Hey everyone. My ADHD husband and I have had some ongoing issues with him and money. Not sure if this is ADHD related but heck probably all his struggles are to some extent, so here I am.
We have been married for almost a year and have been together since 2009. My credit is pretty good (720 or so and going up all the time) but i do have lots of law school loans and im slowly chipping away at my credit debt from my school days. Ive never once paid anything late, ever. I am an extremely organized person. I keep track of every expense in Excel, track and analyze expenses if I want to shift things around, plan by weekly budgets usually 5 months out, and have a detailed spreadsheet of all expenses we will need (up front and after the fact) for buying a house. Im a real estate attorney so im pretty familiar with this stuff...and it's my nature to research and plan for things and methodically solve my problems. At least I'd like to think so.
My husband on the other hand has had a history of letting medical bills and a few others go to collections. I can tell from the way we talk about things he doesn't have a 100% clear understanding of how credit scores/reports work, like, he thought a deragotory collection account was "okay" if you're paying the collector installments. I tried to explain NUMEROUS TIMES....anything in the deragatory category is BAD, VERY BAD, get rid of it ASAP....unlike paying as agreed on your installment and revolving credit, paying as agreed on collections DOES NOTHING FOR your credit, it just keeps you out of them taking you to court to garnish your wages. Anyway, things like that, where he was totally screwing himself bc he is just assuming things.
One great thing he did was pay down his $20,000 in credit debt from 2008-2013. When he got done I told him he needs to immediately open a credit card and start building good credit at 20-30% utilization or less, but first check your score.....if you see your score is low, you dont want to get a hard inquiry on a credit card and get denied, thatll only lower your score more - if its low you may want to just get a secured credit card right off the bat. He didnt check his score. He didnt know what a secured card was but he gave me a run around about how it is like a checking account and doesnt help your credit (made no sense), and he went ahead and applied for a regular card, got denied. I again reiterated, open a secured credit card.
I also told him for years, not only check your report and score, sign up for FICO or something and track stuff and get an understanding of where you need to improve. He just signed up for FICO recently.
Last year when we were getting married I insisted we should just go down to the courthouse for free, and then have a nice dinner with our parents, and plan a honeymoon/vacation later on. He insisted he made good money and hes "out of debt now" (meaning credit debt) so its cool, and reassured me several times that to elope and then have a catered party for our family would be totally within our means. While we did do it, and it was affordable - went away for a week and got married/honeymoon/dress/etc all in for $5000 and a party for family for $7000 - $12,000 we paid out of pocket as we made it last year. Great right? Well i get a collections bill in the mail in the fall, he owed like $4000 in medical bills - the same ones i had been telling him to et rid of and that he lead me to believe were gone when we were making wedding decisions. I confront him and he also admits he still owes $2000 to federal govt. He paid the tax bill out of our wedding gift money, at my insistence. I also insisted he pay off the medical bills out of it too, but he didnt. he just kept saying it was being "taken care of".
I spent the entire past year repeatedly reminding him to open a secured credit card. He asks a bank as a soft inquiry in the fall about a mortgage and they told him theyd deny him bc of "no revolving vcredit history" and :outstanding collections accounts." Duh....what i have been saying ALL ALONG.
Two weeks ago in front of his parents we are talking about buying a house and his parents ask him hwat his credit score is. He had told me in the past "around 680". To them hes like "600." I get in a huge fight with him - here we are saving money....looking at houses casually, telling our parents were looking, and his credit is SHOT. The man now makes $100,000 a year, and otehr than those collections debts, had ZERO DEBT FOR YEARS, and has a 600 score. After i went off on him pretty nastily about it that weekend, last week he FINALLY paid off the medical collection debt and opened a secured credit card. Had he done these things when i mentioned them years earlier, we wouldnt be in this situation right now.
So then I printed out his credit score this week and found one error, and also researched and found that you can write your previous creditors a "goodwill letter" explaining your situation and asking for them to help get your previous debt erased form your report. The two issues on his are the medical debts and a cable bill. Well, he paid the cable bill and weve been paying this cable company $250 a month, on time, FOR YEARS....and i googled it and some people have had luck with p a goodwill letter with this cable company. The orthopedic surgeon through whom his medical debt was with is someone hes gone to for some stuff both before and after the surgery that went to colections - someone he knows well bc he plays a club sport and the guy is the doctor for the whole team and knows them all well and gets oodles of business from all of them. I sat down and had flagged the one error and then the two collectiosn, and as always, he wont listen. Hes arguing, doesnt care what I have to say, is fighting me, and while im trying to be nice and upbeat about all of it, he accuses me of trying to make him feel stupid. He insists there is "never a good time to talk about this stuff."
I just dont know what to do. I am not perfect either, im working to improve my financials and credit all the time, and i dont judge people for their past financial mistakes...but i DO judge the fact that he has had blatant opportunities to improve his (and our) situation and has wilfully disregarded them, and not only that, when i was the one that researched options (secrued credit cards, goodwill letters, all the ins and outs of ways to hurt and improve your credit, what we will need to get approved for a mortgage, etc), he just treats me with complete impatience, annoyance and disdain. He wants all the same things i do in life - good credit, savings, retirement, a house, to continue to live within our means in the future like weve been doing the past couple of years since both our incomes have gotten really good - and yet, he fights me every step of the way - treats me like an adversary the minute I want to sit down and talk about what obstacles are still in our way and the strategies to overcome them. I feel we are so lucky to have the internet and know how to figure out exactly what we ned to do to improve our situation, and $$ wise, the resources to make things happen.....
I hate fighting with him over this. I feel like he is his own worst enemy when it comes to money. He acts like because he makes $100,000 and he paid off credit cards two years ago that everything else will just work itself out, and how dare I try and interject on "his" issues. "its beign taken care of" he always says in a huff...but then it doesnt. I feel SO BAD SAYING IT but i feel forced to when he acts like that - ill say "youve made $100,000 for two years now and good money the years before that. youve had no loans or credit debt for awhile. we live modestly, and you have a 600 credit score. its NOT being taken care of."
I feel so sad to have to confront these issues with him bc i worry im emasculating him or somehting - i dont WANT to make him feel bad, its all very awkward, but it needs to be dealt with and he by his own devices has demonstrated that he cant/wont deal with this stuff properly. I dont know what to do. Its a huge issue in our marriage right now. He pouts and acts childish when it gets brought up. I just dont get it how someone who is so good at his sales job and business stuff at work, can be a completely oblvious person about his own personal financial situation and constantly be sticking his head in the sand and telling himself and me itll all just "work itself out." what can i do to deal with all this - while imrpvigin our financial situation but also not hurting our marriage???