but if she makes 50k a year and can't come up with a measly $350 she has very, very serious financial issues... and good lord!! $900 in student loans!! What is her student loan debt?


She took out nearly $150K in student loans (undergrad and master's program).  To answer you question about marriage...yes I am (or was) thinking very seriously about settling down and making a life with her.  But these recent revelations are giving me major pause about the future.

 

It's hard because she's so awesome in so many different ways.  I would feel a lot better about things if I saw her taking concrete steps to fix the problem.  During the same conversation, I talked with her about maybe looking for a 2nd (part time) job.  This is what I did to get myself out of debt, along with cutting expenses and following a strict budget. 

 

She said a 2nd job would stress her out too much, and we'd barely get to see each other.  I told her another possibility was to start looking for a higher paying job (given her qualifications, she is grossly underpaid in her current position).  She agreed, but also added “there are no jobs out there in my field”. Anyway, so far I have not seen her take any steps to find another job.

 

Just to clarify, the loan idea was my own.  She does not know I went to my CU…but my first instinct was to try to help her. If we were to get married, her debt would become my (our) problem anyway, so I was trying to think of options to help alleviate the situation now. But as I mentioned in my first post, I wonder if this would do the opposite of help her.  I wonder if it may further enable her to not take responsibility for her finances (not to mention potentially hurt my own credit which I have worked so hard to repair).

 

As far as the $350 in rent, that is the part what worries me the most.  Where is the money going?  When I asked her, she cited an increase in her student loans along with her auto loan.  But these are debt she already had.  And if she were to move out, there’s no way so could find anywhere for less than $350, even with a roommate (where we live, you cannot get even a studio apt for under $700/month, unless it is in a really crappy neighborhood).  So I agree…$350 is a pretty modest amount for someone making $50K (and less than half of what she was paying).  

Valued Contributor
Posts: 1,739
Registered: ‎01-23-2013

Re: Did myFICO ruin my relationship?

You are clearly a good guy. You have already helped her by giving her all those months rent free -- and she threw that help back in your face.

 

Whether she's just incompetent at money management or using you, who can say? But you gave and she took. Now there's not a single sign that she's trying to fix her own situation. Please, for your own sake and the sake of any future between the two of you, don't give any more. Don't enable her folly. If she wants a long-term relationship with you, she'll take steps to change her ways. It's not up to you to go on accommodating her.

 

I'm sorry because you do sound like a good person and a good partner. But be tough here. You already know you need to. Good luck!

 

Member
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎03-21-2013
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Re: Did myFICO ruin my relationship?

[ Edited ]

I'd at least clarify what "increase in student loans and car loan" is. Is she paying the extra towards these, or did the monthly payments increase (doubtful unless she is on some type of income based repayment, and double doubtful for the car)? Not only that, but say she was paying more towards these loans, extra spending is ending up on credit cards which will probably have a higher interest rate than the car and student loans unless in a 0% intro period. Doesn't make sense to defer money to a higher interest credit card.

 

Hopefully you will be able to at least find out if she is lying about this -- and if she is, move on and save yourself any regret and problems down the road. You have already tried to help her and now the situation seems worse off. Honestly, i think you taking out a loan will only enable this further. She has had about 6 months to save $750/month, about $4500 total. That CC debt should be just about gone.

 

The answer to your thread topic: myFICO did not ruin your relationship, you are just discovering an incompatability with her lackadaisical financial mentality. Trust your gut and not your heart. Sorry mate

Established Contributor
Posts: 538
Registered: ‎03-13-2008

Re: Did myFICO ruin my relationship?

I wouldn't want to discourage anyone from being with someone that they love, but I would pause before popping the question or (God forbid) having kids. I do agree with what someone else said that you gave her an amazing gift and she threw it to the wayside, whether on purpose or by her own financial incompetence... But driving yourself into debt will not help her in the long run; based on her track record she will find a way to do it again. 

 

please don't start mixing finances, but I do think you can help by her disclosing EVERYTHING to you and then helping her budget to get rid of that debt. 

In the garden until December 4, 2015
Contributor
Posts: 231
Registered: ‎03-22-2014
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Re: Did myFICO ruin my relationship?

I will tell you how me and my girl work. I have been with her for 4 years now. When she moved in with me from her moms I paid all the bills rent, utilities, cable, and she bought food. We made approx the same all and I personally don't care who pays what. My credit is coming up from mistakes of about 5 years ago. Hers has taken a hit from exhusband. We got an awesome oppurtunity to house sit for a year and save so we did. While house sitting she let me take over paying everything because she knows how anal I am about getting stuff paid on time ( I pay when stuff pops up not the due date) and I check my bank account quite frequently. At the end of house sitting we bought a house totally within our means. She is the one with good credit so the loan is in her name. I dont make as much anymore so I pay cable, trash, and my bills. We still have seperate bank accounts and it will stay that way. Other than that though I have access to everything of hers to pay all her bills and the mortgage. I guess what it comes to is trust.  She could just be bad at money and should trust you to help her get it straightened out. However I will say that what I said would paid always was IE hey can I use your hd card to buy a table saw? I will have it paid by.....

Current MERRICK SECURED-$200 EMBLEM MC-$250 EXPRESS NEXT-$350
In the garden till 10/9/14
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Valued Contributor
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Registered: ‎03-04-2013
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Re: Did myFICO ruin my relationship?

Thanks to everyone for their feedback.  Well, I decided to talk with her again last night, and it turned into a pretty big argument (still getting the silent treatment this morning!).   I brought up my concerns about her inability to manage her money/pay rent.  She brought up the same excuses as before (her student loan payment is too high; she doesn’t want to get a PT job; there are no jobs in her field; blah, blah). 

 

I told her since she’s already indicated she cannot pay rent in April, I would be willing to give her another couple of months without paying rent.  But in that time, I need her to do at least three things: 

 

  1. Come up with a concrete, realistic budget that she will stick to.
  2. Come clean about all of her debt/finances, so we are working off the same play sheet (the numbers she tells me always seem to change)
  3. Figure out a way to either drastically reduce her spending or earn more money.

 

She wasn’t happy about my “ultimatum”, and kept accusing me of lecturing her.  I told her I’m not trying to act like her parent.  I told her over and over that I love her and will support her through these changes, but I needed to see some changes.  She actually asked me if I was in financial trouble since I seemed to need the rent money so bad…lol!!!

 

It’s not that I need the rent money. As I wrote in my earlier post, if I saw where the money was going (i.e. paying down debt or put into a savings acct for our future), I would happily continue to allow her to live rent free as I would then know that money is being put away for our future.  As I told her last night, I don’t need her to take care of me, but I do need to know she can take care of herself.  To me, the rent money is now a matter of principle. 

 

I’m not sure how this argument will shake out.  If she ultimately agrees to make some changes, I will be there to support her.  If she decides that I’m being an “a-hole” for even bringing this whole thing up, then I will be looking for the relationship exit ramp.

 

And to answer barbaralee question, no I would never mix finances until I was confident she could manage her own.  She had suggested awhile back we should get a joint account to “share” expenses, but my spidey sense told me that was a bad idea.  I’ve also decided 100% against taking out the loan to help her pay down her CC’s.

 

Thx again everyone!  I will continue to update....

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Re: Did myFICO ruin my relationship?


Dw4250 wrote:

Thanks to everyone for their feedback.  Well, I decided to talk with her again last night, and it turned into a pretty big argument (still getting the silent treatment this morning!).   I brought up my concerns about her inability to manage her money/pay rent.  She brought up the same excuses as before (her student loan payment is too high; she doesn’t want to get a PT job; there are no jobs in her field; blah, blah). 

 

I told her since she’s already indicated she cannot pay rent in April, I would be willing to give her another couple of months without paying rent.  But in that time, I need her to do at least three things: 

 

  1. Come up with a concrete, realistic budget that she will stick to.
  2. Come clean about all of her debt/finances, so we are working off the same play sheet (the numbers she tells me always seem to change)
  3. Figure out a way to either drastically reduce her spending or earn more money.

 

She wasn’t happy about my “ultimatum”, and kept accusing me of lecturing her.  I told her I’m not trying to act like her parent.  I told her over and over that I love her and will support her through these changes, but I needed to see some changes.  She actually asked me if I was in financial trouble since I seemed to need the rent money so bad…lol!!!

 

It’s not that I need the rent money. As I wrote in my earlier post, if I saw where the money was going (i.e. paying down debt or put into a savings acct for our future), I would happily continue to allow her to live rent free as I would then know that money is being put away for our future.  As I told her last night, I don’t need her to take care of me, but I do need to know she can take care of herself.  To me, the rent money is now a matter of principle. 

 

I’m not sure how this argument will shake out.  If she ultimately agrees to make some changes, I will be there to support her.  If she decides that I’m being an “a-hole” for even bringing this whole thing up, then I will be looking for the relationship exit ramp.

 

And to answer barbaralee question, no I would never mix finances until I was confident she could manage her own.  She had suggested awhile back we should get a joint account to “share” expenses, but my spidey sense told me that was a bad idea.  I’ve also decided 100% against taking out the loan to help her pay down her CC’s.

 

Thx again everyone!  I will continue to update....


I'm not trying to be judgmental, but it almost seems like she doesn't WANT to get out of debt.  I really urge to use caution with regards to this woman.  A good friend of mine was in a similar situation, and when it went sideways, and he said he was done, she told him she was pregnant, which turned out to be a lie... but in the time between telling him and him finding out, she actually got pregnant.  It was a mess. 

 

Please, please be careful

In the garden until debt is paid off and scores are up!
Established Contributor
Posts: 538
Registered: ‎03-13-2008
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Re: Did myFICO ruin my relationship?

[ Edited ]

I think a program like You Need a Budget would be very beneficial to your girlfriend. I don't mean to sound like a commercial, but YNAB does force the user to be accountable for their spending, and it sounds like she needs to learn some accountability. None of your requests were unreasonable, so I am not sure why she is getting so defensive about it, especially since you are coming from the view of wanting to HELP her. So far she has had it good. You are letting her live rent free!! That is a sweet deal. It is quite obvious she has some sort of problem with money and I am curious where her money is going besides loans. It is disappointing that she seems to be fighting you on this. 

In the garden until December 4, 2015
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