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Author: jg3jlo Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 75  
Subject: Re: my intro and situation (long) Date: 3/4/2001 7:57 PM
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Well, on strict technical terms one thing to consider is whether you live in a community property state. If you do, you may own your husbands debt whether you like it or not. He may also own your house, etc. whether you like it or not simply by virtue of being married to you (then again he may not, definitely check the laws in your state).

On a more personal level, you two are in it "for better or for worse" so I think it makes sense to work on things together. First thing I would do is make sure the spending holes are plugged, i.e. whatever your husband did to get into debt has stopped (since he has "seen the light" I assume that's taken care of).

Regarding the car loan, the only way I can see it working to take on a joint loan is if you both agree to pay for it from your joint account. In order for that to work, you should be contributing to the account equally on a percentage basis rather than an equal amount. Basically, consider the car a joint expense and treat it just as you would the groceries, utilities, or any other common expenditure. Yes you would be exposing yourself to debt again, but if you are confident that your husband really has mended his spending ways, it is in the best interest of you as a couple for both of you to be out of debt as soon as possible.

Something that occurs to me is that psychologically, this might seem easier of you agree to sell your husband's truck and buy your baby-friendly car now rather than later. Re-financing just to get rid of the car in a few months doesn't make sense to me. Unless maybe if he owes more on the truck than it is actually worth, in which case I would think a bank might not let you refinance anyway.

Also, if you have enough in your savings for a rainy-day fund, I would quit contributing to it and start throwing more money at the high-interest debt. Of course "enough" is subjective, but 3 months salary is a general rule of thumb.

Finally, do that number crunching yourself or as a couple, and make sure you are being realistic. Talk to a loan officer at your bank and confirm the rates. Also make sure you have a joint financial plan that takes care of all of your future needs as a couple. It sounds like you are in good shape personally and I would definitely not jeopardize anything in your savings for his debt, but take a hard look at where is the best place to apply your joint income (as a couple) and go after it. Again, you two are in it for the long run and as long as you are sure you both believe that is the case, then you will benefit most from financial health at a family and not just a personal level.

Hope this helps. Good luck! -JG3
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