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    • Pedro_S
    • By Pedro_S 10th Oct 17, 10:03 AM
    • 12Posts
    • 1Thanks
    Debt options
    • #1
    • 10th Oct 17, 10:03 AM
    Debt options 10th Oct 17 at 10:03 AM
    Good morning all,

    I could use some help if you'd be so kind. My wife told me last night that she has pretty considerable credit card debts (appx £25k) which I didn't know about and, unfortunately, she has got behind on her payments in the past 2 months. I want to help.

    Now, I know very little about credit cards or debt (aside from our Mortgage, which comes out of my current account every month) but I thought it was wise to pay off her minimum payments or arrears (whatever they're called) so we paid off those last night (using a fair chunk of what savings I have).

    I just wondered what options are open to us? I assume because she's missed payments (so frustrating she didn't tell me before ) our chances to move her balances to a very low rate have gone? So, the only thing I can think of (short of appealing to family for some help and then to pay them back over years) is to open my own credit cards (i don't have any) and transfer as much as I can on to my cards?? Is this possible? My credit rating is very strong, I've never missed a payment on anything in my life and I'm generally very sensible and conservative with money.

    Any advice you can offer would be greatly appreciated
Page 1
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 10th Oct 17, 10:13 AM
    • 8,011 Posts
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    • #2
    • 10th Oct 17, 10:13 AM
    • #2
    • 10th Oct 17, 10:13 AM
    First step I'd suggest is to take a look at the MSE Credit Club, Noddle, and Clearscore (all free resources) to see how things stand with her credit history - the MSE club at least will also give an idea what might be worth her applying for to see if there are any 0% deals that are worth her sticking an application in for. Next is probably for her to sit down and go through all her income/expenditure and work out how much she can afford to throw at the cards each month - that will give you an idea of how soon it can be gone. I take it that the cards are now cut up and card details removed from any Apps that she might have been using them through? It's worth her also working through whether she's used the cards for general frittering without really thinking about it, for big ticket items (in which case there may be assets that can be sold to help pay down the balances) or for day to day expenses - which is the most serious and suggests that your household budget may need an overhaul.

    I'm not generally a fan of someone else taking on debts for someone else - it tends to take the originator's mind and focus off the problem somewhat - better by far to offer full support and help in sorting the situation out but not to actually take on the debt yourself.
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    Sainsbugs 0% card: 22/12/16 £1229.00/£544.67 (17/10/17)
    • sourcrates
    • By sourcrates 10th Oct 17, 10:25 AM
    • 12,174 Posts
    • 11,636 Thanks
    • #3
    • 10th Oct 17, 10:25 AM
    • #3
    • 10th Oct 17, 10:25 AM
    Now you’ve cleared the arrears is she able to afford the minimum payments now or not ?

    It’s always difficult to advise on a 3rd party basis, really we need to see an SOA from you both to get the full picture.
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    For free debt advice, contact either : Stepchange, National Debtline, or, CAB.
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    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 10th Oct 17, 11:47 AM
    • 4,410 Posts
    • 8,176 Thanks
    • #4
    • 10th Oct 17, 11:47 AM
    • #4
    • 10th Oct 17, 11:47 AM
    I think you are great for wanting to support her but I would urge you to exercise caution before taking on anyone else's debt even your spouse.

    As you say if she had come to you sooner this may have been sorted by just moving debt to 0% cards and if her credit rating is now shot this could affect you too if you have any joint accounts with her, including a mortgage. Someone who has a problem with overspending is not going to learn how to budget and manage money sensibly if someone just steps in and pays it off for them so any action you take should be done together and ideally make a plan for her to pay it off.

    The other thing I would urge you to do is look through your joint expenditure and income and be open with each other. If you keep separate finances and have children are you splitting the bills fairly and is she running up debt because she is trying to run a household, clothe and feed children, cover childcare fees etc on a much lower wage than you? If so, this is not fair if she only works part time or is a SAHM.

    An soa and a spending diary is a good start. Go through her bank statements and make a plan.
    Countdown to early retirement on 21.12.17 3 months to go.
    • anna_1977
    • By anna_1977 10th Oct 17, 2:24 PM
    • 591 Posts
    • 832 Thanks
    • #5
    • 10th Oct 17, 2:24 PM
    • #5
    • 10th Oct 17, 2:24 PM
    Good luck - my only comment would be (& someone correct me if I'm wrong) but if you have joint bank accounts and are financially linked you might not find it that easy to get 0% cards.....
    • LJB290
    • By LJB290 10th Oct 17, 3:13 PM
    • 98 Posts
    • 126 Thanks
    • #6
    • 10th Oct 17, 3:13 PM
    • #6
    • 10th Oct 17, 3:13 PM
    My husband has a bad credit rating but mine is very good. I opened 0% credit cards for a 4 year period and transferred the balance over while we begin saving to pay them off at the end of the 4 years.
    His rating and historic money issues have not affected my credit - we have joint mortgages and bank account but separate credit cards.

    Make sure you deal with the issue as a couple though - don't take all the responsibility. Its important for lessons to be learnt and understood going forward as well as openness and transparency with regards to spending and budgeting.
    • nkkingston
    • By nkkingston 10th Oct 17, 3:20 PM
    • 432 Posts
    • 484 Thanks
    • #7
    • 10th Oct 17, 3:20 PM
    • #7
    • 10th Oct 17, 3:20 PM
    Definitely work out where the money went. A lot of household budgets go askew because one partner is trying to match the other in spending, but the money coming in isn't split equally (or even fairly - being a woman is, sadly, more expensive than being a man!). It's great that you're working together now on this, and you need to decide what your approach is going to be going forwards as a team.

    I agree that taking out debt on behalf of your wife is a bad idea. Whether or not you're already financially linked, it's a risky strategy that can breed resentment and cause issues further down the line. Instead, look at your household budget, and figure out the best ways to clear the debt, whether that's mutual belt tightening, selling off assets, or a psychological overhaul in the way you approach spending (for example, if your wife is a SAHP, sometimes overspending can be as much due to boredom as it is budget).
    June 2016: £93,295
    October 2017: £80,520.19
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 10th Oct 17, 3:44 PM
    • 8,011 Posts
    • 41,402 Thanks
    • #8
    • 10th Oct 17, 3:44 PM
    • #8
    • 10th Oct 17, 3:44 PM
    Just a thought having had a quick look at your other posts - you've clearly got married relatively recently (Congratulations!) - these debts aren't by any chance wedding-related, are they?
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    Sainsbugs 0% card: 22/12/16 £1229.00/£544.67 (17/10/17)
    • Bedsit Bob
    • By Bedsit Bob 11th Oct 17, 12:44 AM
    • 9,708 Posts
    • 50,998 Thanks
    Bedsit Bob
    • #9
    • 11th Oct 17, 12:44 AM
    • #9
    • 11th Oct 17, 12:44 AM
    I second the SOA.

    Also, a risk with putting your partner's debt in your name is, a fall in household income (long term illness/injury, or one of you becoming unemployed) could lead to two trashed credit records, instead of just one.
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    • tori.k
    • By tori.k 11th Oct 17, 7:06 AM
    • 2,845 Posts
    • 6,288 Thanks
    That's what we did, I moved my husband credit card balance on to a card in my name to remove the interest, and we both worked together to get the debt paid, but I guess I depends on the reason the debt arose in the first place 25k is a lot to accumulate in secret if it was down to something like gambling debts I would insisted on them also getting help while sorting it out.
    It just money at the end of the day it not important and I am surprised how in the replies marriage seems to little matter anymore which is quite sad.
    Best of luck
    Debit to Credit (stage 1) 3652.34 completed 15/10/16
    Debit to Credit (stage 2) 6299.09 completed 25/06/17
    Last Castle 150,000/ 25300
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