I am very financially responsible and in my mid-30’s. I recently discovered that my girlfriend, also mid-30’s, is not so much. Neither of us has any kids.
Now, I did know that she is a homeowner making a six-figure salary (barely) and living paycheck-to-paycheck saving no money. However, I did not know that she has close to 40k in credit card debt, is paying minimum payments, and racking up near $600 in finance charges each month until recently. I was floored. Absolutely floored.
It seems like this does not bother her at all. Her Victoria Secret card alone has 3k balance. She does have equity in the home I presume, but I don’t exactly find it ideal to sell your house to pay off CC debt. I have asked her about a home equity line of credit but unfortunately she does not qualify for one because I she already has one.
She could refinance the mortgage, which is a big reason for the paycheck-to-paycheck lifestyle, but thinks that would only yield a $1-200/mo savings. I am pushing for this anyway.
These CC finance charges are outrages and create an endless cycle of debt. What can be done? What options are out there for this much credit card debt? How can I raise her sense of urgency with respect to climbing out of this seemingly insurmountable hole?
Thanks so much!
I’m not at all surprised. Generally in relationships, savers attract spenders. Opposites really do attract. Not everyone is good at all things and some of us just really suck at managing money. Typically this is creative people or those in sales.
While it may make you feel better to give her an educational lesson about all the stuff she is doing wrong, she’d actually benefit more from you helping her out by handing those issues.
If you want to learn what your individual money personalities are, take my online test.
Before you refinance the house, it sounds like a debt consolidation loan might be a good way to organize the debt into one monthly payment. But then again, because she has little to no equity in the mortgage maybe bankruptcy is warranted to give her the best chance of doing better moving forward as fast as possible.
At her age my biggest worry is the lost time in saving for retirement she will experience while she struggles along month-to-month.
Take a look at how retirement income she will lose by not dealing with her debt quickly.