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Husband's secret credit cards (long sorry)

(74 Posts)
singingstones Wed 15-Feb-17 21:13:44

My husband has just told me that he has three credit cards I didn't know about, and that he owes £30k. I don't know where to start really.. this has happened twice before, first time was £1000, he consolidated that and his overdraft into a loan and we agreed only to use the card for emergencies. A few years later he had run up £6000, at which point we worked out a proper budget, he gave the card to me and promised that was it. And now this. Three times he has taken the decision to get another credit card.

We have been married for 17 years and have 2 dc, 13 and 10. We have separate accounts and both pay for different things - he earns more than I do and pays the mortgage and bills, I pay phones/tv, birthdays, Christmas, holidays, everybody's clothes and a few other bits and bobs. He says he has spent it on living costs but I will find out whether that's true at the weekend when we go through the statements. He says he just couldn't bring himself to tell me that he wasn't managing, even though he knew perfectly well that I was able to save a bit for the holiday fund most months. We can put it on the mortgage and maybe absorb it that way but I'm not sure whether I want to take on half of it.

At a loss really, has anyone else been there? I find it hard to believe he has spent that much on living costs and am terrified of what I am going to see on the statements. He is a very nice guy, lovely dad, works from home, no expensive hobbies. Any help / advice gratefully received.

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Wed 15-Feb-17 21:19:34

Fucking hell! I'd leave him. CC debts are his alone and won't affect your credit rating.

Hellmouth Wed 15-Feb-17 21:23:18

You don't need to take on half. If the debts are in his name, it's nothing to do with him you.

I think you should just focus on the statement and setting up a budget. It really could be possible to overspend on living costs, or maybe he had a few too many expensive meals out, bought too many expensive shirts ... I racked up 9k of debt in a couple of years some time ago and I literally have nothing to show for it except a bad credit rating!

singingstones Wed 15-Feb-17 22:03:45

Thank you very much for your replies. Leaving him is definitely an option, much will depend on what he's spent it on and what he's like when we try to sort it out. Like everyone I suppose, I really want the children to have parents who are together. So hoping that will be possible somehow, although it's hard to imagine at the moment.

I meant that putting it on the mortgage would effectively make it half mine, which makes me furious. But then not putting it on the mortgage and leaving him to sort it out himself means less disposable income for all of us, whether we are together or not. I just can't believe that he has put us in this position. I'm too embarrassed to tell people so very grateful for your responses.

19lottie82 Wed 15-Feb-17 22:15:44

If the OP and her husband have any joint accounts (mortgage?) then they are financially associated and his debt will affect her credit history, especially if he has any missed / late payments.

JoJoSM2 Wed 15-Feb-17 23:32:31

Even if it was spent on living expenses, I'd seriously struggle to trust him again. 30k is a vast amount of money and presumably would have taken years to run up whilst not discussing anything with you. I'd seriously consider splitting over this especially that it's the third time.

HopelesslydevotedtoGu Thu 16-Feb-17 03:42:46

The lying (third time!) would really worry me and make me think about separating, although like you it wouldn't be what I'd ideally want for my kids. But would there be a fourth time, a fifth time....? It could go on and on. At some point, his lies make it impossible to trust him.

Does he lie over anything else?

JoeyJoeJoeJuniorShabadu Thu 16-Feb-17 04:15:47

I'd see my solicitor and start divorce proceedings.

ImYourMama Thu 16-Feb-17 04:58:11

£30k is life changing debt, that's more than a years average salary! I don't usually jump to LTB but in this instance it's justified - even more so considering the lies

SpaceDinosaur Thu 16-Feb-17 05:06:53

It doesn't matter if he's spent the CC on the mortgage OP, that just means he's spent his salary on something he can clearly I'll afford.

Divorce him. If you still love him you don't need to live apart but financially you need to be entirely separate from this man. Who the fuck does this? HOW can he have done this?

How do people not understand how much they have to spend and then. NOT SPENT OVER THAT? What the hell is his excuse?

Want2bSupermum Thu 16-Feb-17 05:12:26

What you are going through isn't uncommon. People overspend when they feel less than and based upon what you say I would hazard a guess this is your DHs issue.

Here in the US it's recognized as a mental illness. If you want to try and save your marriage I'd insist that he has therapy for his spending and that you guys go to relate or another therapist for your marriage.

singingstones Thu 16-Feb-17 07:49:32

"Who the fuck does this? HOW can he have done this?"
Exactly Space this is all that's going around my head, probably why I am so confused. Divorce but living together is a good idea, I hadn't thought of that. I could separate myself financially immediately but still have time to work out what to do long term. I will get some legal advice. I don't want to make any big decisions about splitting up while I am so angry and messed up about it so this would be a good way to protect me and the children in the meantime. (If we didn't have children I would already have gone btw.) I also need to get control of his finances.

Hopeless he doesn't lie (as far as I know but..) but nothing is ever his fault / responsibility. I laugh because he can never say "I broke xyz", it's always "the xyz is broken". If I say what happened, he says something like, I was washing up and it just broke.

He is great in lots of ways, does more than his share, caring and helpful, funny. We don't row very often and I thought everything was great. I can't speak to him at the moment, we are communicating via email. We are going away for a few days next week with the children so I need to reopen communications soon or cancel the trip.

Want2b Thank you for your advice, I think you might be right, I am going to find out more. Therapy is definitely a good idea, I will insist on that. I think I get some sessions free with my work benefits package.

Thank you all again for posting!

Bearbehind Thu 16-Feb-17 09:26:24

I'm no expert but I don't think you can financially separate yourselves by divorcing and still live together.

You'd have to demonstate you have no financial ties and if you still share a house and mortgage you won't be able to do that.

What has he spent it on?

Costacoffeeplease Thu 16-Feb-17 09:31:04

I'm afraid I couldn't stay with him after this, he's done it several times before, each time it's more and more money

How will you ever trust him again?

typedwithcertainty Thu 16-Feb-17 09:50:33

Please don't turn unsecured debt into secured by putting it on your mortgage. That makes it half yours, that's not fair.

You need to try and get it all on 0% if you can and work out the exact figure. Then sit and work through his budget and see if he can afford to pay it back with as little disruption as possible. Citizens advice and Stepchange will be able to offer advice and support. He could go on a debt management plan through Stepchange if he cannot afford the repayments but it would trash his credit rating.

Please don't put it on your mortgage

I'm sorry this has happened to you. I think it's one of the most awful betrayals. Hope you're going okay flowers

Arsenicinthesugarbowl Thu 16-Feb-17 09:58:15

Don't put it on your mortgage. This is the third time so he's not learning from previous mistakes. He needs to pay it off himself. Point him towards budgeting/debt management charities and see what he comes back with. He should be presenting you with solutions not coming to you when he's racked up debt he has no choice but to share with you.
If you put on the mortgage you'll be in the same position in another couple of years-I'd guarantee it.
Whether you feel the relationship is salavageable is a whole other issue I wouldn't feel able to comment on. I wish you all the best whatever you decide.

AyeAmarok Thu 16-Feb-17 09:58:30

Do you know how much the mortgage is and what he earns? And the bills he pays?

I do not believe that someone can run up that amount of debt and not know what they spent it on. How long has this debt been building, I assume years?

Could he have a gambling problem?

singingstones Thu 16-Feb-17 11:13:07

Aye I know roughly what everything costs, we did a budget last time this happened, which I thought we were happily sticking to. It was a few years ago though, which is why I wanted to go through it all again to make sure we could afford for me to change career. I have thought about gambling but I don't think it's that - he only has a work phone/computer and it's all quite strictly controlled as it involves quite high security checks. I don't think he would use work tech to gamble online, he would be scared of getting in trouble. He doesn't gamble in person either. I quite like the odd game of poker but he isn't interested.

Bear I will find out what he's spent it on at the weekend when (he says) he's going to give me CC and bank statements. He works from home but is going to the office tomorrow to do his expenses and will print them off then. I can't work out how he has spent so much, that's more than my take home pay, in about 5 years I think. Unless he was lying about the extent of things last time we sorted things out and was still quite heavily in debt. I'm more worried about finding out what he's spent it on than I am about paying it back. I am worried about telling our lovely and unsuspecting children that we are splitting up, moving house etc. I'm worried about people finding out, not sure why. I am a bit of a mess really.

typed and Arsenic thank you for advice, even in my initial shock a voice in my head was saying don't put it on the mortgage. I will take advice about it and will check out stepchange etc. The trouble is his repayments are so high even at 0% that we are struggling to manage. Putting it on the mortgage would at least reduce the monthly outgoings. I couldn't afford to kick him out and support the household on my own, I don't think. Further complicated by possible redundancy for me in the next few months - my redundancy would be enough to pay off all the debt but I am not agreeing to that, it's supposed to support me through retraining. Or should I, for richer for poorer and all that? OMFG!

Costa I can't imagine I will ever trust him again and if we stay together he will never have control of anything financial again, I will have to do it all, which I don't want to. Not a very enticing prospect. But neither is making the DC miserable. I am even stressing about our two cats, one of them is obsessed with DH so would have to go with him but they are siblings so maybe both should go with him, but them the DC and I have no cats at all??!! Slightly unhinged I know. I thought we would be together forever. Need to focus on the immediate problem I think!

ExplodedCloud Thu 16-Feb-17 11:27:37

I suspect his attitude to whatever needs to be done now will show you the way to go.
My XH (No dc fortunately) was concealing debts and repeatedly getting in a mess.
When it all came to light he agreed to a strategy but refused to get an extra job. Quickly the strategy fell apart as he resented 'being controlled'.
And so we divorced.

AdoraBell Thu 16-Feb-17 11:35:33

Definitely do not use a pay out if you get made redundant. If that happens make sure it's paid into your account and he can access it. Other than that, wait until the weekend to what the statements show and then make your decision. I would be tempted to get legal advice before, if you can.

Lobelia123 Thu 16-Feb-17 11:38:20

I think its pretty unfair that you leave him with the burden of providing for everyone while you save for holidays and pay for a few 'bibs and bobs'. Have I got the right end of the stik there? So to be sanctimonious about this - admittedly very bad deception - is a bit much. Its 2017 - women are equal - that applies to responsibilities as well as privileges! While I dont condone him lying and running up debt, you sound very spoilt.

typedwithcertainty Thu 16-Feb-17 11:42:05

Lobelia bit harsh?! She doesn't pay for bits and bobs she pays for smaller bills, food and clothes.

Quite common for the higher earner to pay the main bills and lower wage earner to sort out the smaller stuff no?! We do the same in this household. Can assure you I'm not spoilt

Point is, if it has gone on living expenses as he couldn't afford what his wife assumed he could, then he should have let her know so they could sit down and sort it out, not bury his head and run up masses of debts.

ExplodedCloud Thu 16-Feb-17 11:47:44

Lobelia if it's all genuinely gone on unavoidable family expenses then I suspect the DH will get a much easier weekend than if it's gone on discretionary spends for him. Sounds like OP and her DH have looked at incomes and outgoings and worked out a split before. Practical, not spoilt.
And if he hasn't enough money, concealing that on cc is a stupid way to tackle it. Being a grown up and saying "I'm struggling. What can we trim?" is the way to go.

HopelesslydevotedtoGu Thu 16-Feb-17 11:52:56

nothing is ever his fault / responsibility. I laugh because he can never say "I broke xyz", it's always "the xyz is broken". If I say what happened, he says something like, I was washing up and it just broke.

This is a huge problem
It means that he won't accept responsibility for his debt
Even if he says he is sorry - because he sees how angry you are and wants to stop you being angry with him - I bet inside he thinks it isn't his fault
It 'just happened', he had some unexpected expenses, he needs to buy X to cheer him up after working so hard.... He will be the passive in this, who couldn't do any differently

I would go forward knowing that this will happen again
It's shit

Sunnie1984 Thu 16-Feb-17 11:58:07

If the budget you came up with last time showed that you could afford to pay all your bills and mortgage etc on your joint income, then he has obviously been frittering money away.

It's easier than you think, especially if he's buying lunches at work, coffee in the morning etc. Money can easily disappear on not much at all.

It's the third time, then he had a serious spending habit, which he needs to take seriously and deal with. That includes debt management and probably counselling to understand why he does this, when he knows he can't afford it.

It may be better to have all the bills come out of your account, and for him to pay his wages into it.

Then he can have cash for his additional spending, it might help him manage his spending if he can see the money being used?

Do not put it on the mortgage. He had to go through the pain of repaying it, or he will never understand the extent of the debt he had run up.

He needs to be taking this seriously and recognising that he has a problem, otherwise he'll never change!

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