How Should My Boyfriend and I Handle Getting Out of Debt? – Marissa

“Dear Steve,

I have $64,000 in student loan debt and my boyfriend has $10,000+ in credit card debt. I make $18,000/year less taxes and he makes $40,000/year. We want to aggressively tackle our debt. I had been deferring my loans for years (or so I thought) but now I’m facing wage garnishment. We are in our 30s with no savings and/or retirement accounts.

My boyfriend and I, in an effort to aggressively tackle our debt, were going to use all of my wages to pay off credit cards and student loans. I would get a second job so that I would have some usable income. I had thought by doing this that we could be debt free in under 10 years. However, after using your calculator I have determined I will never be free of these student loans. Should I file for chapter 13 bankruptcy or should I set up a payment schedule and wait 25 years for the remainder of my balance to be forgiven? I don’t want to throw my hands up and say I’m not paying it, but I don’t see any other way to get ahead without getting rid of this huge debt. Thanks.


Dear Marissa,

couple workingAre these private student loans or federal student loans? It makes a big difference. See The Ultimate Guide to Dealing With Student Loans You Can’t Afford.

I want to applaud you for beginning to focus some attention on planning for the future, wanting to start building a savings account, and finally tackling the student loan.

I’m going to hope these are federal subsidized student loans. In that case since you don’t have any other debt to clear, getting those loans consolidated and in the IBR makes logical sense.

It’s an interesting situation with you and your boyfriend. He has less debt and more than twice as much income. I’m curious how much he is willing to contribute each month towards your situation and most importantly how you are handling your finances now. Has your relationship advanced to the point where you pool your income and expenses or are things still his and hers?

See also  I Maxed Out My Boyfriend's Cards And Didn't Tell Him. - Deceitful Girlfriend

Clearly I need some feedback from you so please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.


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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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