One man was seriously questioning his relationship with his longterm girlfriend because of her financial struggles. He says that he loves her but he is not willing to sacrifice his future for her.
I am a 30 year old male. I have a well paying job (roughly 100k per year). No debt. My girlfriend has 250k in private student loans (from undergrad private school) with a variable interest rate. Recently the interest hit over 11% and doing the math on the loans has me devastated.
With how fast it is growing… she will need to put 25k a year into it just to keep it in the same place. That basically guarantees that I will never have financial help during our relationship. Additionally, with how much she will need to work just to pay on the loans.. I won’t have much help around the house or with our kids (if/when we have some) either.
I keep blaming myself that I can’t just deal with it.. it’s just money right? But at the same time when I look at the reality of the situation I can’t help but feel I need to walk away from this situation.
Additionally, she is going back to school in the fall for a higher paying job (probably 60-85k income at the end realistically with the possibility of 125k a year if she works herself to death) but this program will add another ~30k in federal loans.
I think this is a bad decision…but it’s also the only option she seems to have to up her income. I feel like I don’t want to wait until I’m 45 when this debt (might) be paid off to have children.. I don’t want to put my life on hold in this way, but I also love her a lot.
We’ve talked a lot about this and about her plan to pay it down etc. It now feels like my options are either accept that this is reality and it will be many years before she’s free if this debt.. or end the relationship. Any advice?
A huge, huge source of relationship strife is finances. $250k is a massive amount of debt for someone whose earning potential is barely cracking 6 figures. I say this as someone with a lot of debt (though nowhere near that much): do not marry her until/unless you get comfortable with whatever it will take for her to become debt free.
As someone with a similar amount of debt, I agree with you. I’ve got about 300K in student loans. Those loans covered only cost of attending law school (paid undergrad out of pocket). Obviously I’m a lawyer now with a high earning potential.
My job pays about 120k w/ a max of 175. If I went private it’d be at least double, but I have the opportunity to get those loans forgiven because of my employer.
All of this is to say, until y’all get a handle on how you’re going to pay this off realistically AND until you’re comfortable with the financial situation/plan I wouldn’t recommend taking any additional steps in the relationship.
Waiting a year to see how her program pans out and what the finances look like then isn’t going to significantly delay your future plans as far as I’m aware. You have some time to wait and see, but be careful not to wait too long.
'it’s just money right?' No, it is the rest of your life and your own goals. It is fair to worry about it. This is the rest of your life you're talking about here.
'It now feels like my options are either accept that this is reality and it will be many years before she’s free if this debt.. or end the relationship.' Yup, those are your options.
I appreciate you reframing that for me. I keep saying to myself 'it shouldn't be about money' but I guess ultimately it isn't.... its about the goals I have for my life.
You have to pay the price of a house just to marry this woman? Damn. Key piece that's missing is how long you have been together and why you are thinking about this now.
We just hit 2 years. I started considering marriage and our future and I asked for more in depth detail about her loans and her plan to pay them off. I knew it was a large amount, but I did not know it was all private, variable and as large as it is.
Wanted to give an update. After reading all your comments and picking up a book about decision making in regards to money and love (will share if interested). I have come to the decision that I do, sadly, need to end the relationship.
She is a wonderful girl and honestly my best friend, but the reality of her choices financially will alter the course of my life in such a profound way that all I can see is resentment in the end. I have to stop guilting myself into sacrificing myself for others to the point of my own mental turmoil.
I grew up in a foster-to-adopt family as the oldest and I think I learned then to forget myself and care for others to earn love.. part of this decision is learning how to remember myself again.
Thank you all for the advice. It really helped me see that either choice is okay to make and I’m not a failure for saying it’s too much for me.💙
Honestly, I don’t blame him. I dated somebody and found out they had tons of debt after we moved in together. I was ready to buy a house and they claimed they wanted that too.
I spent so much time and energy trying to teach them to be fiscally responsible and ultimately after years it just came off as nagging and controlling. I’m all saving up for a ring and they can’t even pay off their credit cards lol.
She can’t afford to go back to school….
I had private school loans. I refinanced them or otherwise rolled them into a federal loan. Then I was eligible for public loan forgiveness if I worked at a non profit or government job. I see no reason that she can’t do that too. Also if she has little income the public loan forgiveness payments will be uber low.
As a working class woman, I’ve also been very very careful about avoiding a partner who is employment-challenged and who has poor middle class earning potential. And then my middle class and wealthy friends all called me shallow and classist for wanting a partner who could contribute to our lives.
However, I’ve seen so many working class people with degrees and upwardly mobile jobs get dragged into financial precarity by partnering with someone who doesn’t have good financial sense and who doesn’t want to contribute equally to the relationship.
This tends to affect women more than men in the current economic climate (obviously not exclusively), but it’s changing as gender dynamics change in modern relationship. My bff has a husband who is Employment challenged, but it doesn’t affect her as much because she has family money and a well-paying job. I don’t have the same security.
I understand all of your perspectives. Ultimately a debt that is growing at 25-30k annually just on interest alone is too much for me to handle. I’ll be working to pay for everything else and she will be working just to keep up with paying off the loan for likely 10-15 years.
I can’t wait that long to begin my life. I do love her. I can love her and still make the choice to walk away for the sake of my future.. I’ve battled with this a lot. But ultimately it’s something I need to do.
Yeah it breaks my heart every day. I wish I could be the one to save her, but to save her I would be killing myself. It makes me extremely sad about it all.