I Dated a Loser Who Took My Money And Left Me With Debt But Now I Want to Get Married to a Great Guy. – Aleah


“Dear Steve,

I am currently in debt of an estimated $7-8,000. (this is including late fees and interest accrued) Its all about 5-6 years old. It is in collections and only one of the collectors still calls me and I don’t receive mail from that one anymore. I also have not received mail from the others in years. I was in my early twenties when it accrued and made a poor choice for a boyfriend.

Unfortunately he sponged off of me; he lived with me, ate my food, used my money (without telling me) and I paid for a lot of his medical expenses, always with the understanding I would be paid back. In his soaking up all my resources so that I could not afford to pay my creditors I smartended up and ended the relationship about six years ago.

I do not blame him for my choices- but we did have an agreement that he would help me financially with living expenses and paid back for medical. Unfortunately I never got anything in writing (lesson learned). And received no money from him ever. This meant however that in paying for the living expenses of two (which had become far more expensive than one) I had no money left to pay my creditors.

Overwhelmed by the sudden amount of financial obligation that I couldn’t pay for I stopped paying on any of them. I tried to obtain money from ex-boyfriend since he owed me somewhere around the tune of $3500. At the time this would have paid off the debt and then some. No go. No written agreement.

About 3-4 years ago one of the creditors called me and I settled with them. I tried to work out a payment plan with the large one about 1 year and half ago (it was about $4200 then) but everytime I made a payment the balance was going up not down. When I called he said my payment wasn’t high enough (I couldn’t afford more than about 50-60 at the time.) When I asked for more information i.e. interest rates, amount total owed, payment plan options, he refused to answer me only telling me that life was tough and I had to pay more or I wouldn’t ever be free of them.

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I have always felt a moral obligation to pay them (all of them) but I can’t seem to catch up. I am in my last year of college (i’m late to the game) and when I graduate I should be able to pay all of this back.

I will also be getting married to a wonderful understanding man a year after that and I don’t want him to have to deal with any of my old bad decisions. I have been told my amount is not high enough for debt consolidation, or counseling and because it is in collections they can’t help me anyway. For the next year my income is very little but after that will be decent enough to clean the slate. My fiance wants to buy a house soon possibly before or right after wedding. I don’t know how feasible this is.

How feasible is buying a house? How do I pay off my debt safely? What are the repercussions for my fiance if he marries me? (He has a fabulous credit score.) Will they go after him? I’m sorry for so much information but I have been trying for so long to get honest and helpful answers for so long that it kind of just boiled over. You seem to have helped so many people I am truly hoping you can help me. In short- I don’t know the first step anymore and am desperately trying to be responsible and take care of a mess that I made. Thank you so much for all you time and effort that you give.


Dear Aleah,

Do You Have a Question You'd Like Help With? Contact Debt Coach Damon Day. Click here to reach Damon.

First, let me ease your mind that your debt does not become his debt. As long as this debt is in your name only the creditors can’t go after your new “wonderful understanding man.”

Getting this wrapped up sooner rather than latter is a prudent move but right now you don’t seem to have the income to support a repayment plan. So maybe for right now, you should continue to circle and wait till you graduate and begin to earn income.

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After that you would probably be best off going for a debt consolidation loan through the peer-to-peer lender, LendingClub. You are more likely to get a lower interest rate loan from LendingClub to pay off the debt, than from any other source.

Now it is true that these negative items will fall off your credit report after 7 years and that depending on the statute of limitations in your state they may no longer be able to sue you. But even if they can’t sue you they can still chase you and attempt to collect until you die. Paying off the creditors when you can is the best approach.

So for now, do nothing and promise nothing. Wait until you graduate, take action then, and things will work out well that a year latter you should be all set for your new home. You could purchase a home earlier but unless he can qualify for the mortgage in his name only, it will require both of your incomes and so we’d still have to wait for you to start making your new income anyway.

P.S. Be sure to read ‘The Secret of Surviving Through Difficult Economic Times. What I Learned On My Journey‘.

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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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