My Husband Doesn’t Know I’m $38,000 in Debt. – Natasha

“Dear Steve,

I am in debt for $38,000.00 which my husband doesn’t know about. It all started about 5 years ago. I got a credit card in both our names. I was paying OK on the card, then another came in for 0% and I got that (in both names). After a while I couldn’t handle the payments and started borrowing from each one to pay the other. Recently (6 months ago), I took out another card to transfer some of the balances to that. Now, I’m up the creek because I can’t pay these. I can’t really ask the credit card co. for help because it will affect both of us. My husband and I were going through a little trouble back then, and know things are getting back to normal. My husband is a very strong willed individual. He has taken over the budget and is tracking every penny. I’m am scared to death that this will end my marriage. I don’t know how to approach him with an explanation of why this happened.

Please help!


Dear Natasha

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Well, sigh, darn.

This truly is an unfortunate situation and I think your best approach here is the truth. This joint debt is going to be exposed at some point. If your husband ever looked at his credit report he’d clearly see it.

In all of my years of helping people situations like these typically result in a chilly relationship for a short period of time and then things thaw out. Obviously your husband is going to be surprised and probably rightfully upset at first with the identity theft on the credit applications.

If your husband knew about the debt could you, as a couple, afford to repay the debt? If not then you may want to go and talk to a bankruptcy attorney. I’m afraid this unknown and hidden debt might come as a big shock to your family budget since he has not factored it into the budget he’s created at all.

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If you don’t accept responsibility for the debt now it won’t be long before the collection calls and letters come in and tip him off. He might even get calls at work.

Now is your time to come forward and be honest with him rather than be caught in this mess by forces beyond your control.

Damon Day - Pro Debt Coach

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Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
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