Author Topic: Discovered dear GF has $211,000 in student loans  (Read 25028 times)

J Boogie

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Re: Discovered dear GF has $211,000 in student loans
« Reply #200 on: August 29, 2018, 08:22:15 AM »
I am skeptical of the response to those who are bothered that his SO's weight (which, based on his words, seem to be related to a lack of effort and not medical/genetic issues) and tidiness are an issue for OP.

They're dating - these are legitimate things for any man or woman to consider when thinking about marriage. It's a compatibility issue. Fitness, tidiness, financial responsibility - these habits often go together. Someone who is low in these areas will probably be happier with someone else who is low in these areas and vice versa.

I suspect a lot of these people and larger-sized and untidy themselves, so of course it's outrageous to suggest those things make a person undesirable :)

I think the issue isn't whether she's really fat or not - I know quite a number of people who are really fat and happily married to people who love how they look. Being really fat may be a long term health issue, but it's no barrier to a happy marriage or a great life, in terms of your looks.

What *is* an issue is that a mere two years into the relationship, the OP is critical of how she looks and evidently believes that she should just try harder to look the way he prefers. That bodes poorly for the future, IMO.

(I am a small and tidy person, myself.)

I agree, it is an issue that the OP is not happy with how his girlfriend looks.

However, my perspective is that tt doesn't have to be his fault for being shallow (or her fault for gaining weight), it's just an issue that can keep them from being happy together. No shame, no judgment, just be honest with yourself about what you want and don't want in a partner/relationship. Heavy people tend to stay heavy, and people who are not attracted to heavy people tend to stay unattracted to them.

Know yourself and what you need in a relationship and date accordingly. You'll have plenty of opportunities to grow as a person and become more patient as the relationship unfolds. You'll be far more likely to embrace rather than fight this growth if you've chosen someone who largely shares your priorities.

talltexan

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Re: Discovered dear GF has $211,000 in student loans
« Reply #201 on: August 29, 2018, 08:26:39 AM »
I think everyone is making too big a deal out of OP's respectful description of his girlfriend's looks: she can look good enough to excite, it's simply a matter of effort. The more time you spend in a relationship, the more men realize what women have been hiding from them, particularly with respect to the time/effort it takes to look really good.

Kathryn K.

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Re: Discovered dear GF has $211,000 in student loans
« Reply #202 on: August 29, 2018, 04:46:56 PM »
It doesn't sound to me like OP is really crazy in love with this woman, to the point where he'd want to spend the rest of his life with her, with all the ups and downs that inevitably entails.  If I were the woman, I'd want to know that and move on.

Bingo.

I think everyone is making too big a deal out of OP's respectful description of his girlfriend's looks: she can look good enough to excite, it's simply a matter of effort. The more time you spend in a relationship, the more men realize what women have been hiding from them, particularly with respect to the time/effort it takes to look really good.
However, I disagree with this. If effort's the issue and she's not making the effort now consistently, there's no reason to expect that to improve in the future.  And on the second part of that statement, maybe if you like the high maintenance look? I'm glad I'm with someone who thinks I look great with no make-up in a t-shirt and jeans (*with the caveat that yes, even pretty low-key women often spend more time on grooming than men do.)

use2betrix

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Re: Discovered dear GF has $211,000 in student loans
« Reply #203 on: August 29, 2018, 07:13:24 PM »
What bothers me the most is that her weight bothers him. Things happen beyond our control and she could develop some type of illness that causes her to be overweight. Are going to dump her then?  I would do the loan forgiveness program with the understanding she canít be a SAHM until her loans are paid off.

The odds of a person getting fat are so small that itís feally not mentionable. Of course, people mention it like 95% of the time when itís an actual contributing factor maybe 5% of the time. Heaven forbid personal accountability is mentioned.

Iím sure if she picked up smoking, people would have a different tune. We could only dream.

Cranky

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Re: Discovered dear GF has $211,000 in student loans
« Reply #204 on: August 29, 2018, 07:25:43 PM »
What bothers me the most is that her weight bothers him. Things happen beyond our control and she could develop some type of illness that causes her to be overweight. Are going to dump her then?  I would do the loan forgiveness program with the understanding she canít be a SAHM until her loans are paid off.

The odds of a person getting fat are so small that itís feally not mentionable. Of course, people mention it like 95% of the time when itís an actual contributing factor maybe 5% of the time. Heaven forbid personal accountability is mentioned.

Iím sure if she picked up smoking, people would have a different tune. We could only dream.

Most adults in America are overweight. How does that support the idea that the odds of getting fat are so small that itís really unmentionable? The older you get, the more likely you are to gain weight. The odds of last sing weight and keeping it off are whatís really small.

sol

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Re: Discovered dear GF has $211,000 in student loans
« Reply #205 on: August 29, 2018, 07:35:37 PM »
What bothers me the most is that her weight bothers him. Things happen beyond our control and she could develop some type of illness that causes her to be overweight. Are going to dump her then?  I would do the loan forgiveness program with the understanding she canít be a SAHM until her loans are paid off.

The odds of a person getting fat are so small that itís feally not mentionable. Of course, people mention it like 95% of the time when itís an actual contributing factor maybe 5% of the time. Heaven forbid personal accountability is mentioned.

Iím sure if she picked up smoking, people would have a different tune. We could only dream.

Most adults in America are overweight. How does that support the idea that the odds of getting fat are so small that itís really unmentionable? The older you get, the more likely you are to gain weight. The odds of last sing weight and keeping it off are whatís really small.

I think he/she meant that the odds of gaining wait due to some type of legitimate medical condition are pretty small.  Sure, some people have thyroid problems, but for most people it's just too much food and not enough exercise.

This forum has leaned pretty hard over the past few months towards the "it's all hormones, not your food intake" argument of weight loss.  While I appreciate that point of view, it's important to note that 100% of prisoners in concentration camps got skinny as hell.  If you eat less, you WILL lose weight.  The only hard part is finding the motivation to eat less.

carolina822

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Re: Discovered dear GF has $211,000 in student loans
« Reply #206 on: August 29, 2018, 08:19:11 PM »
It doesn't sound to me like OP is really crazy in love with this woman, to the point where he'd want to spend the rest of his life with her, with all the ups and downs that inevitably entails.  If I were the woman, I'd want to know that and move on.

Bingo.

I think everyone is making too big a deal out of OP's respectful description of his girlfriend's looks: she can look good enough to excite, it's simply a matter of effort. The more time you spend in a relationship, the more men realize what women have been hiding from them, particularly with respect to the time/effort it takes to look really good.
However, I disagree with this. If effort's the issue and she's not making the effort now consistently, there's no reason to expect that to improve in the future.  And on the second part of that statement, maybe if you like the high maintenance look? I'm glad I'm with someone who thinks I look great with no make-up in a t-shirt and jeans (*with the caveat that yes, even pretty low-key women often spend more time on grooming than men do.)

Right? Women are supposed to make the effort to look good, but deserve a facepunch if they buy mascara anywhere but the dollar store and don't cut their own hair because god knows that 50 bucks is the difference between retirement and living in a cardboard box.

skeptic

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Re: Discovered dear GF has $211,000 in student loans
« Reply #207 on: August 29, 2018, 09:32:04 PM »
red flag 1 - apparently misleading you on student loan amount for a long time
red flag 2 - she asked that you propose 6-8 months after you started talking about it, because of the 'kids' timeline
red flag 3 - she gave you an 8-day or so deadline to decide whether or not to leave her for misleading you on the student loans

This paragraph that you wrote makes me feel very wary:

"I fear she would not necessarily be accepting of a delay in marriage, but its not a bad idea, I will try discussing it. When we first started talking about marriage at the beginning of this year she had requested that I propose not to far out in the future ~6-8mo. Her concern with having turned 30 is that she wants to have kids and if we break up this does not leave much time for her to date, develop a serious relationship and get married before she wants to have kids."

I don't see what the rush is. She may be doing this genuinely and not deceptively, but it comes across to me as applying artificial pressure on you to rush you into a decision that you wouldn't necessarily make if you had appropriate time and space.  It's hard to know how long it can take to meet someone, get married, and have kids... 30 seems far too early to be rushing it... but even if she were 38, it wouldn't be a good idea to rush into marriage in a "scarcity mentality" mindset, thinking "I don't know if I want to marry this person or not but this is probably my last chance to get married and have kids so it's now or never, so let's do it fast."

If having kids is such a major life goal to her, it seems that she should have addressed the debt even a little, and have voluntarily brought it up earlier since it has a big impact on your supposed shared life. I don't fault her for having debt or not making a lot of money but by age 30, if raising children is important to her, I'd expect her to be addressing the matter in some way. Not hiding from it and hiding it. It sounds like she has no plan here except for you to clean up her messes -- apparently her literal messes also.

$211,000 is not a lot of money in the scheme of major life choices, love, and happiness. But misleading and pressuring and immaturity are very worrisome.

It sounds like you have all but made your decision already; I hope the marriage brings you more happiness than I am imagining it will.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2018, 09:36:35 PM by skeptic »

limeandpepper

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Re: Discovered dear GF has $211,000 in student loans
« Reply #208 on: August 29, 2018, 09:55:44 PM »
This paragraph that you wrote makes me feel very wary:

"I fear she would not necessarily be accepting of a delay in marriage, but its not a bad idea, I will try discussing it. When we first started talking about marriage at the beginning of this year she had requested that I propose not to far out in the future ~6-8mo. Her concern with having turned 30 is that she wants to have kids and if we break up this does not leave much time for her to date, develop a serious relationship and get married before she wants to have kids."

Wow, I didn't put two and two together as this post from the OP was in the middle of the thread, but you're right:

When we first started talking about marriage at the beginning of this year she had requested that I propose not to far out in the future ~6-8mo.

So this means they had talked about marriage at the beginning of this year, and she requested a proposal at the time, but she did not tell him about the debt then, and only revealed it recently, more than halfway through the year.

I think the original post made it sound like perhaps the loan figure was brought out of hiding around the same time as marriage discussion (which to me is bad enough but some people seem to see it as acceptable), but it looks like she didn't divulge it even when they had already started talking about marriage, so that's an even bigger red flag.

DoNorth

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Re: Discovered dear GF has $211,000 in student loans
« Reply #209 on: August 30, 2018, 03:01:27 AM »
does she work for a 501c (3)?  how much of it is federal student debt?  After 120 payments, it could be forgivable if she is working for a 501c(3).

albireo13

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Re: Discovered dear GF has $211,000 in student loans
« Reply #210 on: August 30, 2018, 03:48:11 AM »
Something about this relationship/situation seems very disfunctional to me.

FIPurpose

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Re: Discovered dear GF has $211,000 in student loans
« Reply #211 on: August 30, 2018, 05:05:53 AM »
What bothers me the most is that her weight bothers him. Things happen beyond our control and she could develop some type of illness that causes her to be overweight. Are going to dump her then?  I would do the loan forgiveness program with the understanding she canít be a SAHM until her loans are paid off.

The odds of a person getting fat are so small that itís feally not mentionable. Of course, people mention it like 95% of the time when itís an actual contributing factor maybe 5% of the time. Heaven forbid personal accountability is mentioned.

Iím sure if she picked up smoking, people would have a different tune. We could only dream.

Most adults in America are overweight. How does that support the idea that the odds of getting fat are so small that itís really unmentionable? The older you get, the more likely you are to gain weight. The odds of last sing weight and keeping it off are whatís really small.

I think he/she meant that the odds of gaining wait due to some type of legitimate medical condition are pretty small.  Sure, some people have thyroid problems, but for most people it's just too much food and not enough exercise.

This forum has leaned pretty hard over the past few months towards the "it's all hormones, not your food intake" argument of weight loss.  While I appreciate that point of view, it's important to note that 100% of prisoners in concentration camps got skinny as hell.  If you eat less, you WILL lose weight.  The only hard part is finding the motivation to eat less.

I believe that it is all about hormones, but that your hormones are fixable for most people. If she is stressed, not getting enough sleep, eating too much sugar substitute, then it won't matter if she drops her calories; she's not going to lose weight.

Hormones matter, but that doesn't mean she isn't in control of that aspect.

chasesfish

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Re: Discovered dear GF has $211,000 in student loans
« Reply #212 on: August 30, 2018, 06:19:10 AM »
This is a fascinating thread to continue to read.

I've known people around 30 to give "the ultimatum" after a year or two.  Their position was "you either know or you don't and we're not getting any younger"


MDfive21

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Re: Discovered dear GF has $211,000 in student loans
« Reply #213 on: August 30, 2018, 06:55:21 AM »
maybe i missed it but we don't really know OP's earning potential, only his net worth of ~600k and GF's 60k annual income.  i can't believe we made it to 216 replies and it hasn't been revealed.  is he superfrugal on 80k or is he in the 120-150k range?  more? 

i can see that if most of the nw is in a house, the loans are a big setback, but if he's sitting on 500k in cash/savings, and 100k in a house, the loans don't seem like that big a deal.  what's the cost of living vs income?  i mean, he asked HOW to best pay off the loans, not for relationship advice and we don't even know his income band. 


(don't get me wrong, i love these threads as much as i love 'neighbor's tree fell on my house' and 'property line boundary disputes')

Cranky

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Re: Discovered dear GF has $211,000 in student loans
« Reply #214 on: August 30, 2018, 06:58:37 AM »
What bothers me the most is that her weight bothers him. Things happen beyond our control and she could develop some type of illness that causes her to be overweight. Are going to dump her then?  I would do the loan forgiveness program with the understanding she canít be a SAHM until her loans are paid off.

The odds of a person getting fat are so small that itís feally not mentionable. Of course, people mention it like 95% of the time when itís an actual contributing factor maybe 5% of the time. Heaven forbid personal accountability is mentioned.

Iím sure if she picked up smoking, people would have a different tune. We could only dream.

Most adults in America are overweight. How does that support the idea that the odds of getting fat are so small that itís really unmentionable? The older you get, the more likely you are to gain weight. The odds of last sing weight and keeping it off are whatís really small.

I think he/she meant that the odds of gaining wait due to some type of legitimate medical condition are pretty small.  Sure, some people have thyroid problems, but for most people it's just too much food and not enough exercise.

This forum has leaned pretty hard over the past few months towards the "it's all hormones, not your food intake" argument of weight loss.  While I appreciate that point of view, it's important to note that 100% of prisoners in concentration camps got skinny as hell.  If you eat less, you WILL lose weight.  The only hard part is finding the motivation to eat less.

Sure. And realistically, over the long haul, not many people do that. Which is why, if you are dissatisfied with your partner's appearance this early in a relationship, that's a pretty serious issue. Weight is a lot more personal that student loans, IMO.

Retire-Canada

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Re: Discovered dear GF has $211,000 in student loans
« Reply #215 on: August 30, 2018, 07:39:39 AM »
I believe that it is all about hormones, but that your hormones are fixable for most people. If she is stressed, not getting enough sleep, eating too much sugar substitute, then it won't matter if she drops her calories; she's not going to lose weight.

Hormones matter, but that doesn't mean she isn't in control of that aspect.

There is no simple solution to maintaining a healthy weight that we can sum it up in a few sentences. Thin people saying it's easy just do X, Y, Z...is like rich people who think being wealthy is all about hard work and ignore the other myriad of other factors that account for wealth distribution in society.

It's possible the OP's GF cannot realistically maintain the weight he would find desirable. Especially as she gets older, kids happen, etc... So if that's an issue now he better make a realistic assessment of how big a deal it is. I would assume where she is at now is the best case scenario so if that's not going to work don't keep going with the idea she'll be lighter/skinnier in the future.

The OP and his GF can and should eat a balanced/healthy diet and do some exercise because it will be good for them regardless of their weight.

FIPurpose

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Re: Discovered dear GF has $211,000 in student loans
« Reply #216 on: August 30, 2018, 07:54:01 AM »
I believe that it is all about hormones, but that your hormones are fixable for most people. If she is stressed, not getting enough sleep, eating too much sugar substitute, then it won't matter if she drops her calories; she's not going to lose weight.

Hormones matter, but that doesn't mean she isn't in control of that aspect.

There is no simple solution to maintaining a healthy weight that we can sum it up in a few sentences. Thin people saying it's easy just do X, Y, Z...is like rich people who think being wealthy is all about hard work and ignore the other myriad of other factors that account for wealth distribution in society.

It's possible the OP's GF cannot realistically maintain the weight he would find desirable. Especially as she gets older, kids happen, etc... So if that's an issue now he better make a realistic assessment of how big a deal it is. I would assume where she is at now is the best case scenario so if that's not going to work don't keep going with the idea she'll be lighter/skinnier in the future.

The OP and his GF can and should eat a balanced/healthy diet and do some exercise because it will be good for them regardless of their weight.

I agree with this. My point was more toward that "hormones" is a large encompassing term that can mean a myriad of things happening in the body. But I do know that body weight is controlled by far more than what you eat and how much you exercise. She could have extra pounds from any number of external or internal factors. Most of those factors are within our realm of influence, some are not. I do not accept people saying that all weight is from "hormones" and therefor is completely uncontrollable.

She's 30, not 60. I understand that most dieting advice is horrible so it's an uphill battle in trying to figure out how to fix it, but it is completely fixable. It could be that the stress related to her debt is what is causing her excess weight. Maybe if the debt is removed from her plate, she'll start to lose weight. The two are interconnected. She is very stressed and understandably so.

I still laugh when people call me skinny because I was overweight from the ages of 8 probably until 22-23 and wouldn't consider myself skinny until 26-27. It takes years, and the OP shouldn't expect her to magically lose weight in 6 months unless he expects it to all come back later.

Retire-Canada

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Re: Discovered dear GF has $211,000 in student loans
« Reply #217 on: August 30, 2018, 08:14:17 AM »
, but it is completely fixable.

You have no way to know that in the OP's GF's case. And this presents the idea to the OP that he can realistically expect things to be different/better. Nobody can know that from the information we have. What you do know is she is 30 and has weight issues and that she wants to have kids and that she has a mountain of debt to tackle through a lot of sedentary work. None of those data points indicate she is likely to ever be lighter than she is now.

Anything is possible, but that's not something you should expect or count on.

If her weight is an issue now he better be okay with it long term and also be okay with it being higher due to the natural impacts of ageing, child birth and desk work.

FIPurpose

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Re: Discovered dear GF has $211,000 in student loans
« Reply #218 on: August 30, 2018, 08:38:58 AM »
, but it is completely fixable.

You have no way to know that in the OP's GF's case. And this presents the idea to the OP that he can realistically expect things to be different/better. Nobody can know that from the information we have. What you do know is she is 30 and has weight issues and that she wants to have kids and that she has a mountain of debt to tackle through a lot of sedentary work. None of those data points indicate she is likely to ever be lighter than she is now.

Anything is possible, but that's not something you should expect or count on.

If her weight is an issue now he better be okay with it long term and also be okay with it being higher due to the natural impacts of ageing, child birth and desk work.

Unless she has some super rare disease, then no I'm highly sure it's fixable. My posts should not be encouraging to the OP, as I said that I do not believe she will be able to lose weight and tackle the debt at the same time. She is likely aware but can't put any mental energy to solving that problem.

Weight is difficult for a lot of people and I can't help but think you're projecting a bit. I'm agreeing with you. Quote that. I'm agreeing with you: Her current stressors of debt, job, and life choices will prevent her from losing weight. OP should not expect a 6 month fix. This is a 3-5 year solution after fixing those stressors.

ixtap

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Re: Discovered dear GF has $211,000 in student loans
« Reply #219 on: August 30, 2018, 08:51:32 AM »
, but it is completely fixable.

You have no way to know that in the OP's GF's case. And this presents the idea to the OP that he can realistically expect things to be different/better. Nobody can know that from the information we have. What you do know is she is 30 and has weight issues and that she wants to have kids and that she has a mountain of debt to tackle through a lot of sedentary work. None of those data points indicate she is likely to ever be lighter than she is now.

Anything is possible, but that's not something you should expect or count on.

If her weight is an issue now he better be okay with it long term and also be okay with it being higher due to the natural impacts of ageing, child birth and desk work.

Unless she has some super rare disease, then no I'm highly sure it's fixable. My posts should not be encouraging to the OP, as I said that I do not believe she will be able to lose weight and tackle the debt at the same time. She is likely aware but can't put any mental energy to solving that problem.

Weight is difficult for a lot of people and I can't help but think you're projecting a bit. I'm agreeing with you. Quote that. I'm agreeing with you: Her current stressors of debt, job, and life choices will prevent her from losing weight. OP should not expect a 6 month fix. This is a 3-5 year solution after fixing those stressors.

I actually found tracking spending and tracking calories to be mutually reinforcing activities.

However, no one is going to successfully lose weight in the long term because someone else told them too. A loved one banging on about it is likely to trigger more problems with food.

Gyosho

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Re: Discovered dear GF has $211,000 in student loans
« Reply #220 on: August 30, 2018, 02:21:38 PM »
... but if he's sitting on 500k in cash/savings, and 100k in a house, the loans don't seem like that big a deal. 

LOL!

$211,000 is ALWAYS a big deal.


Retire-Canada

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Re: Discovered dear GF has $211,000 in student loans
« Reply #221 on: August 30, 2018, 02:26:49 PM »
$211,000 is ALWAYS a big deal.

Always!

feelingroovy

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Re: Discovered dear GF has $211,000 in student loans
« Reply #222 on: August 30, 2018, 08:36:48 PM »
Just wanted to offer a resource for the OP's original question about how to figure out a strategy for the student loans.

ChooseFI podcast had an interview with someone who specializes in helping people figure out their best options for student loans--paying off quickly or various forgiveness options.

https://www.choosefi.com/078-student-loan-debt-repayment-travis-hornsby/

fredbear

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Re: Discovered dear GF has $211,000 in student loans
« Reply #223 on: August 31, 2018, 03:05:13 AM »
Well, pard, you better plan to take sole responsibility for birth control, starting right now, and continuing through the debt epic, however long you decide to participate in it. 

chasesfish

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Re: Discovered dear GF has $211,000 in student loans
« Reply #224 on: August 31, 2018, 05:11:31 AM »
Random thought - If the original poster decides to break it off, is his new pool of potential spouses to date going to come from the marathon running community?  Thats probably one way to avoid the weight issue...

talltexan

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Re: Discovered dear GF has $211,000 in student loans
« Reply #225 on: August 31, 2018, 08:41:27 AM »
$211,000 is ALWAYS a big deal.

Always!

No. Finding a spouse who shares your values and who is ethical and reliable is worth more than this. Building a relationship with trust and communicating properly and clearly is worth more than this.

I imagine there are several people who got divorced from partners who lacked many of these characteristics and who caused drama. I suspect those people would have gladly paid $211,000 to have these improper partners cloven from them (and perhaps they did)

Retire-Canada

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Re: Discovered dear GF has $211,000 in student loans
« Reply #226 on: August 31, 2018, 08:47:01 AM »
No. Finding a spouse who shares your values and who is ethical and reliable is worth more than this. Building a relationship with trust and communicating properly and clearly is worth more than this.

I imagine there are several people who got divorced from partners who lacked many of these characteristics and who caused drama. I suspect those people would have gladly paid $211,000 to have these improper partners cloven from them (and perhaps they did)

It's not like you have to choose. Lots of amazing people out there without the baggage of poor life choices. Additionally the fact $211K of debt is a big deal doesn't mean it has to be a deal breaker. The fact it's a big deal means it needs to be carefully considered amongst the other important criteria when choosing a life partner.

The $211K is not just debt to pay back. It's a signal about the person's ability to make good choices and act responsibly when things get tough. Throwing $211K at the debt doesn't fix the problem it just addresses the symptom.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2018, 09:13:26 AM by Retire-Canada »

MDfive21

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Re: Discovered dear GF has $211,000 in student loans
« Reply #227 on: August 31, 2018, 08:48:40 AM »
... but if he's sitting on 500k in cash/savings, and 100k in a house, the loans don't seem like that big a deal. 

LOL!

$211,000 is ALWAYS a big deal.

i see your point, but if GF is the right one in every other way, then what's 200k between spouses??  say he passes her up and marries someone else who has 2 kids, quits her job and divorces him, taking 50+% of income til the kids are out of college?  but if only he'd married current GF he's only out 200k.. 

half the posters in this thread are saying fuckit if she's the one, take on the baggage.  half saying run.  these threads are hilarious.   


anyway the point of my comment is that we don't know his income!  if he has a big shovel, together they can dig out her debt pretty quick and he can move on with life together with a person he's Seriously Considering marrying.  if he has a small shovel but is trimming expenses to get to ~$600k NW, then the debt looks like the kind of thing that will sink the marital finances.  in other words, if he's a high earner, the marriage looks more doable, but if he's pinching pennies already, he should probably try to find a more compatible financial partner.


« Last Edit: August 31, 2018, 09:02:08 AM by MDfive21 »

MDfive21

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Re: Discovered dear GF has $211,000 in student loans
« Reply #228 on: August 31, 2018, 09:01:05 AM »
No. Finding a spouse who shares your values and who is ethical and reliable is worth more than this. Building a relationship with trust and communicating properly and clearly is worth more than this.

I imagine there are several people who got divorced from partners who lacked many of these characteristics and who caused drama. I suspect those people would have gladly paid $211,000 to have these improper partners cloven from them (and perhaps they did)

It's not like you have to choose. Lots of amazing people out there without the baggage of poor life choices. Additionally the fact $211K f debt is a big deal doesn't mean it has to be a deal breaker. The fact it's a big deal means it needs to be carefully considered amongst the other important criteria when choosing a life partner.

The $211K is not just debt to pay back. It's a signal about the person's ability to make good choices and act responsibly when things get tough. Throwing $211K at the debt doesn't fix the problem it just addresses the symptom.

i agree it was a bad choice, knowing what we know now.  but the weight of the society is behind going into debt for college and not that many people are prepared to make an informed choice when they get that acceptance letter.  i was lucky to get out of culinary school and 'some college' with 30kish to pay back, but it wasn't until i was in my early 30s that i landed a job that allowed me to make a dent past the min payments on it.   i luckily got into a relatively high paying job through a friend.  it turns out that a 20k culinary degree only gets you a $10/hr job (back in the late 90s anyway).   and look at me now, debt free and working on the stash.  there's hope for everyone because i was a financial dumbass for a long time.

Samuel

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Re: Discovered dear GF has $211,000 in student loans
« Reply #229 on: August 31, 2018, 09:12:49 AM »
Here's what I would offer:

You do not get married right now.

She seeks out a new, higher paying job (not in public service - ditch that idea). You two try to live on only your income during that two years and ALL of her after tax income goes to her debt.

After two years, get married and have kids if you want to. Debt is probably still high but lots of progress is made. She needs to keep working when you have kids so that debt is paid off in a reasonable time frame.


If the answer is no, that the ultimatum stands: she wants to be married now and having kids now, despite the giant debt, then my advice is to walk away.  Postponing two years is not unreasonable given the size of the debt and the lack of transparency. Living off your income alone is a "we're in this together" kind of move that benefits her and moves your relationship forward. If she can't accept that, then it's not a good foundation for a marriage.

This is pretty much the only reasonable plan besides breaking up. I'm sympathetic to her racking up "good" debt for school, lord knows we can't all be financial rock stars in our teens and early twenties. I'm much less sympathetic to her head in the sand/ticking time bomb tactics for finding a mate, but good people can do weird things under duress, and being in that situation would mess with my head quite a bit, I'm sure.

It all comes down to whether or not she's willing and able to face this head on and make the sacrifices necessary to get out the other side. There is tantalizing evidence that she could be now that she's been exposed to new ideas, but it's still something of a longshot bet. I'd need evidence we're truly on the same page about this before marriage or kids.



« Last Edit: August 31, 2018, 09:16:34 AM by Samuel »

Retire-Canada

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Re: Discovered dear GF has $211,000 in student loans
« Reply #230 on: August 31, 2018, 09:22:47 AM »
i agree it was a bad choice, knowing what we know now.  but the weight of the society is behind going into debt for college and not that many people are prepared to make an informed choice when they get that acceptance letter.

I can agree with what you are saying to a degree, but here is the thing we are talking about:

1. going into a ton of debt for a poor paying career
2. not being responsible mature enough to do anything about the debt as the person rolls past 30 essentially waiting for someone else to solve her problem
3. not being upfront about the debt despite serious discussion of marriage happening because she didn't want the OP to think negatively about her and dump her

Each one is an issue of significant magnitude. Taken together I'd say they are a huge problem and not one I would casually dismiss like some folks are suggesting.

The OP can walk away and find someone without this baggage who is financially responsible, honest and able to deal with their issues head on. The OP can also stick with his GF and work through these problems. It's up to him. But he if he proceeds with the later he needs to go in with his eyes wide open and not make a big life choice like marriage until they have made enough progress for him to feel confident he's not just signing onto a decade or two of heartache.

Given the GF's desire for kids ASAP I'm not sure how you navigate this minefield since any meaningful sense of resolution will take years. Both to make progress on $211K of debt and to see if the GF's words and actions actually line up. In a crisis people will say anything to get through it. Whether or not they'll actually make meaningful change is another thing that won't be apparent for a few years.

Padonak

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Re: Discovered dear GF has $211,000 in student loans
« Reply #231 on: August 31, 2018, 11:11:58 AM »
Keep in mind that the average cost of raising a child the US is 200k+, so basically if OP marries his gf he is on the hook for a sweet half a million dollars, probably more than that.

FIRE47

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Re: Discovered dear GF has $211,000 in student loans
« Reply #232 on: August 31, 2018, 11:45:29 AM »
Keep in mind that the average cost of raising a child the US is 200k+, so basically if OP marries his gf he is on the hook for a sweet half a million dollars, probably more than that.

If you want to look at it that way sure but if he doesn't want a kid in the first place then that is a deal breaker on it's own. Otherwise not sure why the cost of having a kid is the woman's issue.


Tanstaafllite

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« Reply #233 on: August 31, 2018, 04:04:33 PM »
I have not read all of this lengthy thread so my response may be duplicative of a previous response.

In the event that OP decides to use his assets or income to pay GF's student loan debt (or support her while she uses her income to pay the student loan debt), OP should consider protecting himself by entering into a prenuptial agreement under which GF agrees to reimburse him in the event of divorce.  The prenup could include a provision under which GF's repayment obligation would be reduced or eliminated if they marry and stay married for an agreed period of time.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2018, 04:06:36 PM by Tanstaafllite »

talltexan

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Re: Discovered dear GF has $211,000 in student loans
« Reply #234 on: September 04, 2018, 07:55:59 AM »
Keep in mind that the average cost of raising a child the US is 200k+, so basically if OP marries his gf he is on the hook for a sweet half a million dollars, probably more than that.

So if they have one child together, they've essentially broken even? :-)

onlykelsey

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Re: Discovered dear GF has $211,000 in student loans
« Reply #235 on: September 04, 2018, 08:03:18 AM »
Keep in mind that the average cost of raising a child the US is 200k+, so basically if OP marries his gf he is on the hook for a sweet half a million dollars, probably more than that.

If you want to look at it that way sure but if he doesn't want a kid in the first place then that is a deal breaker on it's own. Otherwise not sure why the cost of having a kid is the woman's issue.

Yeah, that sounds like sunk cost fallacy.  Kid will cost roughly the same no matter who you have it with..

MrSal

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Re: Discovered dear GF has $211,000 in student loans
« Reply #236 on: September 04, 2018, 10:19:04 AM »
, but it is completely fixable.

You have no way to know that in the OP's GF's case. And this presents the idea to the OP that he can realistically expect things to be different/better. Nobody can know that from the information we have. What you do know is she is 30 and has weight issues and that she wants to have kids and that she has a mountain of debt to tackle through a lot of sedentary work. None of those data points indicate she is likely to ever be lighter than she is now.

Anything is possible, but that's not something you should expect or count on.

If her weight is an issue now he better be okay with it long term and also be okay with it being higher due to the natural impacts of ageing, child birth and desk work.

Unless she has some super rare disease, then no I'm highly sure it's fixable. My posts should not be encouraging to the OP, as I said that I do not believe she will be able to lose weight and tackle the debt at the same time. She is likely aware but can't put any mental energy to solving that problem.

Weight is difficult for a lot of people and I can't help but think you're projecting a bit. I'm agreeing with you. Quote that. I'm agreeing with you: Her current stressors of debt, job, and life choices will prevent her from losing weight. OP should not expect a 6 month fix. This is a 3-5 year solution after fixing those stressors.

I actually found tracking spending and tracking calories to be mutually reinforcing activities.

However, no one is going to successfully lose weight in the long term because someone else told them too. A loved one banging on about it is likely to trigger more problems with food.


This. However let me add, again that if someone wants it it's very feasible in a few months. This march, I hit my heaviest weight ever. I wasn't fat per se, at least in american standards, but I considered myself fat. It was only after I went to the doctor and actually saw the numbers on the scale and seeing pictures of myself - damn you mirror you make me look good even when Im fat - that I saw how overweight I was.

I am 6 ft tall and my weight was 209 lbs at the time. My frame is bulky and I ws never the skinny type... However, just the fact I stopped eating sugary stuff and consuming "empty" calories and I am now siting at 174 lbs in less than 6 months.

I don't count calories. I know calories by heart pretty much - during my teen years I used to count calories, so I have a notion of what's coming in. Sure there are days I binge a little more than I wanted on something I hadn't eaten in a long time, but then I try to compensate the following days.

It takes about 3 weeks to dose off of the sugar train ... those 3 weeks are a pain because you feel you want something sugary all the time. After that, it's fine.

Laura33

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Re: Discovered dear GF has $211,000 in student loans
« Reply #237 on: September 04, 2018, 12:15:50 PM »
OK, I have now read this whole thing.  A couple of things struck me:

The three listed annoyances -- money, weight, cleanliness -- seem to share the common theme of a lack of discipline.  That in and of itself could be good, bad, or neutral; that combination of personality traits can mean "life of the party" or "fat slob" or "clinically depressed" or anything in-between.  The real question is how does that mesh with OP's personality and desires?  OP seems very ordered and disciplined; finances under control, high level of cleanliness, etc.  So is the GF appealing because OP feels a little too would up and likes her softer edge because it balances him out a bit?  Or does he love her despite that and will only be happy if she can shape up a bit?  From what has been said so far, it sounds like the latter -- in which case that is the issue to focus on.  He needs to figure out whether she is actually interested in and able to modify her behavior to meet his minimum expectations, or whether he can modify those expectations and accept her for who she is right now.

And towards that end, where do these traits come from?  E.g., maybe she never had a good role model, and her parents told her that a college education was the ticket out, no matter the cost, and OP is the first person she has been close to who could show her what good money habits involve -- in that case, is she willing to learn, and is she interested in making a serious, lifelong change?  Or does she not care that much -- or does she not have the ability to sustain the effort -- maybe she jumps in with both feet but then backslides when it gets hard?  Does she try to eat reasonably well and get some exercise, or is she sitting on the sofa eating bon-bons?  Or did she used to be more disciplined/better at managing all those things, but then over time got overwhelmed with the money and the efforts to maintain her weight and just spiraled and shut down?  Has she been screened for depression/anxiety?  Etc. etc. etc.  Some of these options would make her and OP a good fit, and some of them will just result in more and more frustration as the years go on.

IOW, to me it is all about context:  not just what she does, but why -- and how that meshes with what OP expects from a partner.  We have all done completely dumb-ass things in our lives -- sometimes even at ages by which we damn well should have known better.  OTOH, many of us have also tried to change and not been able to keep it up, or felt like we needed to pretend to be someone we're not to make someone else happy.  Both OP and the GF can be completely reasonable people with completely reasonable approaches to life and still not be the right fit for each other.  And on the flip side, the GF could have been a a completely immature, irresponsible looney-tunes during her 20s and still be a good partner for OP now.  We can't possibly know which one it is with the little information we have.

middo

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Re: Discovered dear GF has $211,000 in student loans
« Reply #238 on: September 04, 2018, 05:16:58 PM »
Something that occurred to me after reading Laura33's post above, is that do not neglect peoples ability and likelihood to change over time. 

When we first me, my wife was more frugal than me, she had no interest in politics, and was tidier than I was.  These have all changed over the last 30 years we have been dating / living together and marriage (for almost 25 years now).  For instance, we both joined a political party in our 20's as my interest in politics ramped up.  I was elected to positions within the party, including serving on state councils and executives, as a young and upcoming backroom politician.  However, the party we joined managed to implode, an we dropped out for a while.  More recently, in our early 40's my wife got herself elected to local government, and spent two years getting roads fixed, local laws changed, pavements installed and other things that made our town more liveable.  I cheered her on, even though I was more likely to be doing it 20 years earlier.

When we first moved in together, I thought she was a bit of a neat nut.  I was happy to leave dirty dishes until "later" and I tended to clutter the house with discarded clothing, items not returned to their correct location, and generally just leaving my crap lying around.  Now I am the neat nut, and put things away endlessly.  I also have to try hard to not nag about it, as she seems to leave her clothes everywhere etc. 

The reality of a marriage is that if it is for life, you will change, as will she.  if you love each other you should be able to coexist happily if sharing and forgiveness are part of your (and her) make-up.  Otherwise, small things may cause constant friction that causes fights and flare-ups.  Look inside yourself and see if you can share and forgive, and think about her personality too.

MrMoneySaver

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Re: Discovered dear GF has $211,000 in student loans
« Reply #239 on: September 04, 2018, 08:07:41 PM »
OP, you're 30. You have a ton of money. There's absolutely no reason for you to make any concessions in the dating/marriage market. Which it sounds like you would be doing here in multiple areas -- finances and trust being two big ones.

For you, it only gets better from here on out in the romance market -- limitless options. I would not be in a rush to get married. Not to anyone, and particularly not to her.

talltexan

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Re: Discovered dear GF has $211,000 in student loans
« Reply #240 on: September 05, 2018, 08:35:05 AM »
The very act of getting into a committed relationship is already making concessions. The concessions buy you the benefits of being in a relationship/family situation that enables joint, long-term planning and children. Continuing to search means delaying these things, and the OP may have preferences about whether that's costly or not.

patchyfacialhair

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Re: Discovered dear GF has $211,000 in student loans
« Reply #241 on: September 05, 2018, 09:22:14 AM »
I wonder if OP is going to return for another update.

MrMoneySaver

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Re: Discovered dear GF has $211,000 in student loans
« Reply #242 on: September 05, 2018, 09:24:30 AM »
The very act of getting into a committed relationship is already making concessions. The concessions buy you the benefits of being in a relationship/family situation that enables joint, long-term planning and children. Continuing to search means delaying these things, and the OP may have preferences about whether that's costly or not.

Fair enough. It doesn't sound like the OP is getting a very good deal here. IMHO

Retire-Canada

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Re: Discovered dear GF has $211,000 in student loans
« Reply #243 on: September 05, 2018, 09:29:34 AM »
Fair enough. It doesn't sound like the OP is getting a very good deal here. IMHO

There is probably a FIRE savvy lady out there in his town with a $600K NW and no debt wondering where all the good financially responsible guys are.

partgypsy

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Re: Discovered dear GF has $211,000 in student loans
« Reply #244 on: September 05, 2018, 12:05:11 PM »
She might have a good personality?

MrMoneySaver

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Re: Discovered dear GF has $211,000 in student loans
« Reply #245 on: September 05, 2018, 12:54:58 PM »
She might have a good personality?

Let's hope.

Adram

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Re: Discovered dear GF has $211,000 in student loans
« Reply #246 on: September 05, 2018, 11:16:59 PM »
Not being American, Iím wondering what happens with student loans where the wife becomes a stay at home mother and never works again, and all the assets and income are in the husbandís name... do the loans just never get paid?

In Australia we have a government loan system where you only make payments if you earn over $54,000 or so. Plenty of lower earners never pay them off.

MDfive21

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Re: Discovered dear GF has $211,000 in student loans
« Reply #247 on: September 06, 2018, 06:43:16 AM »
Not being American, Iím wondering what happens with student loans where the wife becomes a stay at home mother and never works again, and all the assets and income are in the husbandís name... do the loans just never get paid?

In Australia we have a government loan system where you only make payments if you earn over $54,000 or so. Plenty of lower earners never pay them off.

it doesn't matter if she quits working, the loans will continue to be due and interest will accrue if they're not paid.  30 days after her first payment is late, her credit report will be dinged each month with late payment entries that take 7 years to fall off the report.  at the 200k balance level, the 6.5% interest will accrue at a ridiculous rate and soon the balance will be so large she'll never be able to pay them off without using one of the special repayment options.  there are optional programs to pay an amount commensurate with income, and there are programs that will forgive the loans after 10 years of public service.  google 'repaye' and 'pslf'.  student loans are not dischargeable in bankruptcy so they will follow her til death.  if i understand it correctly, the gov can take her tax refund payment each year if there is one, and they will garnish her social security payments in old age.

there is no escape.

talltexan

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Re: Discovered dear GF has $211,000 in student loans
« Reply #248 on: September 06, 2018, 11:56:36 AM »
For non-americans, please note that student loans cannot be discharged via bankruptcy. But, there are federal programs that can lead to them being forgiven.