When is it OK to pay off your SO's debt?

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from whippoorwill79. Show whippoorwill79's posts

    When is it OK to pay off your SO's debt?

    I love my boyfriend but he is in a world of hurt right now, financially speaking.  It's a deadly combination of credit card debt, student loans, and chronic underemployment. He's 90 days past due on student loan and has no means to start paying it back. 

    I am financially stable with no bad debt.  I received an inheritance many years ago that I never planned on touching and it sits in a brokerage acct that I never think about.  Easily, I could cash in 1/3rd of my inheritance and eliminate his credit card debt completely. This would enable him to focus on the student loan debt which keeps mounting. 

    I love him, and I want to help him. 

    But then I think - this is his problem and he should find a way out of it.  We're not married, and we probably can't ever get married b/c it would subject me to financial risk.  

    But then I think about how much money I'll be saving him - thousands of dollars in interest - if I give him the money now.  It kills me to watch him throw what little money he has at a problem every month that keeps getting bigger.

    Do I do it?

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from TwoCentDonation. Show TwoCentDonation's posts

    Re: When is it OK to pay off your SO's debt?

    Short answer: No.

    He will feel tons better if he pays this off by himself.  If you pay part of his debt he'll feel like he's beholden to you and may feel like an unequal partner.  Plus, if you break up will you want the money back?

    Another consideration is if you pay off his debt will he just rack up more?  In other words, has he fixed the root cause - overspending?  Yes, I know the underemployment didn't help, but until he learns to rein in his spending during rough times AND he builds up a good emergency fund he's at risk for recreating the problem.


    If he's looking for inspiration, have him check out www.bloggingawaydebt.com. It's a blog started by a woman getting her and her husban dout of debt.  They were able to payoff $30K of credit card debt in like 3 years or something.  Then, she sold the domain to another woman who is also trying to get her and her husband out of debt. They blog openly about it and show that it CAN be done.

     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from thirtysomething. Show thirtysomething's posts

    Re: When is it OK to pay off your SO's debt?

    No, don't pay it off.  Sorry.

    If he is truly unable to stay afloat, he needs to declare bankruptcy.  Clear the slate.  Then, after that, you might be able to get married.

    Until then, you need to keep his debts at arm's length from your assets.

     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from diamondgirl. Show diamondgirl's posts

    Re: When is it OK to pay off your SO's debt?

    No.  His debt is not your debt.  There are nonprofits out there who specialize in helping people make plans to get clear of debt.  Your role as girlfriend is to help him get there and give him love and unconditional support while he gets his life back together.


    Do not risk your financial security for him.  If you end up getting married after he gets clear, he will have learned valuable lessons that he can apply to your marriage, AND you will have a nest egg for the two of you.  If you end up breaking up at some point instead of getting married, you will not have lost your security.

     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from cosmogirl. Show cosmogirl's posts

    Re: When is it OK to pay off your SO's debt?

    No, it's absolutely the wrong thing to do, for ALL the reasons the posters above mentioned and way more.

    That inheritance is your financial security for the rest of your life.  NO matter how much or little it is, it's something you will aways have.  Having a nest egg means you'll never be stuck in a crummy situation (horrible job, infested apartment, lousy relationship) because of money.   Guard that account with your very life!

    It's one thing if it was an amount you could afford to lose, but I'm thinking five figures with absolutely no hope of him ever paying it back.  

    If anyone is to bail him out, let it be his parents.  (And not saying they should!)

    I would encourage you to put that in a secure account that you can only access with your signature and a parent so that you won't be tempted.  I'm so afraid for you! 
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from 2ada63d622e89774a9fdcbc90527ab8e. Show 2ada63d622e89774a9fdcbc90527ab8e's posts

    Re: When is it OK to pay off your SO's debt?

    Two Cent and DG have good advice, as do others. Don't use your inheritance to pay off his debts.

    I've heard that the non-profit advice programs help a lot. I've heard of people bundling or restructuring their loans so that each payment is lower, but over a longer period. Sometimes the advisor can help restructure so that the really high interest debts get paid off earlier.

    When I was a "starving student" my sister occasionally would give me short term loans of a few hundred bucks to pay my rent and I would pay her back out of my first few paychecks when I was working.

    If you can occasionally help him through some of the hard spots I don't think there's anything wrong with that as long as he has generally good skills with money.

    Good luck.
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from whippoorwill79. Show whippoorwill79's posts

    Re: When is it OK to pay off your SO's debt?

    thank you all for your advice. any suggestions on names of non-profits that could assist?  I am wary of all the scams out there...
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from redwolf68. Show redwolf68's posts

    Re: When is it OK to pay off your SO's debt?

    Your best source may actually be Debtors Anonymous.  If you can, get your BF to find their Yahoo!Group (they do have one) and begin talking to people on their listserve.  They'll likely know the best places for him to get started, and DA meetings will, at the very least, let him know he's not alone.
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from CA8221. Show CA8221's posts

    Re: When is it OK to pay off your SO's debt?

    I would say definitely not, but is there another way you can help financially? For example, is it possible to let him live with you for awhile completely rent free? He could take the money he spends on rent to pay the credit cards each month. Assuming he pays around $1000/month, he could pay the debt off fairly quickly. Credit card debt is unsecured debt, so bankruptcy is always an option if he truly does not have the means to pay.

    Student loans are another story entirely, but speaking from experience - he needs to call the lenders ASAP and find out if he qualifies for a deferrment or forbearance. There are many repayment plans that factor ones income into the amount they can pay each month. Have him call yesterday! They will work with him. Otherwise the late fees and interest are going to accrue very very quickly on top of the regular interest. Not to mention his credit report.
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from diamondgirl. Show diamondgirl's posts

    Re: When is it OK to pay off your SO's debt?

    I got a financial hardship deferral on my Sallies for a couple of years, actually - that might be worth looking at.  You may have to help him call and fill out the forms to make sure it gets done, but I would consider that to be a totally acceptable helpful girlfriend thing.
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from dirtyminds. Show dirtyminds's posts

    Re: When is it OK to pay off your SO's debt?

    Never ever ever pay off a boyfriends debt.

    and definately don't touch that inheritance.

    If he really loves you, he wouldn't accept it anyways.

    I would go into bankruptcy and deal with the consequences of that before I allowed anyone to help me.

    Oh.. and don't go marry this guy either..
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from oingoboingo. Show oingoboingo's posts

    Re: When is it OK to pay off your SO's debt?

    Don't even think about touching that inheritance!

    If he's in a really tough spot, he may want to consider filing for bankruptcy.

    Also, he should contact his student loan lenders - he can work something out with them to possibly defer or at least lower his payments.

    Sorry, I can't provide any helpful links or sources, but best of luck to you both!
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from reindeergirl. Show reindeergirl's posts

    Re: When is it OK to pay off your SO's debt?

    In Response to Re: When is it OK to pay off your SO's debt?:
    [QUOTE]I would say definitely not, but is there another way you can help financially? For example, is it possible to let him live with you for awhile completely rent free? He could take the money he spends on rent to pay the credit cards each month. Assuming he pays around $1000/month, he could pay the debt off fairly quickly. Credit card debt is unsecured debt, so bankruptcy is always an option if he truly does not have the means to pay. Student loans are another story entirely, but speaking from experience - he needs to call the lenders ASAP and find out if he qualifies for a deferrment or forbearance. There are many repayment plans that factor ones income into the amount they can pay each month. Have him call yesterday! They will work with him. Otherwise the late fees and interest are going to accrue very very quickly on top of the regular interest. Not to mention his credit report.
    Posted by CA8221[/QUOTE]

    But with bankruptcy also comes debt. You have to pay the amount set by the court's trustee, or else you will be in trouble again.
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from 2ada63d622e89774a9fdcbc90527ab8e. Show 2ada63d622e89774a9fdcbc90527ab8e's posts

    Re: When is it OK to pay off your SO's debt?

    The debtors anonymous organization is also recommended on Michelle Singletary's website. She writes the column "The Color of Money" and I think she's pretty solid and trustworthy as a source. Her website has a lot of resources and links. Another one is the National Foundation for Credit Counselling at www.debtadvisor.com. I have no first hand experience with this but it looks like a good site.
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from KevinInOrleans. Show KevinInOrleans's posts

    Re: When is it OK to pay off your SO's debt?

    If you have the money, just pay it off for him. It's selfish not to.
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from CA8221. Show CA8221's posts

    Re: When is it OK to pay off your SO's debt?

    reindeergirl: that is only for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. It sounds like the S.O. is in a Ch. 7 scenario, meaning lots of debts and no assets. The only money he pays is attorneys fees and filing fees. There is no additional debt.
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from stevehud. Show stevehud's posts

    Re: When is it OK to pay off your SO's debt?

    YES YES YES, LOve is not about money,  if you could help someone why not?
    dont listen to all these selfish losers on here. LOVE is important finance is not!
    Unlesss your happy being a single 43 year old cougar wannabe who is  secure but lonely  and looks forward to bingo and the red hat society.
    Talk about it.  I had bad debts, me and my wife married and thanks to her support we paid off all the debts and are still as madly in love 12 years later as we ever were.  If you want to get rid of him bring up the debt help places. i guarantee your relationship will fail so fast after that.
    No man wants a woman to tell him how to fix his problems, when she isnt willing to help. Its like a rich person telling a homeless guy how to manage money, then walking away.

    These people on here bythe way I assure you do not folow all the advice they give. its do as they say not as they do.
    SO if your looking tomarry this man , help hi, thats whats you do when you love someone, you help them, whether they   want it , or not.
    But if you dont love him, then sit by and watch him drown, like these heartless slobs want you to.
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from stevehud. Show stevehud's posts

    Re: When is it OK to pay off your SO's debt?

    cosmogirl- how dare you? your afraid for her, what afraid she cant think for herself, somuch so that you want her to have a parent repsonsible for her own decisions as an adult? are you truly that much of a snob?
    My god You should be scared, of how much of imbecilic remark you made.

    and to the rest of you. read the post, she said 1/3 of an account she nvever touches.  so what security is she risking?  I truly hope none of you wind up in a long term relationship, because as soon as something goes wrong, im sure you will run like the wind. Youre the typs who have seperate bank accounts and take seperate vacations.  Unable to trust, unable to love, but plenty able to tell others how to screw up their lives just like yours.


    To the poster i say simply. follow your heart, it knows the answer, these  fools sure dont.

    cant get maried because of someone elses debt. -disgusting.

     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from reindeergirl. Show reindeergirl's posts

    Re: When is it OK to pay off your SO's debt?

    To tell you the truth, stevehud, you come off as a lot more sane in the accounting forum than you do on LL and here.
     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from reindeergirl. Show reindeergirl's posts

    Re: When is it OK to pay off your SO's debt?

    In Response to Re: When is it OK to pay off your SO's debt?:
    [QUOTE]reindeergirl: that is only for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. It sounds like the S.O. is in a Ch. 7 scenario, meaning lots of debts and no assets. The only money he pays is attorneys fees and filing fees. There is no additional debt.
    Posted by CA8221[/QUOTE]


    I stand corrected. I did a Ch. 13 so I could keep my place (which I own). It's austerity-ville here, but worth it. My attorney charged less than $3,000, and I had to take a two-hour seminar on debt management. But coming up with the $3,000 wasn't easy - hopefully the O/P's bf will have better luck.
     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from diamondgirl. Show diamondgirl's posts

    Re: When is it OK to pay off your SO's debt?

    BTW, RDG - I have actually had lunch at one of those little places on Rte 2 in Erving.
     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from diamondgirl. Show diamondgirl's posts

    Re: When is it OK to pay off your SO's debt?

    "I truly hope none of you wind up in a long term relationship, because as soon as something goes wrong, im sure you will run like the wind. Youre the typs who have seperate bank accounts and take seperate vacations.  Unable to trust, unable to love, but plenty able to tell others how to screw up their lives just like yours."

    I am happily married to a guy with a pile of debt, actually.  Which is cool with me, because he can afford to make his payments, and we are married already, so I know we have both thrown in our full commitments.  We have a joint savings account we don't touch for debt purposes, and we are going away together on vacation soon. 

    So, um..... I guess I will just assume you didn't mean me.

     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from stevehud. Show stevehud's posts

    Re: When is it OK to pay off your SO's debt?

    So then diamondgirl- youd happily dump  your hubby now if you werent married since he has debt? Because thats pretty much what you told the  person to do.
    Or is it as i said, do what i say not as i do.
    truth be told i was bit angry when i wrote here, but the truthis,   if you lvoe someone you help them. Thats part of love.  One of my favorite writers, once wrote "Love is when another persons happiness and wellbeing is essential to your own."  Yet so many on here are willing to instruct others to throw away love over a few dollar bills.  Why more of you dont find that disgusting is beyond me.

    In Response to Re: When is it OK to pay off your SO's debt?:
    [QUOTE]"I truly hope none of you wind up in a long term relationship, because as soon as something goes wrong, im sure you will run like the wind. Youre the typs who have seperate bank accounts and take seperate vacations.  Unable to trust, unable to love, but plenty able to tell others how to screw up their lives just like yours." I am happily married to a guy with a pile of debt, actually.  Which is cool with me, because he can afford to make his payments, and we are married already , so I know we have both thrown in our full commitments.  We have a joint savings account we don't touch for debt purposes, and we are going away together on vacation soon.  So, um..... I guess I will just assume you didn't mean me.
    Posted by diamondgirl[/QUOTE]
     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from diamondgirl. Show diamondgirl's posts

    Re: When is it OK to pay off your SO's debt?

    Um, no it isn't.  Here is my post;

    "No.  His debt is not your debt.  There are nonprofits out there who specialize in helping people make plans to get clear of debt.  Your role as girlfriend is to help him get there and give him love and unconditional support while he gets his life back together.

    Do not risk your financial security for him.  If you end up getting married after he gets clear, he will have learned valuable lessons that he can apply to your marriage, AND you will have a nest egg for the two of you.  If you end up breaking up at some point instead of getting married, you will not have lost your security."


    Notice how I want her to help him without jeopardizing the money that will be theirs together if they choose to marry.  Plus, if he has reckless financial habits, helping him make a steady plan to get clear, and walking him through the process to get to a payment plan put together with a debt assistance agency, will help them for the rest of their lives.  Throwing money at the problem will not help him gain good habits.  Her inheritance is a hugely valuable asset that she is basically holding in trust for her marriage. 

    If she marries him, it is theirs.  If she just throws it at the immediate problem, there is the chance that a. they will be right back in this spot, without a back up in a couple of years, or b. they break up and she is penniless.

     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from dirtyminds. Show dirtyminds's posts

    Re: When is it OK to pay off your SO's debt?

    HUD - I'm far far from being selfish.. but  I don't believe in enabling people either.  I'm sure there is more to the story that has been left out.

    I get it, you relate personally to this story, but my guess is that you were an active participant in your debt resolution and your now wife didn't just swoop in and cut a check and your problems went away.  If she did.. then you should adore her.

    From my perspective and my own experience, if a person hasn't taken the steps to reduce their own debt, is financially irresponsible, lives beyond their means, and in denial...helping them by paying off their debt is not the solution. They need to learn how to be financially responsible.   I had a friend who had plenty of cc debt, underemployed.. and unmotivated, owes back taxes, prefers to play golf a few times a week and buy season tickets..   Why should I help him pay off his debt?  Any cash winfall he gets.. he blows.  Like I said.. I have a different perspective. I helped.. paid the bills discussed giving him time to get a handle on the situation.. nothing changed if anything it gave him a safety net to do what he wanted.  I eventually figured out that Love was not enough.

    So Love is not about money.. and helping someone doesn't always equate to bailing them out financially.   No man wants a woman telling him hot to fix his problems.. well I don't know many woman who want a man who isn't motivated enought to clean up his own shet. Or isn't willing to accept advice to someone who does care.   I have no problem helping someone who first tries to help themselves.  She isn't saying she isn't willing to help or is going to watch him drown in debt.. she is at least asking the question.  

    So as much as I assume that this guy isn't doing much to help himself.. you seem hell bent to assume that he is doing everything he can to help himself. 

    Quit with your generalizations that people on here don't follow their own advice, are heartless slobs, or couger wannabees.  Just because you don't agree, doesn't mean everyone else is wrong.

    I still stand by my first perception of you.............
     
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