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GF has 100k in consumer debt and no plan to pay off

jetsfan2013
Frequent Contributor

GF has 100k in consumer debt and no plan to pay off

I intend to propose to my long time girlfriend later this summer, however we do not see eye to eye on personal finance. In short, I busted my behind the past four years to pay off my car loan, student loans and credit card debt. I now only have one debt (mortgage), and am saving nearly $2500 a month into my retirement and investments.

 

My gf has 93k currently in consumer debt, with 75k of it on credit cards and the rest on her Acura. I was not aware of the exact numbers until a few weekends ago, when we were at a wedding of a family member, and her CC was declined in the airport.

 

Later that night we had a long talk and she shared her current outgo in detail. She does well in her career (makes $120k/yr gross) however I am worried that if the recession gets worse, her profession is one prone for layoffs, and all of that debt would be like a 500 lb weight on her(my) back.

 

Am I wrong for having serious second thoughts about moving forward with her at this point? Should I suggest she close her credit cards, as she admits she has a spending issue?

In the garden until Summer 2021
Message 1 of 13
12 REPLIES 12
flexin222
Regular Contributor

Re: GF has 100k in consumer debt and no plan to pay off

First off, thanks for sharing Jetsfan2013! My opinion is one from being married 25+ years and debt can mess up love real good. I think you both need a clean slate to start life together right. I applaud your financial regimine, but hers makes me wanna run for the hills. Anyone that high in debt with no business or assets has bad habits. I'm sure you know this, so I believe if she REALLY LOVES YOU, she'll shut them cards down and start a severe budget. She clearly makes enough from your sharing, so she needs to show her love so to speak, otherwise she'll drag you down with her. People can change if they want something bad enough. With the right woman beside you I was gonna say, but that got me paying down my wifes debt. So, with the right woman behind you with you controlling the money, together you can accomplish anything! Not all women are bad with spending! Finances can make or break you in these dire economic times and if her job is phasing out, you'll be holding that bag. She has to just buckle down and do what our greats did wayy back when and maybe she will learn to just live frugally so y'all can do what so many others just dream about. Hoping for the best for both of you!!!









Message 2 of 13
Gidgetmom
Frequent Contributor

Re: GF has 100k in consumer debt and no plan to pay off

That's a tough situation to be in...for both of you.

 

If you do choose to move forward, I would suggest you keep your financial/credit accounts separate until she gets a handle on her debt/spending habits.  The debt is certainly a weight on her back, but it doesn't have to be on yours.  

I was a hot mess when my husband and I found each other.  I had over $30,000 in defaulted student loans.  Medical collections on my report.  CO credit debt.  Seriously, a hot mess.  In the 15 years we were together before he passed away, I was able to rebuild my credit with his support (not financial support, just being able to talk to him about what my next move should be).  As I would learn from this forum, I would bounce ideas off of him.  He gave me a safe place to learn and grow.  We kept all of our accounts separate so that my debt didn't become his debt.  This also allowed me to build my own credit/banking profile.

It can be done, if you both want it bad enough.  But she has to "do the work" for the lessons to "stick".  For me, it would come down to whether or not she's willing to buckle down and take care of it.

 

I wish you both the best of luck!

Message 3 of 13
AirForceOne
Frequent Contributor

Re: GF has 100k in consumer debt and no plan to pay off

@jetsfan2013  I recommend she take care of the debt before marriage. Otherwise, a prenuptial agreement is a wise choice. Furthermore, keeping your financial accounts separate. There are ways to still get married, but do it in a manner that ensures mutual individual protection.

Message 4 of 13
righthererightnow
Frequent Contributor

Re: GF has 100k in consumer debt and no plan to pay off

@Gidgetmom 
"In the 15 years we were together before he passed away, I was able to rebuild my credit with his support (not financial support, just being able to talk to him about what my next move should be). As I would learn from this forum, I would bounce ideas off of him. He gave me a safe place to learn and grow. We kept all of our accounts separate so that my debt didn't become his debt. This also allowed me to build my own credit/banking profile."


THIS... is so beautiful that I want to cry. I'm rebuilding, single, working on my own financial stuff (much better than ever before, every day a bit better). But, I had no idea that this rebuild was something I could share (verbally/emotional support, only) with a future partner. I was raised in a household where you didn't discuss finances. Thank you for sharing this!  Grow together, future goals Heart








Message 5 of 13
Moneyklutz
Frequent Contributor

Re: GF has 100k in consumer debt and no plan to pay off

Def understand your concern.

 

When you discussed her financial position did she express remorse that she's deeply in debt vs her income and wants to change it?

 

My experience with both past partners and the one I'm lucky enough to be with now is that if they aren't worried about it... it'll only grow.

 

My current wife and I met when she was 30k in debt (CC's only). She HATED it and before getting married we worked together to pay it all completely off. Previous wife believed that CC debt and monthly interest was 'ok and normal to have' since she didn't have the cash to get what she wanted as soon as the 'want' popped up. I remember her saying to me one night 'why even have a credit card if you don't use it?'

 

Unexpected medical debt or anything else alike that made up that 75k is understandable, but if she thinks it's fine to max cards out and is happy to pay the minimum monthly?  Big big difference to me. 

 

Talk, listen and I wish you both the best. Pre-nups and separate financials can protect you yes, but if you have to set those kind of rules up when getting married it may be a not so subtle harbinger.

 

   

  

Message 6 of 13
iced
Valued Contributor

Re: GF has 100k in consumer debt and no plan to pay off

One of the biggest relationship killers is the dreaded 'my partner is SO close to ideal, if only I could change this one thing' trap. You understand the risk and stress you could be taking on by ignoring this facet of your partner, but you also really want this one to work out and be the one. Those two, left unresolved, never mix and nearly always result in a failed relationship.

 

If it were me, I'd postpone the proposal for at least a year and discuss this concern ASAP. If she truly wants to fix this for herself (it can't be just for you), and she shows that she can over the next year, I'd consider moving forward again. If she either does not appreciate the gravity of the situation or demonstrates over the next year that it's just not something she can change herself, then I'd move on.

Message 7 of 13
SouthJamaica
Mega Contributor

Re: GF has 100k in consumer debt and no plan to pay off


@jetsfan2013 wrote:

I intend to propose to my long time girlfriend later this summer, however we do not see eye to eye on personal finance. In short, I busted my behind the past four years to pay off my car loan, student loans and credit card debt. I now only have one debt (mortgage), and am saving nearly $2500 a month into my retirement and investments.

 

My gf has 93k currently in consumer debt, with 75k of it on credit cards and the rest on her Acura. I was not aware of the exact numbers until a few weekends ago, when we were at a wedding of a family member, and her CC was declined in the airport.

 

Later that night we had a long talk and she shared her current outgo in detail. She does well in her career (makes $120k/yr gross) however I am worried that if the recession gets worse, her profession is one prone for layoffs, and all of that debt would be like a 500 lb weight on her(my) back.

 

Am I wrong for having serious second thoughts about moving forward with her at this point? Should I suggest she close her credit cards, as she admits she has a spending issue?


Since you're asking, IMHO

- no you should not suggest she close her cards, and

- yes you should reconsider going forward, not because there's anything wrong with her (we all have our little flaws and weaknesses in life) but because of your attitude.

 

When you "go forward" in life you should love people for who they are not for who you would like them to be..  You should be prepared to help her pay off her debts, not be lecturing her on how to become a person just like you. If you're not ready to just love her for who she is, and help her when she asks for help, then I think you're not ready to "go forward".


Total revolving limits 699000 (597000 reporting) FICO 8: EQ 732 TU 721 EX 698

Message 8 of 13
blindambition
Senior Contributor

Re: GF has 100k in consumer debt and no plan to pay off

Before entering into marriage, your GF needs to get finances in order. You can come up with a plan together, but it needs to be her initiative and priority. I'd seriously consider a prenup if you do propose. Keep all finances and property, etc separate.

It can be very hard in relationships when financial goals and values don't align. My SO and I have a House account for the home bills, and CC and all the rest are individual. I prefer keeping things separate, even though I have complete trust in my partner.

A bigger concern for your GF is amount of debt. If she lost her job, and perspective company wanted to hire, that credit profile may have them pass on her. Especially if she's in a financial field.

Message 9 of 13
AirForceOne
Frequent Contributor

Re: GF has 100k in consumer debt and no plan to pay off


@blindambition wrote:

Before entering into marriage, your GF needs to get finances in order. You can come up with a plan together, but it needs to be her initiative and priority. I'd seriously consider a prenup if you do propose. Keep all finances and property, etc separate.

It can be very hard in relationships when financial goals and values don't align. My SO and I have a House account for the home bills, and CC and all the rest are individual. I prefer keeping things separate, even though I have complete trust in my partner.

A bigger concern for your GF is amount of debt. If she lost her job, and perspective company wanted to hire, that credit profile may have them pass on her. Especially if she's in a financial field.


Couldn't agree more. Like President Reagan said, "Trust, but verify". You can trust your partner, but one responsible way of trusting is to enter marriage in a manner that ensures mutual financial safety and security for your future together.

Message 10 of 13
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