Real life MMD: Should I pay off her debts?

Money Moral Dilemma: Should I pay off her debts?

I've been dating this girl for 8 months now and she told me she had debt problems so bad she avoided opening her post for over 18 months. She hasn't told anyone else about this problem, not even her family. Over the past few months I've been helping her sort out all her statements and helped her enrol in a debt management plan. She earns a modest salary and the level of debt she is in means she's going to have very little personal spending money for at least 4 years before the debt is paid off. I earn a lot of money but I've always lived a modest lifestyle and I've never been in debt my whole life. I've got more than enough savings to pay off her debt, which is close to £16,000. I really like her and would love to take the stress away from her but at the same time I have doubts about if it's the right thing to do.
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  • emidee
    emidee Forumite Posts: 71
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    Dating for only 8 months? I wouldn't do it!

    How would you feel if you paid it off & then she left you next week?!
  • Decluttering
    Decluttering Forumite Posts: 691
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts Combo Breaker
    You could pay off her debts, you are in a comfortable financial position to do so and you really like her. But will she really learn how to control her money effectively if she ignores her mail for 18 months and dates a guy who will make it all disappear for her?

    I personally think that your support and maybe suggestions on how to pay it off would be of more use to her than the money.
    Thank you competition posters!
  • skylight
    skylight Forumite Posts: 10,716
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Combo Breaker Home Insurance Hacker!
    8 months??? £16k for 8 months?? I'll date you for that!!

    No. Don't pay off the debts but you can help her to pay them off herself. Advise, support and getting the help thats needed is the way to go. You could offer to pay for more nights rather than her paying if you wanted to support her in a different area; that way she has more of her own money to throw at those debts.

    Make sure she goes to a free debt charity - not a company you find on Google and will charge her silly amounts for setting up payment plans etc.
  • Twiggy_34
    Twiggy_34 Forumite Posts: 685 Forumite
    No, not after just 8 months, there's no knowing what the future holds at this point. There's no any guarantee you'd see the money again & sometimes it serves better to let a person learn the hard(er) way.

    If it were me, I'd pay for a few treats every now and again if she's not going to be able to afford them herself. Maybe the occasional trip to the cinema, or take away etc. That way you're still helping her out, but without making any (risky) long term commitments.

    If I were constantly on the receiving end of the acts of generosity I've suggested, I'd probably feel quite guilty for using your cash for such means, but there are loads of ways of making it more palatable. E.g. being the free one on Orange wednesdays, or nabbing the free Domino's pizza on Two for Tuesdays! :)
    £12k in 2019 #084 £3000/£3000
    £2 Savers Club 2019 #18 TOTAL:£394 (2013-2018 = £1542)
  • DigForVictory
    DigForVictory Forumite Posts: 11,864
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    Absolutely not.
    So far, you have no financial bad habits. The young lady however, needs to learn several tough lessons & just making her debt disappear is not how she'll learn.
    Plan together for a serious holiday (honeymoon?) in 4 years time. You may not get that far together, but she has an additional incentive.
  • seasideDreamer
    seasideDreamer Forumite Posts: 1,363
    Tenth Anniversary Combo Breaker Debt-free and Proud!
    Def not, Ive still £4700ish of debt and don't think I'd want BF to pay it off. Ill learn more by doing i myself. He shouldnt pay it off but maybe treat here every so often once she reaches a certain milestone.
    Debt free and busy treating myself:)

    No more toiletries/make up until I've used what I've got stashed since Jan 2011, graduated October 2012. Restocked Dec 13..damn those sales
  • Owain_Moneysaver
    Owain_Moneysaver Forumite Posts: 11,341
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    No way.

    Absolutely no way.

    No matter how many 'very special kisses' she offers you.
    A kind word lasts a minute, a skelped erse is sair for a day.
  • ironlady2022
    ironlady2022 Forumite Posts: 1,544
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    8 months is not a very long time in terms of dating. she needs to learn the hard way. Helping her with the debt management plan is the way forward and you should sit down with her and go through every outgoing and incoming. Where is her money going? Is she actually trying hard to pay it off?
  • MsSupertech
    MsSupertech Forumite Posts: 85
    Tenth Anniversary 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    Not yet. If you're still together when she's halved her debt, maybe help out then. But don't tell her that's the plan...
    In the meantime, support her in other ways. Help her identify where her money goes and keep her budget on track. Pay for some treats and trips but not too often. Can you help her find a better paid job?
    Good luck!
    Once it's gone, it's gone - so remember...
    Pay for the things you need before you dream about the stuff you want :think:
  • beargirl
    beargirl Forumite Posts: 74 Forumite
    I help my boyfriend to pay his debt off through the CCCS, only an extra £60 a month but as I earn a bit more than him and haven't got much debt I don't mind, plus we have been together for 7 years and live together too. To be honest if we had only been together 8 months I probably wouldn't. I can see where you are coming from but I would say rather than pay off the debt, as someone suggested above, maybe treat her to trips to the cinema or meals out etc, that way she will still learn how to manage her money better but you still get to do the nice things!
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