Husband's Bad Debt

Updated on August 26, 2010
C.J. asks from Brandon, FL
20 answers

My husband has bad credit. He seems to believe that it will simply go away one day and he will not have any worrries. I am currently unemployed and I'm a stay at home mom. I just don't think if fair that i should pay off his debts. I was wondering what should i do? should ignore it or assist him with paying off his debt?

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So What Happened?

Thank you everyone for your avdice. I am stay mom because the company that i worked for laid me off when I was 5 mos pregant. I have since looked for work online and i have been on several interviews with no call backs just rejection letters. I did not find out about how bad his credit problem was until recently. So what i am going to do is work out a budget and work together to resolve the bad credit.

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answers from Orlando on

How old are his debts? If they are with 3rd parties don't pay them until we talk.
Send me an email if you are interested.



answers from Dallas on

The statute of limitations in Florida is 4-5 years depending on type of debt. This means he cannot be sued after that time period. The debt will be removed from his credit report after 7 years. Having said all that, the creditors can attempt to collect the debt for the rest of his life.

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answers from Phoenix on

How is it that it's "his" debt when you are unemployed and a SAHM??? So he's taking on all the financial risk in the household and you aren't contributing to it? Sorry, but did you just wake up and find yourself in this situation? I don't mean to be so harsh but you are in this together. You need to sit down and talk to him and come up with a responsible financial plan together. Check out Dave Ramsey. Good luck.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Denver on

I don't know the extent of what you mean by bad credit and debt. If he has bad credit card debt and has only individual accounts, not joint with your name on them in any way, then it will not show up or effect your personal credit report and score.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

If you are involved with a church, please go there to talk about it. They have sources that can help. If not, you all should go to a credit counselor. Bad credit will stay BAD CREDIT on your records for at least 7 years. That will affect any future purchases and sometimes even jobs (depending on the area of your expertise). If he thinks that it will go away, he may be in a depression about it. It can be overwhelming!!! Talk to him, but don't get angry. It will only add to the problem. DO see SOMEONE for help soon! :-) Best wishes

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Huntsville on

My husband has bad credit from debts before I even met him. Now that we are married, I see them now as my debts too. The reason I say this is because his debt & bad credit are keeping us from getting things that we BOTH want, mainly buying a house. Paying off these debts & clearing his credit will help us both.

I have always been better at keeping up with finances, so I'm the one with a checking account and physically pay the bills (via online or mailing checks). Hubby is about to deploy, and since he will be making good money (more than me haha), I am going to take charge of his debts & work on using his paychecks to pay off as much as we can as quick as we can.

Clearing his debt will be a lift off BOTH of our shoulders, and we'll finally be able to buy a house & quit renting!!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Tampa on

Ignore it , and keep your credit separate.
best, k

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Tampa on

Well I am sure you know this already but just incase and because you are married his debt is your debt...
Eventually you will have to get it resolved ignoring it does not work. This I know from personal experience. There are so many programs out there to help you now it would be worth looking into.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

His debt is your debt if you are legally married. ANYTHING you try to buy his Credit Score is the one they will look at. Use to be they looked at the highest score with major purchases, but thanks to the crash of the banks, that is not the case anymore... So it has to be paid... One can not file bankruptcy without the other being effected. So you will have to pay it. I do not quite understand the question.... Are you asking if you should go out and get a job outside of the home to help pay off his debt? If it is in that case I would say, you then way your pros and cons. If it is a job that will require you to get daycare, then you have to figure out if your additional income will actually pay off the debt that much faster. You should not look at it as his debt and yours. When you marry a man, you marry his debt and his family... One big package. Heh, I think that should be added to our vows. LOL... Now if your job is not making a nice income and it would cost you almost what you are making; then you will have to figure out alternatives. You can not ignore debt. It is always there regardless if you answer the phone or open the mail... As Suzzie O says, before you marry a man you should know his Fico Score; because you are marrying that 464 too....

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

I guess a lot of marriages are different by any money earned in our household is both of ours (even though I stay home), not just the one who earns it. Same this any debt is our debt, I went into our marriage knowing my husband had school debt and I had no debt, Anyhow we are married now it is both our responsibilities to have the debt paid off. Think about it he is not the only one who is going to suffer if the debt gets out of control. You are married to him after all. I personally think since you seem to have the more money sense that you should be taking care of this issue. My hubby is clueless for finances so I do that task. That's just me though

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on has lots of good resources.
I Love this man and he has helped my family out SO MUCH! Will be debt free very soon!



answers from Miami on

Contact the credit card companies by mail. Don't bother calling them. DO NOT CONTRACT with a debt-relief company. They only rip us off and do not resolve your issues. This goes for any debt you may have. Always keep a paper trail...Best wishes, S.



answers from Fort Wayne on

funny you should post this my hubby and I are in the same boat except hubby knows and does want to do something about it. we are looking into the dave ramsey debt book to get our situation on the right track. that may help him see the error in his way. you guys are married and that means you do shoulder 1/2 the burden of his debt and visa versa. if you have the money with out putting your fam in a critical situation help him out. get rid of the cc and get on the path to being debt free.


answers from Houston on

Unfortunately, his bad credit may effect yours if he takes advantage of the situation. Keep the bills and such in your name, and you be the one to pay bills. it would be a shame if he drove yours through the mud. do not let him put any of his debts in your name!! Don't let him get credit cards or anything in your name at all. also, when you start to work again, open a secret saving account so he can't go and blow through it and you can use it in case of emergency or to save up for you and your children's future. This happened to a friend of mine and it was just awful, he left home, got a fake identity and left her with all of his debts since he moved everything over to her name.

Get the Dave Ramsey book, and read it together so you will know he is listening!

his book:

Now, you can always help and work together on creating a budget, but some women don't understand that sometimes, a single family member can destroy the financial peace of the family no matter how much the other member tries to help.

his website also full of helpful tips:



answers from Daytona Beach on

just to let you know the post below about filing for bankruptcy affecting both of you is not true. i had the bad credit in my relationship, and i ended up filing for bankruptcy. my husband and i had nothing together in both of our names. all of the bad credit came before we got married due to my mother almost passing away and i was having to pay household expenses, and my bills plus hers and my sisters, also. anyways, as long as what his bad credit is on and it was done before your marriage, bankruptcy will not affect you also. as soon as i filed for bankruptcy, i had credit cards trying to get me to get one. i selected one that had no annual fee or one that had you put money down on it or a "secured" card. that way i started to reestablish my credit. after 1 year the bankruptcy is discharged and after 1 or 2 years you can even qualify to buy a house. i would definitely look into all your options. if you can't budget it because of financial problems, bankruptcy might be the way to go. you don't have to put in your house or your cars, just the bills.



answers from Boston on

I am glad I read you WHAT HAPPEN before I responded. Your making the right choice. As long as he knows that once the budget is in place he has to be a serious partner. I helped mine when I first met him.....then waited to see what he would do on his own. Needless to say I take care of all our expenses. LOL! You might in the long run be the responsible one for the bills as I am. I wish you luck!



answers from San Francisco on

You are man and wife and his debts are your debts in the eyes of the law and in the eyes of God. I would however, cut up or cancel any credit cards and if you can't sit down together and create a family budget and payment plan, then you will have to take over the checking account and do it yourself.




answers from Indianapolis on


I would recommend first talking to a professional who actually help their clients with credit issues and help repair their credit. There are a number of agencies out there but only very few are genuine. I have learned so much going through the process myself that I would not have if I was only listening to my co-worker or my family members and might have even gotten into deeper problems. They are their opinions and not actual facts. Also one company I used for my personal credit repair, told me how things are changing almost everyday with the way credit reporting system works and how you have to keep up to date with the changes.
I would highly recommend talking to Financial Education Services. They give you a free consultation explaining exactly what you might need to do to improve your credit. You can call them directly @ ###-###-#### or visit their website @ I know someone who was thinking of filing bankruptcy but they helped them get out the situation and improve their credit at the same time without having to file bankruptcy.



answers from Orlando on

I recommend reading any book by Dave Ramsey--but do it together. I came out of college with extreme debt from my school loans, and absolutely no clue how to handle it. My husband always handled the money in the past and we were paying the debt off slowly. After reading Ramsey's book we're plowing ahead on getting out of debt and getting ahead and we're doing it together. It's given me a lot more control over our financial future. You can't ignore the situation because without any kind of change the problems will continue to exist. Don't think of it as 'you' paying it off alone... find a way to work together. Maybe the book will empower him to take care of his family and provide a better life by taking care of his debts.



answers from Orlando on

We were in the same boat as well. We wanted to buy a house and his credit was terrible. So, we started to pay off his outstanding debts, were on time w/ current payments and called all the companies he owed to see what we needed to do to satisfy them. We had it cleared in about two years. I am responsible for keeping the checkbook up to date and paying bills on time. That is just not his thing and that is one of the reasons he got into trouble, he had the money in there, just never paid on time.
As annoying as it is, he is your husband and you should want to help him work out a plan. He does have to be on board as well and has to commit to the plan.
We were able to purchase our new home five years ago and both our credit scores are good. It was always instilled upon me by my parents to have a good credit score and always have health insurance. My husband was not raised the same way and was kind of left on his own to figure it out and that is what got him into trouble too.
Good luck!

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