Author Topic: Should I tell my fiance about my PAST credit card debt?  (Read 5624 times)

AnonAnonMM

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Should I tell my fiance about my PAST credit card debt?
« on: October 16, 2014, 10:44:28 AM »
Hello MM Community, new member here! I was wondering if you guys could give me some advice on this.

When I first met my fiance, I had maybe $11,000 worth of credit card debt that I had racked up from being stupid and living it up in the city. My fiance is very anti-debt and many of our initial fights were about money though not about debt in particular, more about how much we were spending on dates and whatnot. Anyway, I honestly don't recall if at the time, he asked me if I had credit card debt and if so, whether I lied about it. But around the time that we started dating, I cleaned up fast and paid it all off within 6-9 mos. I wasn't able to start paying back my school loans until that was done and I think my fiance was suspicious over where my money had been going because he would ask me some questions.

I've been honest with him about everything else regarding my finances - how much I make, how much I put towards loans and savings, how much loans is left, etc.  Obviously I've never incurred a credit card balance again and he knows that I don't have any credit card debt now. We are in a good place, financially, and my school loans haven't been a problem for him. I've only told two friends about my prior credit card debt and while I'm like 98% sure that this will never be known to him, I worry sometimes that he will find out and it will ruin our relationship/marriage. I'm certain that he would be upset about it, possibly cause some mistrust issues and lead him to control every bit of my spending. I guess at the very least, I still feel guilty that I've "lied" by omission and not mentioned this part of my financial past.

I dunno, what do you think? Is this important enough to warrant being honest with him or should I leave it in the past since it's not a current debt? I'd also be interested in hearing stories about whether your partner knows everything in your financial history. Thanks! :)

Spork

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Re: Should I tell my fiance about my PAST credit card debt?
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2014, 10:48:39 AM »

I tend to think secrets are bad in general.  I personally think there is nothing to be lost from telling him.

...and... this secret is a heroic story.  You created a problem for yourself.  You identified it as a problem.  You fixed it.  You decided to not do it again.  The way I see it: you're sort of the hero in this story.

Remember: every one of us has done something they consider stupid in the past.  And we'll likely do something stupid again in the future.  Learning from the stupidity is a win.

little_owl

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Re: Should I tell my fiance about my PAST credit card debt?
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2014, 10:55:15 AM »
What is the downside of telling him?

You tell him, you have no secrets, and he reacts well = all good
You tell him, you have no secrets, you fight about it because he is hurt, you get thru it = all good
You tell him, you have no secrets, you fight about it and he doesn't get over it, you break up = all good because if he can't work through this he is not the life partner for you and you just saved yourself a divorce

Tell him!!

mxt0133

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Re: Should I tell my fiance about my PAST credit card debt?
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2014, 11:00:46 AM »
I would tell him and frame it such that you were not proud of your debt because your previous arguments/fights about money and debt.  So that made you mislead him because you didn't want him to think any less of you because of your debt and past mistakes and that you are sorry and ashamed for lying about it.  The positive is it made you focus on eliminating your debt and not repeating the same mistakes again.

If it turns out that he become upset and controlling after you tell him, well then its better to find out sooner rather than later.

GizmoTX

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Re: Should I tell my fiance about my PAST credit card debt?
« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2014, 11:04:29 AM »
Come clean -- credit reports go back 7 years. You tell him that you were embarrassed that you made mistakes in the past, you corrected them, & now aren't repeating them. I agree that if he can't get over it, then there are other issues with him that you don't have control over.

AnonAnonMM

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Re: Should I tell my fiance about my PAST credit card debt?
« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2014, 11:19:27 AM »
Thanks all for your responses! I think that at this point, it's been bothering me to keep this from him and I want to tell him, but I'm really scared of how he's going to react and not trust me again.

(FYI my credit score was not affected, maybe because I never missed a payment and I always paid a lot more than the minimum. It's pretty high, I think maybe even better than my fiance's score.)

greenmimama

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Re: Should I tell my fiance about my PAST credit card debt?
« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2014, 11:23:19 AM »
I would def tell him, but I wouldn't make it a "we have to talk" scenario, just a "Hey I was thinking today about the debt I used to have, I am so glad I am done with that, did you know I used to have xxx amount? Glad that is gone"

trailrated

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Re: Should I tell my fiance about my PAST credit card debt?
« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2014, 11:28:14 AM »
Yes

nottoolatetostart

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Re: Should I tell my fiance about my PAST credit card debt?
« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2014, 12:00:47 PM »
Yes, as long as your behaviors are changed (& you learned your lesson), that should be all that matters. There is NO ONE that has a perfect record when it comes to money.

You shouldn't have lied....but tell him why you did. Don't let this spiral out of control or let him find out own his own.

Be honest before you get married. Put it all out there. It feels good.

DH and I each pulled our credit reports and put together balance sheets to share with one another while we were dating to clear the air. We knew exactly what was going on (luckily, no surprises for either of us - it was more of a confirmation/verification of facts). He proposed 2 months later. ;0)   

Spork

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Re: Should I tell my fiance about my PAST credit card debt?
« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2014, 12:35:59 PM »
I would def tell him, but I wouldn't make it a "we have to talk" scenario, just a "Hey I was thinking today about the debt I used to have, I am so glad I am done with that, did you know I used to have xxx amount? Glad that is gone"

I was going to say pretty much this.  We guys hate the "we have to talk" thing.  Frame it as a brag that you could fix it yourself.

GizmoTX

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Re: Should I tell my fiance about my PAST credit card debt?
« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2014, 12:46:40 PM »
I like the idea to pull your credit report to show him as a way of introducing the topic. You should then see his too.

frugalnacho

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Re: Should I tell my fiance about my PAST credit card debt?
« Reply #11 on: October 16, 2014, 12:53:03 PM »
I agree with the general sentiment.  Tell him.  If it blows up on you then it's probably better you got out of this relationship now.  If it doesn't blow up, then you can move forward being 100% honest with each other.   Congrats on killing your debt.

Travis

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Re: Should I tell my fiance about my PAST credit card debt?
« Reply #12 on: October 16, 2014, 12:58:11 PM »
Regardless of how you tell him, you need to tell him.  Somewhere down the road that little bit of info is going to slip out at the most random time and it's best that it not come as an unwanted surprise when you're not thinking about it.

Eric

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Re: Should I tell my fiance about my PAST credit card debt?
« Reply #13 on: October 16, 2014, 02:50:25 PM »
I guess I'll go against the grain here.  I'm not even sure how this is considered a secret, because I don't see how it's any of his business.  You had this debt before you knew him, and it sounds like you brought the balance to $0.00 before you were serious about him.  Did you tell him about all of your sexual partners/experiences before him too?  No?  Similar to that, it's because whether you had CC debt before you agreed to share your life with him is irrelevant as it doesn't affect him at all.

That said, if you think it's some big secret and it's affecting you, then it may be beneficial to share.  However, I'd say it'd be better to just re-frame this in your mind as something that happened in the past that has no bearing on your current relationship.  Kind of like when you told that one girl that she was ugly back in Middle School and she cried*.

Only on the MMM forums would people think you should feel shame about past CC debt.  In most of society, having CC debt is viewed as some sort of (perverse) badge of honor.



*feel free to insert your own adolescent experience of poor judgment
« Last Edit: October 16, 2014, 02:51:56 PM by Eric »

BlueHouse

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Re: Should I tell my fiance about my PAST credit card debt?
« Reply #14 on: October 16, 2014, 03:01:41 PM »
I'd ask him how he got to be so good with budgeting/finances and so anti-debt, then I'd tell him that I'm anti-debt because I've been in debt and didn't like the feelings it invoked or the reality of the math.  If he hates debt and he's never been in it, then you've just one-upped him in a weird kind of way. 

thd7t

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Re: Should I tell my fiance about my PAST credit card debt?
« Reply #15 on: October 16, 2014, 03:11:06 PM »
Did you say that you paid off $11,000 in credit card debt in 6-9 months?  Way to go!  This is something to be proud of!  You learned a lesson and now you can demonstrate that you've grown.  There's no reason to feel ashamed, here.

RunHappy

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Re: Should I tell my fiance about my PAST credit card debt?
« Reply #16 on: October 16, 2014, 04:49:03 PM »
Yes.  The amount of debt that you have paid off is awesome.  That you've learned and never gotten back in debt is a show of discipline and character.


1967mama

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Re: Should I tell my fiance about my PAST credit card debt?
« Reply #17 on: October 16, 2014, 04:58:40 PM »
I'd go ahead and tell him -- if its nagging at you now, it would most likely feel worse once you're married and then you may have an even harder time telling him.

I agree with the above posters, not to make a big deal like, "I have something to tell you...." but rather almost in a joking way, like "Man, I'm so glad I don't have debt like I did before ... was I ever stupid then!"

Hopefully it will just roll off him. I also agree with other posters that if it doesn't just roll off, there may be deeper issues going on here.

Repost and let us know how it goes!

DecD

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Re: Should I tell my fiance about my PAST credit card debt?
« Reply #18 on: October 16, 2014, 05:16:14 PM »
I don't think you have an obligation to tell him, but since it is bugging you to keep it from him, you'll feel better if you come clean about it.  Catch him on a good day.  Don't be too apologetic.  Fly casual. 

lifejoy

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Re: Should I tell my fiance about my PAST credit card debt?
« Reply #19 on: October 16, 2014, 05:40:09 PM »
I'll quote my father: "Well, as a last resort I suppose you could just tell the truth..."

TL;DR - Do it.

Fuzz

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Re: Should I tell my fiance about my PAST credit card debt?
« Reply #20 on: October 16, 2014, 05:53:56 PM »
You sound like you're given him control over your own thinking: you worry that if you tell him, he'll try to control your spending. I don't think he gets to control your spending. Yes--you're a team, and it's great that you're in it together, but he doesn't get to shame you or punish you for something you did before you were together.