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Girlfriend Debt

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    Girlfriend Debt

    I just found out my girlfriend has build up 30,000 debts. I don't know what it has gone on, there is nothing to show for it.

    I am completely shell shocked. I can't talk to her about it yet - I'm still too shocked.

    To make it worse she doesn't believe it's a problem. She intends to get a further 10,000 in debt to buy a car.

    I've been paying all the bills for the last 8 years because I knew (thought I knew) that she had a couple of thousand in debts and a student load.

    Just paying her share of the rent has cost me over 18,000 but she does not and will not see how her debt affects me.

    I don't know how to get though to her. I know the answer should probably be kick her out and never look back but life is not that simple.

    Any advice or support would be most welcome. I'm so depressed about this.


    Trust is the very foundation of any relationship. You know the rest.

    Good luck.


      Sorry to hear about your situation. You definitely need to talk about the problem. Don't attack her in anger - that will only make things worse. You have to remain calm and help her understand how her spending problem/debt is putting an unnecessary strain on the relationship. Couples often have such a hard time talking about debt, but ignoring it will be even worse for the both of you. Oh, and don't let her buy that car!
      Rock climber, ultrarunner, and credit expert at


        Man that's very tough, I'm actually in the same boat. But my GF has around $5,000 in debt, which really isn't that bad. Unfortunately her credit is down the drain, plus she only makes $10/hr.
        I'm going to sit down with her today and go through her debt now that she is finally coming out and letting me see it. It's definitely a tough call, sure it would be easier to dump her and find a responsible girl...but I would like to stick it out with her.


          There are so many ways to go with this all I can say is, I would leave her in a heart beat.

          Let's see:

          1. She has kept the issue from you for 8 years.

          2. She does not believe she has a problem (Probably because you have been floating her for so long).

          3. Knowing she is 30,000 in the hole, she is going to go 10,000 more into the hole...

          4. You have been paying her side of the rent and bills for 8 years...

          5. Does not understand how her debt is affecting you.

          This is only the issues you offered up to us, add anything else you want to the pile and chose one or any number as your means to make your decision.

          I could not... would not deal with this sort of spending and carelessness.

          Just my 2 cents,


            dump her or get her to change her behavior
            or be prepared for a life of surprises


              Originally posted by investingnoob View Post
              I'm going to sit down with her today and go through her debt now that she is finally coming out and letting me see it. It's definitely a tough call, sure it would be easier to dump her and find a responsible girl...but I would like to stick it out with her.
              If she is open to discussing it and genuinely interested in cleaning up her mess and working together with you, that's fine.

              In OP's case, from what he has posted, she is not even acknowledging that there is a problem here. If he can get her past the denial, there might be hope here. I'd sure want to know where 30,000 went. That's more than some new clothes and a manicure now and then. That is some serious money.

              * 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.


                Let me tell you a hard lesson I learned at a very young age. People. don't. change. Period. Cynical? Maybe. But absolutely true. Unless she has voluntarily come to you now to confess this debt, asked for your help, and is taking positive steps right now to address the problem, she's not changing. Given that you say she doesn't see it as a problem and is considering adding to the debt load, I don't believe she is willing or ready to change. You will not change her. This has been going on for at least 8 years and it will go on forever until she herself makes up her mind that it is time to change. Even then I would be very skeptical. She would have to show me positive results over a long period of time.

                Both people in a relationship having a similar philosophy on money is an absolute deal breaker in my eyes. Philosophies as different as you and your girlfriend's spell nothing but trouble and misery for your time together. By paying her rent and bills you are only enabling her bad financial habits. Leave now.


                  Run quickly or prepare for non stop financial turbulence.


                    don't pay her debt any longer. the only way she will realize that she's in trouble financially is if she takes care of it herself. do not bail her out anymore.

                    she's usin you financially and that's not a way to have a healthy relationship. if she's willin 2 work on her finances then help her set a spendin plan up so that she can be financially out of debt but do NOT give her anymore money.

                    do NOT pay 4 her mistakes any longer. what's the real reason that she's gettin a new car? i personally went 2 an auction & bought my car outright for $600. yes i did put some work in it (it's a 95nissan, abt $400 for repairs) but it's paid off & i only pay liability 4 insurance. i've had it for 1yr & it has served me well.

                    if she's lied 2 u abt how much debt she really had then what else will she lie 2 u abt? if she's been in debt all this time where has the money she DID have gone? y hasn't she paid some of it off between now & then?

                    u should move out & let her live in her own place. let her take care of everythin herself b/c she won't realize her debt until she sees it herself.
                    Last edited by Sian; 09-08-2010, 05:28 AM.


                      I would give her an ultimatum. Either your get on a plan to stop spending and to cut up all lines of credit or your leaving by a certain date. State that you'll no longer be fixing her. Right now your what they call the prince trying to save the Damsel in Distress. I've been there. It only makes you poorer. Take a stance man!


                        I've been through a very similar situation, so I feel your pain. This is actually more a relationship problem than a financial one. Money is just how it's showing up. You can't get the money back, you can't change her, and you probably won't get her to see she's done damage to both of you, without seeming like a bully.
                        Only you can decide if you love her more than money, or if the conflict you will go through is worth it. A wise man once said to me "We create our own monsters". You might take a look at your own part in creating this situation, and what you're willing to do to fix it.


                          this is girlfriend, not wife, right??

                          why are you paying her bills???

                          If I was engaged or married, I would have no problem doing what you're doing - and we would have to work through the debt issues together.

                          If I had just a gf - there's no way I'd pay her rent/cell phone/car.

                          Though being together for 8 years - where is that going? do you like where it's headed?


                            Find a new girlfriend. Who knows what else she has been keeping from you. You probably don't want to know.


                              30,000 is about $46,830 US as of today's average exchange rate on foreign exchanges.
                              What portion of this is consumer debt vs. student loan?

                              Besides the debt, she is not contributing financially to your household, because you indicate you are paying rent and other bills all by yourself. You probably suspect that a good partner would pay for at least some reasonable portion of the costs, if they could. But a debt loan of 30,000 may be preventing any type of contribution because so much of her income would be going to repay existing debt. Either that, or she prefers to keep spending more instead of repaying.

                              As for your emotional response, it is understandable that you would be shocked as you did not know about this information for 8 years, which is a fairly long relationship. You need to think through your next decisions carefully.

                              As for her future decision to spend additional monies on a car, I would counsel her to spend a much more affordable amount by purchasing a used car, in line more with her actual financial situation. Ensure that you do not become obligated for the car loan, or even the insurance.

                              Also, you may want to consider avoiding marrying her until she can improve her financial behaviors. Avoid entering into additional financial contracts or situations which involve you and her. Keep your money separate from her, and do not go out of your way to pay any expenses for her. Cancel any existing contracts which you are involved in to pay her expenses. Basically, protect yourself until you understand more about the situation and know what you want to do. Continue to behave yourself in a fiscally responsible manner, and have your own separate financial goals. If she will not participate in a good financial plan, you can still respect yourself enough to do what you know is best for yourself financially.

                              Also, when you do communicate to her, I would express that you consider the open discussion of financial information as key to a relationship. Good luck.
                              Last edited by tulog; 09-16-2010, 08:51 AM.