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    Girlfriend w/ CC debt won't accept help

    My girlfriend has $30,000 in credit card debt and $3,000 of debt in an auto loan. Before she moved in with me, she was charging food, rent, etc. to her credit cards because she otherwise couldn't afford to live and pay the minimums. Now that she lives with me, she can still barely afford to pay the minimums. She is either unable or unwilling to accept help from a variety of sources.

    I tried to help her get a consolidation loan, but she cannot get one because of some derogatory remarks on her credit report. She refuses to let anyone co-sign with her to get the loan approved. I have offered to pay a all or a larger percentage of the rent and utilities we share. Additionally, I try to pay for meals, groceries, and entertainment. She maintains that is not fair to me, and will not allow it. She refuses to go to her family and friends for help as well. They are not aware of her debt and I don’t think she wants them to know.

    I have even tried creative ways to help… I own a rental property which generates about $1,000 a month from tenants. I tried to offer that as payment to her and she can take over the landlord duties. Again, she refused and says that’s not fair to me. She won’t even take a portion of that money for landlord duties.

    She still makes occasional purchases on her credit cards for clothing and impulse items. She will never be able to get out of debt without help. She may even have more credit card debt than she has disclosed to me. Anyone been in a similar situation? What should I do?

    #2
    Originally posted by boosami View Post
    What should I do?
    Here's what you should not do:

    1. DO NOT co-sign a loan for her.
    2. DO NOT add her to any of your accounts or credit cards.
    3. DO NOT give her a free ride by paying her share of the rent or other expenses.
    4. DO NOT sacrifice your own financial stability to help her in any way.

    "She still makes occasional purchases on her credit cards for clothing and impulse items."
    This tells me that she is not yet accepting the seriousness of her situation and isn't ready to accept any help. Somebody who has $30,000 in CC debt and is still actively charging is like an alcoholic with liver disease who is still actively drinking. She can not be helped until she gets past the denial and decides on her own that she needs to clean up the mess she has made. Nobody can help her until then - not you or anyone else.

    If I were in your situation, this person would be my EX-girlfriend.
    Steve

    * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
    * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
    * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

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      #3
      Your Girlfriend has other problems going on with her other than her debt. I have had a similar situation and there are other things going on. I hope you all do not plan to marry because you will be miserable. I think it is a lack of maturity and it gets old very fast. Does she drink? Smoke or do other harmful things to herself? You cannot help someone who does not want help. I would walk away while there are not real ties. She needs to get professional help for all her situations that she not dealing with in a very constructive way.
      Last edited by fruitbowlk; 07-28-2008, 01:54 PM. Reason: spell check.

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        #4
        I like where she is coming from as long as she has admitted she is in a financial mess.

        If she has admitted she is in a mess, then she is taking responcibility for her actions and is 'paying her dues', forcing herself to learn a very tough lesson and refusing to have others suffer from her neglect.

        That being said, she needs to get financially educated and excited about money. I have seen many people on these boards blog about debt far greater than hers and get it paid off. There is the method of lining up all her charges and snowballing the payments to eliminate the debt. There is cutting up the cards and developing a realistic budget.

        But she needs to be motivated. She needs to be involved. She needs to want to do this. The only thing I think YOU can do, is to maybe give her an incentive to pay off the cards. Like you will get her a new fancy cell phone once card A is paid off. I have not heard of anyone doing that, but I have not heard of a man coming to the boards to be actively involved in the process. Many people come to complain about a partners spending habits. (Thats what I do)

        And if YOU limit your lifestyle, she will save money. Offering to pay for dinner will make her want to take you out to dinner to "even the score." She seems to feel the need to make everything equal in the relationship. So if you choose to NOT go to the movies, and instead stay home at night, that saves her from either splitting the movie cost with you, or from her feeling she needs to take you to the movies next week.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by disneysteve View Post
          Here's what you should not do:

          1. DO NOT co-sign a loan for her.
          2. DO NOT add her to any of your accounts or credit cards.
          3. DO NOT give her a free ride by paying her share of the rent or other expenses.
          4. DO NOT sacrifice your own financial stability to help her in any way.

          "She still makes occasional purchases on her credit cards for clothing and impulse items."
          This tells me that she is not yet accepting the seriousness of her situation and isn't ready to accept any help. Somebody who has $30,000 in CC debt and is still actively charging is like an alcoholic with liver disease who is still actively drinking. She can not be helped until she gets past the denial and decides on her own that she needs to clean up the mess she has made. Nobody can help her until then - not you or anyone else.

          If I were in your situation, this person would be my EX-girlfriend.

          I second this typed out in 60 point font

          Comment


            #6
            A little harsh, but thanks for the advice Steve. You're probably more right than you know. She wasn't exactly forthcoming about her amount of debt, and I do know that her family bailed her out about 5 years ago when her car died and she had no money or credit to buy one. So it seems like she accumulated all that debit in only a few year! She "blames" it on being spoiled by her parents when she was a young 20-something and constantly talk about what it was like when she "had money."

            I know how much finances can hurt or strain marriages and relationships, so believe me it's crossed my mind to leave her...

            Comment


              #7
              I agree with the general sentiment of the forum. . .however, I think some are being too harsh.

              Maybe there are other ways you can help while she continues to foot her share of the burden - finding her a second job, driving her to her job and letting her sell her car. . .whatever - I don't know the specifics.

              Comment


                #8
                You can't help her. I have to agree with the DO NOT's list. If she's still actually using the cards to charge more, there's no way out for her. It does sound like she admits that it is her debt and wants to be soley responsible for it, but maybe she feels like it's too far gone. She's going to have to realize that the cost of money is interest, and it's not worth paying it when she could be earning it. I don't know if it would help but there are some great debt calculators she could check out on MSN money, and there are sooo many books out there about saving money but I always recommend the Richest Man in Babylon to people I know in similar situations. I hope she starts trying to pay it down!

                Comment


                  #9
                  Do not help her, but is debt the reason to leave her? I agree couples need to be on the same page, but have you talked with her seriously?

                  Sat down and asked her about everything and explained to her what the debt is doing to her?

                  I know I'm in the minority but I wouldn't leave a good relationship over money. BUT I would work on it and see what that person is willing to do and how they really view money.

                  Perhaps now is the time to have "THE TALK". You know where you discuss your future. Discuss getting married, children, home, retirement, future.

                  If you aren't thinking along those lines, then don't bother getting involved. If you are only in it for fun and for now, then let it go and don't give her money.

                  It doesn't sound like she's with you for the money or she'd be taking you for all you got and are offering. But if you want a future with her, sit and be honest and have her share EVERYTHING.
                  LivingAlmostLarge Blog

                  Comment


                    #10
                    LivingLarge said it better than me. I will be in the minority here. Money is important. . .I'd even say very important in a relationship. That is why you don't see too many women marrying street bums.

                    (although I guess my wife did marry a beach bum )

                    But it isn't the end-all.

                    That being said, it may reach a boiling point in realizing that you two are incompatible.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I wanted to add a bit on this. I have a friend going through a divorce which is over a mish-mosh of issues - neglect on the physical front (husband neglecting wife's physical needs) and then the wife is a spendthrift on the other end.

                      They are going through a divorce and a house price dropping and she goes out and leases a Mercedez SUV. . .go figure.

                      When it comes down to it. . .some people are just raised "from hand to mouth." Some people aren't raised that way and they just get that habit out of nowhere. This person, the wife, was literally raised that way. They come into $2000. . .go out and buy a big screen TV. The idea of saving for the future or paying down a debt. . .it just doesn't cross their mind.

                      On one hand, I guess that makes them "more fun" than someone like me. On the other hand, it's one financial drama after another.

                      It may be the way she was raised to just have c/c debt as a norm and she knows no different. Sure. . .she may pay lip service to being "debt free" but really, it's not "in her blood" so to speak.

                      My father and mother were "working stiffs." They were good personal financiers. I get that from them. But I am a small business person and risk taker - that is some kind of genetic mutation because my DW doesn't know where I got that from. Its gotten a bit better with age but really, I couldn't pin that on my parents.

                      I am not sure what to make of blaming her parents on spoiling her. On one hand, it takes a big woman to realize she's been spoiled. . .on the other hand, she is placing blame upon someone else.

                      Hopefully she can reconcile the past and move forward towards better financial health.

                      Good luck.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I almost agree with the 'don't' list

                        don't mix your money, and don't pay too much of her way.

                        But DO feel free to offer to freeze the cards, or pack the lunch.

                        Also try reading a good finance book and talk about it..in a sharing type of way.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          I would keep myself completely separate from her financially. You have to decide if she is worth the wait. Changing her mentallity on money, may be long and never happen.

                          I would certainly sit down with her and discuss your need for financial compatibility. Her family (though they may have not been good money roll models) are not to blame for her financial mistakes, now. She appears to know that she has a problem, but may not know or care, how to fix it.

                          You have your work cut out for you, good luck to you and her.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            It doesn't sound like she will accept hand-outs but she might be willing to accept some financial planning advice. I would try to get all of the facts on the table (i.e. how much total debt does she have, how much income does she make, etc.) and work with her to create a plan for reducing the debt over time. If she is unwilling to at least work on this issue, I would recommend parting ways. This will eventually cause a lot of stress to your relationship.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Thanks everyone for the help and advice. I am going to try to get her to sit down for a serious talk about spending, budgeting, and seeing where we can go from there. I hope she'll be willing to lock up her credit cards and get a second job or something for extra income to pay down the debt.

                              The hardest part for me will be to alter my spending habits so to provide a good example and not make her feel like I am spending when she can't. This will especially be a problem if she has no money in the budget whatsoever for entertainment since I have a lot of disposible income. Then again, that could go to better use for investments or other long-term purposes instead of dinners every night!

                              Hopefully things can turn out a win-win situation for the both of us. Thanks again for the advice.

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