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OH in a lot of debt. Need advise?

(22 Posts)
Sarahj234 Wed 06-May-15 11:14:19

Hi there,

I found out recently that my OH is in a lot of debt. I knew he had some but not this amount. I know people have credit cards and overdrafts but for this to amount to 30k in debt, is ridiculous. We've had arguments about it and I've asked what it went on and I get told household expenses. My question is, should I be asking to see the statements so I can see where the money went?
Since finding out about his debt I've become paranoid about what he does now. Not sure if he has a secret addiction, ie gambling online.
Sorry for rambling. Just confused by it all!!

JuneFromBethesda Wed 06-May-15 11:27:15

20 months ago I discovered that my husband owed £15k on credit cards. I knew about some of it - I thought it was around £7k (and it was all genuine household spending, nothing dodgy) - but he'd been rubbish about paying it off and was only paying the minimum every month while the interest increased.

I realised that I had to take control of every area of our finances so I got statements for every bank account and credit card and did a proper household budget, all our income and outgoings. My husband voluntarily have me his bank log-in details so I could check his spending online.

We've been doggedly paying it back and make our final credit card payment at the end of this month - our debt is now under £1k. It can be done, and I would highly recommend Moneysavingexpert's Debtfree Wanabee forum which is a fantastic source of advice.

However - you need to work out first where the debt has come from so yes, I would absolutely get hold of his bank statements. If it's gambling then you have a problem beyond poor money management. He needs to come clean totally about where the money has gone.

Sorting out our finances has been really good for us as a couple because we've worked on it together and my husband is a changed man with money - he's learned to be much more careful with his spending. I don't want to sound smug, we had to work at it - but it can be done. Good luck smile

Bearbehind Wed 06-May-15 11:27:17

If he's going to be honest with you he'd show you the statements - if he refuses to then you know it's not gone on household expenses.

Are you involved in the household finances? Could you have been living beyond your means to the tune of £30k?

If you've not seen where it went and you have a fair idea about what is coming in and out in a normal month I suspect he's not telling you everything.

Sarahj234 Wed 06-May-15 12:00:53

Thank you both for replying.

I'm going to ask for the statements, there is no way we have been living beyond our means. We opened a joint account for the household bills to be paid out of, at the moment only three DD come out of this.
We also have separate accounts but we came to an agreement that I paid the childcare fees and the eldest sons school expenses.
He pays the household bills.

We have run into difficult times the last couple of years but that doesn't add up to 30k!! Especially as last year he had a bank appointment to consolidate his debt, which was successful he was given 13k to pay off his high interest credit cards etc. Now I find out that it has got to 30k. The only reason I found out is because we were getting less and less shopping in the house because the money wasn't there to spend.

Lyinginwait888 Wed 06-May-15 12:08:47

Wow - that must be really frightening.

Loads of different methods to actually get out of debt (snowball for eg) or some people sell high value items like a home. I'd echo what the others said though. What on earth did it go on?

You say 'oh' - if you're not married then this likely changes your legal responsibility; not your moral one I guess though.

Is he really facing up to it or is he a bit 'head in sand' about it?

Sarahj234 Wed 06-May-15 12:21:40

It's really frightening.
He's finally facing up to it and has a been looking at going bankrupt etc. now he has opted for a IVA to pay his debts. It means he can't have finance on anything. Credits cards etc for five years.
I personally think that is brilliant. It's not been finalised with the IVA company yet but it's a start and he's had his head buried in the sand since I found out.

I just feel I should see what happen with this money as we are not married and were talking about setting a date before I found this out.
I need to see what I'm getting myself involved in before I even consider marriage now.

Bearbehind Wed 06-May-15 13:51:25

Make sure you are fully aware of the consequence of his IVA- him just opting out of paying back his debts will have very serious consequences for you both.

If you have a joint bank account you are financially linked and your credit file will be affected by his IVA.

If you're considering getting out of the relationship or even if you stay you need to know how you'll be affected and for how long.

Bearbehind Wed 06-May-15 13:53:53

Meant to say- if he hasn't admitted the real reason he got into this amount of debt then the IVA (or any other action) isn't addressing the underlying problem and its very likely he'll find a way of doing it again only next time he'd be restricted to pay day loans or loan sharks.

Sarahj234 Wed 06-May-15 14:16:28

Thank you Bearbehind. I am going to sit down with him tonight and request the statements off him and go from there.
I haven't been filled in about this IVA so that will need to be discussed too. I don't want my credit rating to be affected by his stupid mistakes

Bearbehind Wed 06-May-15 14:29:35

I don't want my credit rating to be affected by his stupid mistakes

That's perfectly understandable but if he does anything other than pay the whole lot back in line with the original terms you have no choice, you will be affected as well as him, because your joint bank account makes you financial associates.

You need professional advice on the extent to which you'll be affected before he does anything. There's lots of stories about people who didn't realise the impact an IVA or bankruptcy of a previous partner had on people and it only comes to light when they apply for credit, by which time it's too late.

Sarahj234 Wed 06-May-15 15:23:18

wow!! This is worst than I originally thought ��

Thank you so much for ur help. I'll take on board what u have said and act quickly.

LIZS Wed 06-May-15 15:33:48

Who has advised an Iva? Call a free agency like Stepchange for impartial advice on the situation , the potential options and consequences of each. Unless he is totally honest with you and himself and agrees a budget and action plan the issue will continue to fester.

DownWithThisTypeOfThing Wed 06-May-15 15:39:48

Meant to say- if he hasn't admitted the real reason he got into this amount of debt then the IVA (or any other action) isn't addressing the underlying problem and its very likely he'll find a way of doing it again only next time he'd be restricted to pay day loans or loan sharks.

He needs to come clean about what he's spent it on.
Not facing up to it means he risks doing it again but worse.

sometimessunshine Wed 06-May-15 15:42:11

Please explore all other avenues before getting an IVA, he may just be thinking it's a simple solution but it isn't. You need to sit down and work out where all the money has been going and see if there is any way that you can pay it back without entering into an IVA.The Moneysaving Expert website has some great information and advice.

PeoniesforMissAnnersley Wed 06-May-15 16:54:29

This happened to me - I sat down with DH and found out that rather than the c.£5k of debt I thought he had he had £17,900 of debt.

We paid it off by cutting our lifestyle to the absolute bone for months, selling on eBay, taking on extra work etc.

I would really advise against an IVA as it will destroy your credit rating and tbh I think those plans actually stop people from changing their behaviour - he needs to confront his spending and change his habits.

Come over to the Debt Mutual Support thread - it's a really supportive place and TiP will give great advice.

Sarahj234 Wed 06-May-15 17:45:25

He's looked at other options and it was citizens advice that told to go to an IVA. The bank won't help ( no surprise with the debt he's in)
It's got to the point of having no money to put food on the table.
My hands are tied what with paying for childcare and only having a p/t job. I've looked at full time but the expense of childcare goes up and I would be no better off doing that.
My head is in a whirlwind at the moment but I appreciate all the support and advise people have given.

Bearbehind Wed 06-May-15 18:20:03

Has he told you what he spent it on yet?

LIZS Wed 06-May-15 18:39:24

Did you go with him?

SisterMoonshine Wed 06-May-15 18:43:56

I agree that he needs to speak to Step Change or one of the other FREE debt charities. Do you trust him that it was CAB he went through?
It's just that there are several companies out there advertising stress free IVAs who are actually charlatans out to make money out of you.

Sarahj234 Thu 07-May-15 13:43:56

I've seen what it has been spent on and luckily it's not a gambling addiction. It's just him spending the money on stuff for the house and things I thought were being paid from his wages. The debt has got so high with never being able to keep up with all the payments, ( so late fees etc) so basically boils down to him not paying on time or enough money and now the APR's are through the roof. He's going to look at other options than the IVA and we are going to sit down and work out what comes in together and the outgoings and work out budgets on everything and see where we can get rid of things not needed.
Thank you all for ur advise.
Going to b a long train ride but I'm sure we'll get there.

TalkinPeace Thu 07-May-15 18:30:13

Hi there SarahJ234
IT sounds like the debt has snowballed more because it has been ignored than because you have serious financial issues.

Please do not rush into an IVA : its a very major step that will affect your finances for many years.

Have a look at the big thread - here
and then have a look at my spreadsheets - here
AS the credit card one may well work miracles for you

You and he need to be totally honest with each other about what you owe to absolutely everybody.
Its hard
But its worth it.

Get all the statement out.
If he's destroyed the statements, log on and print copies.
Then log into your bank account and set up the standing orders (the spreadsheet will explain why and how)

and keep us posted.

Fluffycloudland77 Sat 09-May-15 09:40:15

Op if you want help cutting back on living expenses there's a credit crunch thread

You can do both threads, they both have their advantages. Other mumsnetters do.

It's easier to get out of debt if your living expenses are low.

Listen to Talkinpeace though.

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