I had no idea we were in debt!

So myself and my husband have been together for 16 years, he has always dealt with the banking. I would always budget us for the month, laying out all our bills, savings and spare spends for the month. In September of 2021, he confessed to getting loans behind my back. I though we were in around 20 grands worth of debt. I took over the bank accounts and discovered it was over 40grand. I managed to pay of the overdrafts, which stopped the constant fees. (Thanks to my parents). But now I have a MAMMOUTH debt that has to be paid. 

One of the loans I have worked my !!!!!! off in order to pay off NEXT MONTH! Which is 9months earlier than expected by the bank. I'm saving saving saving, then paying off in lumps, as long as I always have over a grand left in the account, for emergencies. I'm starting with the smallest loans first, so I feel that we actually have  achievements and then it may not seem so bleak. 

Any tips or ideas that I haven't thought about? Any advice greatly received!! 

No judgement on my husband please, he has just been trying to be a good man and got stuck in a hole he never intended. 
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  • moving_forwardmoving_forward Forumite
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    Sometimes paying little bits as and when you have them is better than waiting and paying in lumps. Hard to make any other comments without further details but wanted to wish you good luck and say well done for tackling the debt head on and well done to hubby too for being honest. It must have been hard for him.
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  • EssexHebrideanEssexHebridean Forumite
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    What an awful shock - and I'm glad that you've been able to look at the bigger picture too in spite of it. 

    If the T's and C's for the loans will let you pay off in small amounts then it makes sense to pay off anything you can save over and above the £1000 in your emergency fund immediately as that will reduce the interest burden faster. 

    I'd suggest that it might be worth you completing an SOA (Statement of Affairs) via the link in my signature and posting that in here (format for MSE, copy/paste) and we can have a look and see if we can help you find any further savings you may be able to make?

    Finally - is there an option for your husband to increase his earnings at all? If so that would provide additional funds to throw at the debts.  
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  • AndyjfletAndyjflet Forumite
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    I would be sending what you can to the loans rather than saving and paying off lumps, all contributes to the principle balance. 
    Baby Step 1 - £5896.47 saved for emergency fund STORM MODEBaby Step 2MBNA 0% £6775.50
  • SncjwSncjw Forumite
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    I second the soa see what savings could be made. 
  • kimwpkimwp Forumite
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    Might be worth considering - if you were doing a monthly budget, accounting for all spends, then what has the £40,000 been spent on?
    Statement of Affairs (SOA) link: https://www.lemonfool.co.uk/financecalculators/soa.php

    For free, non-judgemental debt advice, try: Stepchange or National Debtline. Beware fee charging companies with similar names.
  • SurprisedByDebtSurprisedByDebt Forumite
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    What an awful shock - and I'm glad that you've been able to look at the bigger picture too in spite of it. 

    If the T's and C's for the loans will let you pay off in small amounts then it makes sense to pay off anything you can save over and above the £1000 in your emergency fund immediately as that will reduce the interest burden faster. 

    I'd suggest that it might be worth you completing an SOA (Statement of Affairs) via the link in my signature and posting that in here (format for MSE, copy/paste) and we can have a look and see if we can help you find any further savings you may be able to make?

    Finally - is there an option for your husband to increase his earnings at all? If so that would provide additional funds to throw at the debts.  
    There are worse things in life to worry about. In my opinion. 

    So, thankfully he had a very good job. Where when he works overtime, not only is he paid for his shift, he is paid a bonus amount forjust agreeing to work. So he is working VERY hard to bring in extra, which is helping us to save quickly. So any extra days he works, instantly goes into the pot for the debts. 

    Elsewhere we have shrunk our outgoings, no takeaways, getting rid of unnecessary spending, like subscriptions to magazines etc.  I now make lunches instead of buying them. That sort of thing. 
  • SurprisedByDebtSurprisedByDebt Forumite
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    kimwp said:
    Might be worth considering - if you were doing a monthly budget, accounting for all spends, then what has the £40,000 been spent on?
    Life, unfortunately. Holidays, days out, clothes. Stupid stuff!!!  I thought we had savings plus I thought we had spending money each month. So would buy things and I would always ask him to check if we had enough before ever buying anything, he would say yes. Never wanted to say no. Silly really. Once he took that first loan or got into an overdraft, it was hard to then pay it back and possibly say no to me when I suggested doing something, and so the spiral began! Thankfully NEVER fell behind on bills. 

    But after years of hiding it, I now know and we can fix the problem together. Positives to look at is I now know how to Internet bank, plus I now realise that actually we spent money on things that we didn't need!!! So it has brought some good out of a heartbreaking situation. 
  • kimwpkimwp Forumite
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    kimwp said:
    Might be worth considering - if you were doing a monthly budget, accounting for all spends, then what has the £40,000 been spent on?
    Life, unfortunately. Holidays, days out, clothes. Stupid stuff!!!  I thought we had savings plus I thought we had spending money each month. So would buy things and I would always ask him to check if we had enough before ever buying anything, he would say yes. Never wanted to say no. Silly really. Once he took that first loan or got into an overdraft, it was hard to then pay it back and possibly say no to me when I suggested doing something, and so the spiral began! Thankfully NEVER fell behind on bills. 

    But after years of hiding it, I now know and we can fix the problem together. Positives to look at is I now know how to Internet bank, plus I now realise that actually we spent money on things that we didn't need!!! So it has brought some good out of a heartbreaking situation. 
    Oh, I see, you were doing the budget completely off-line, based on what you thought you had available, but actually some of that was being taken up by debt repayments. It's astonishing really how it can build up - while £40k is a lot of debt, that's actually "only" an overspend of £100 a month per person over the length of your relationship - easily built up with buying lunches, a shopping trip and holiday costs can be significant as well. The nice thing is that once your debt is paid off, it'll only take half the time to build up a nice sinking fund of £20k. I'd like to add to the others with my praise of your level-headedness, I don't think I would respond so kindly if I found a partner has put me in debt.
    Statement of Affairs (SOA) link: https://www.lemonfool.co.uk/financecalculators/soa.php

    For free, non-judgemental debt advice, try: Stepchange or National Debtline. Beware fee charging companies with similar names.
  • SusieTSusieT Forumite
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    Well done for being able to talk and to have already paid off the overdrafts (they can be nasty if they are recalled with next to no notice) as they are normally high cost, and to have reduced the loan to the point whete it is being paid off so early, that is really well done. 
    Personally unless there are any very small debts that can be cleared within  a month or 2, I would list them with the highest interest at the top, and send the overpayments to that debt first. To help with the budgeting I would set up a standing order for the credit cards to pay a round number that is going to be more than the current minimum payment. This allows the capital to naturally reduce a bit faster than if you do a minimum payment, and has the added bonus of showing as more than the minimum payment on the credit history, at a later date this may allow you to get a 0% balance transfer card so that you can save on interest.
    By paying the highest interest card or loan first you can save a lot long term. 
    Very good luck with it, I am sure with the way you are working together it will reduce to a much more manageable level quickly
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  • SurprisedByDebtSurprisedByDebt Forumite
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    kimwp said:
    kimwp said:
    Might be worth considering - if you were doing a monthly budget, accounting for all spends, then what has the £40,000 been spent on?
    Life, unfortunately. Holidays, days out, clothes. Stupid stuff!!!  I thought we had savings plus I thought we had spending money each month. So would buy things and I would always ask him to check if we had enough before ever buying anything, he would say yes. Never wanted to say no. Silly really. Once he took that first loan or got into an overdraft, it was hard to then pay it back and possibly say no to me when I suggested doing something, and so the spiral began! Thankfully NEVER fell behind on bills. 

    But after years of hiding it, I now know and we can fix the problem together. Positives to look at is I now know how to Internet bank, plus I now realise that actually we spent money on things that we didn't need!!! So it has brought some good out of a heartbreaking situation. 
    Oh, I see, you were doing the budget completely off-line, based on what you thought you had available, but actually some of that was being taken up by debt repayments. It's astonishing really how it can build up - while £40k is a lot of debt, that's actually "only" an overspend of £100 a month per person over the length of your relationship - easily built up with buying lunches, a shopping trip and holiday costs can be significant as well. The nice thing is that once your debt is paid off, it'll only take half the time to build up a nice sinking fund of £20k. I'd like to add to the others with my praise of your level-headedness, I don't think I would respond so kindly if I found a partner has put me in debt.
    Yes, I trusted him to do everything. I basically wrote it all on paper, told him what needed paying and when and what we could save that month etc. I never went near the bank stuff online before this! 

    Thanks for being kind! I think my husband is in a lot of shock at how calm I've been actually. LOL. But I know for fact he has hated himself enough that he doesn't need that from me! Plus it could have always been worse. We still have a roof over our heads and are healthy. 
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