I have 4 credit cards that I added my husband to as an authorized user. The debt has grown to over $34,000 in the last 8 years. Less than 3% of the charges were by me, but my husband is refusing to take responsibility. I am a stay at home mom with 3 little boys, and pick up odd jobs to get by. My husband and I are separated, soon to be divorced. I cannot even make the minimum payments (though they are all current to date, he just stopped paying them this month, and I used child support money to pay the minimums).
I have been talking to someone at Fast Track Debt relief, and want to enter the program. My husband does not want me to do this, saying it will ruin my credit (but right now my debt to income ratio is astronomical). I don’t want to force the sale of our house to pay off the cards, but I don’t want the debt on my back. If I let him pay it off it will take him 27 years, but will stay on my credit report for that long.
What should I do?
First off, if your husband was an authorized user on your accounts, his only input here is to pay his damn debt off. But actually you are the one legally responsible for the debt, not him.
I don’t think it is fair at all for him to get a free ride on your credit and then object to you dealing with the debt because he won’t or can’t.
I’m curious if he doesn’t want you to have a negative impact on your credit because it will stop his use of the credit. Maybe I’m just feeling cynical at the moment but his position sounds ridiculous and childish to me.
I’m also not convinced that any debt repayment program is appropriate for you. Quite frankly, after watching similar situations like yours devolve into a bigger financial messes, I think the most prudent approach for you is to seek protection under bankruptcy. Here’s why.
- You are soon to be divorced and being divorced with kids does not make your financial life easier. It makes it harder. You are logically not going to pay off this debt after your situation changes.
- If you are depending on his paying child support and would use part of that support to pay this debt, that support is for the kids and there is no guarantee he’ll actually pay it.
- If your relationship has wound up in the discharge of the marriage, without discharging the debt in bankruptcy you will still be tied to him.
This is your chance to make a clean relationship and financial break from him. Don’t waste this chance to get a total fresh start and never let any future man in your life get a free ride on your credit.
Please update me on your progress by posting updates here in the comments section of your question. I’m very interested in how this works out for you.