Real life MMD: Should I pay off her debts?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Money Saving Polls
202 replies 53.4K views


  • If she asks you for it, don't even think about it.
    If she doesn't.. then it's your money, and it's your judgement call.

    Without knowing the details of your relationship, I would apply the same rules as one might to gambling. Don't bet more than you're willing to lose. :)
  • £16,000? Nice thought but NO. You're helping her by organising how she takes responsibility for her own debt. That will be the best lesson for her to learn.
    I wanna be Mortgage Free by February 2013
  • surfsistersurfsister Forumite
    7.5K Posts
    I've been Money Tipped!
    best advice I can offer is help with the management plan and get get her set up to pay of so much a month, then see how she sticks to it before you offer financial help.

    Or pay some towards the monthly payments.If you pay it off she won't learn to help herself and it may happen again, however if she has to struggle for a while she'll learn a valuable lesson don't spend money you don't have.

    If you pay it off then you spilt up it could be a valuable financial lesson for you to!
  • no, no, no, that is the easy way out! She obviously found it easy spending money she did not have in the first place and getting into so much debt and by paying it off for her, you can guarantee she will probably do it again and end up ruining your relationship. I think you have done alot so far, carry on with the support and make her pay it off herself.
    I know of two people who have been married for 20+ years and behind their backs their wives have got them in debt, one even had to remortgage to pay of her huge debts and she went and did it again. He learnt the hard way but did get rid of her!:eek:
  • I was in a similar position 25 years ago - owed around £1000 on store/credit cards. My then boyfriend (now husband of 22 years) was also in a position to be able to pay the debt off for me had he chosen to. Instead, however, he encouraged me to curb my spending and to save up and repay the debt - and for every chunk I paid off, he would match the amount, thus halving the debt for me. It definitely gave me the incentive to save and also taught me to be more responsible about money. Not sure that would have been the case had I simply had the debt wiped.
  • ashleyriotashleyriot Forumite
    89 Posts
    Ninth Anniversary Combo Breaker Debt-free and Proud!
    £16,000 is an awful lot of money and ultimately this will go one of two ways:

    1) She'll end up feeling really guilty about this and it will break you up (and you won't see this money for a long time - or ever)

    2) She'll be very grateful and then continue down a new spiral into further debt because there will have been no change in her behaviours

    8 months is no time to have been seeing her and it's important to offer support to those we care about but this has to be about helping her make changes to her spending patterns.

    If she can get on board with that and you can see changes happening then maybe pledge to yourself to pay off a little of her debt 1-2 years down the line but do not do it now.

    Think about it this way: would you be happy to never see that £16,000 again?
  • CarlakoalaCarlakoala Forumite
    23 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    If you genuinely think you can pay off her debt and not be the slightest bit miffed when
    a) the relationship breaks up as it would seem you are not compatiable when it comes to financial thinking, as finances in a relationship are one of the the biggest area of stress
    B) she does it again and expects the same white knight to rescue her.

    If you are comfortable then you can pay for all your time together - meals, drinks, day out. And moral support to stick to her new financial regime. But her mess is her mess.
  • DorrieDorrie Forumite
    66 Posts
    I would also so no to this. My parents advised me not to borrow money from my boyfriend (now husband of almost 22 years), but I was not in debt - I was buying a flat that cost £48000 and had £40000 because my first husband had just died (life insurance). Although I was engaged, my parents said you don't know what will happen, so I got a mortgage for the £8000. When we got married we paid it off. However, if we hadn't, he would have had a claim on my flat.

    I would advise your girlfriend to contact the very well respected, and free, Christians Against Poverty (CAP) who will deal with everything. There are churches affiliated to this all over the country.
  • tgroom57tgroom57 Forumite
    1.4K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    No, you shouldn't pay off her debts.

    Certainly encourage her to manage them herself: show her this website and where to find the letters to print and send.
    I am managing one of the smaller debts for my daughter- I set up the payment agreement and sent the letters to show her how she should do it, because quite frankly she didn't have a clue how to get out of the hole. But she still has to cough up the money, and I remind her so it surely gets paid. She has the other 3 to sort, and well done, has paid off one already sooner than I expected.
    If you think this approach would work for you, give it a go, but only to show her how it's done and only with the smallest one.

    I haven't much (any) personal money either, and I am especially glad of the trips out that my BF pays for.
  • I'm curious to know if she's asked you to pay them off or if you're offering to? I think the advice above speaks volumes! But I also felt compelled to say - please don't offer, you never know what's around the corner. Also, someone who loves you wouldn't ask for you to take the problem away, only to guide and help them to understand and take action against their debt problems. Good luck!
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