smart spending

Signs your spouse may be ripping you off

Friends with (card) benefits
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The sneak: Kaylee's credit was excellent; her fiance Rob's not so much. To jump-start their forthcoming nuptials, Kaylee agreed to transfer $16,000 of Rob's debt onto her credit card. They broke up before the "I do's," leaving Kaylee strapped with Rob's debt. Rob accepts his debt, but his poor credit prevents him from taking it back.

The reason: Ah, the things we do for love! Kaylee's mistake was allowing her feelings for Rob, which she thought were permanent, to extend to Rob's debts, which unfortunately are permanent. Many a partner has co-signed a credit card, added their fiance as a signer or loaned them money outright only to regret it. Sometimes it even prompts the breakup.

"Don't do it. Ever. Ever!" says Hayden. "If a person can't get a loan from a bank, why would they be able to make the payments to you? And now you're risking a relationship, too? It's just too big a risk."

The fix: If Rob truly is a standup guy, ask him to either commit to a cash repayment plan or to open a credit card and use it to gradually transfer his debt back to where it belongs.




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