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Should I be worried about bf's finances?

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
Riotbf isn't in good financial shape - he's paying more than he can really afford in rent every month and essentially subbing a friend who is living with him who is only giving him £65 a week (she's on JSA and that's all she can afford apparently). He also has about £12k in debt (some of that was run up by his ex in his name), and he also has a electric bill is so because they can't seem to fit a meter in the house so he hasn't paid for electricity since he moved in, so he's had an on going battle with British gas.

Now in a way it's kind of none of my business, but at the same time if he moves in with me at some point in the future then it could make life very difficult because it will affect my credit score (which is currently fairly good) and thus my finances. Should I be worried?

He has suggested that he might make himself bankrupt as in the long term it might be better as he can see a way to actually clear his debts. But doesn't bankruptcy have a lot of long term implications? Is there anywhere he could get some impartial advice asides the CAB because they couldn't give him much. He's earning an alright wage, but considering his subbing some of his housemates share of bills and rent and paying child maintenance there really isn't anything left over at the end of the month, and I know he wants that to change but I do I help him or keep my nose out of his business - he has asked for a bit of help but I'm not sure what and how much I should give him - surely a debt advisor would be better placed to help him?

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    No offence but I feel like helping him out this point could be damaging for you too. How long have you actually known him? If he's in debit to 12k will he ever be able to pay you back as well?

    If it was me I'd stay out of it, if you do have spare money to help him don't let on that you do or he could guilt you into it. When you get to a point where you want to move in together then have a proper sit down financial talk about what you realistically can and cannot afford.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'd suggest staying well away from mixing any of your finances with his - and look into local debt advice services. I can't think of any names off the top of my head, but I'm pretty sure I've seen fliers for various ones around.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'm not talking about giving him any money I'm talking about helping him sort some of it out so it's more manageable.

    It's partly for selfish reasons because I don't want him messing up my credit score in the future. :/
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I suppose there wouldn't be much harm in helping him to get organised. That is if if wants and appreciates your help
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It could affect you if you move in together and become associated, yes.

    Bankruptcy does have long-term implications.

    He should check https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/articles/where-to-go-to-get-free-debt-advice and you potentially should, too, if it is a concern for you.

    More directly, though, he should stop paying out for his friend who can't afford her rent, as it sounds like he can't afford to be paying for her (or at least, his money would be better allocated elsewhere)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Simply living with him will not mean you are "financially linked" to him. A financial link occurs when you take out financial products jointly, such as a joint bank account, a joint loan or joint mortgage. Joint tenancy agreements are not financial links, although this may change in the medium to long term, as the likes of Experian hope to start recording rental data on credit reference reports.

    Your "credit score" (there is no such thing, technically speaking) shouldn't be affected unless you take out financial products jointly. And even then it'll only be affected negatively if he is missing payments on his loans and overdrafts, or if he becomes insolvent (e.g. bankruptcy, IVA, DRO).

    If he's needing to borrow to live, then he needs to discuss things with a debt advisor. He could try ringing StepChange first of all.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    As Arctic says, it won't affect your credit score unless you get a joint account.

    Have him get in touch with StepChange - www.StepChange.org.

    Their service is completely free and they will help him cut down on unnecessary spending. They'll also be able to look into contacting his creditors before it gets out of hand.

    If he's struggling to pay his creditors, he needs to tell them. If he doesn't want to seek advice, have him work out his income and expenditure so that he can work out what's affordable for him to pay them. They would rather he pays them £1.00 a month than have his payments being constantly rejected on a £100.00 per month arrangement.

    If you need any more advice, let me know.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    He doesn't have an overdraft but come a week after pay day he's struggling to find money for anything more than food.

    It seems that he's ignored a lot of his creditors, which annoys me but I can understand why he did.

    Any ideas how he can find out what he owes and to who? He thinks a good chunk has been written off.

    As for British gas - any ideas? He can't pay an amount that BG just make up out of thin air but at the same time he can't continue not paying for electricity.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    His credit file should give him a basic idea. You can view it for free on a 30 day trial with experian. Bear in mind that the default balance and the current balance may not be the same, especially if he's defaulted on a mobile contract (they'll often add the early termination fee after registering the default). If it's not on his credit file, it may not be that it's written off depending on how long it's been since the last payment was made.

    If he's struggling to budget it's definitely worth him looking into his income and expenditure.

    Electricity and gas are classed as priority bills and he needs to deal with those as soon as possible. The CAB should be able to help with any disputes he has. Depending on the nature of the dispute, it might be a case of just sucking it up and sorting out a repayment arrangement. If he defaults on those, it can have serious consequences.

    Again, as long as the various creditors are kept updated, you shouldn't have an issue (in theory, mistakes are made on occasion). But burying his head in the sand will do nobody any favours.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Problem with the electric is they are just picking a number out of thin air and saying pay that. Because there's no meter (key or credit) they have no idea how much he's using and they've failed to fit a meter on two occasions. I'm tempted to call them up for him whilst I'm there and see what they are going to do about it because they can't charge for electricity on a rateable value like they do with water...surely?? He hasn't defaulted because they haven't even sent him a bill because they don't know what to charge him, but they haven't had any money off him for what he's used.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Don't lend him money unless you can afford to lose it.

    Have him talk to these Step Change lot. People who are bad with money are notoriously disingenuous when discussing the subject and I suspect it'd be easier for him to lay his cards on the table properly with a third party than with you.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I've not come across a truly unmetered domestic property for a very very long time.

    Where there are a number of flats in a converted house (or similar), I've seen it where there is one meter for the whole block. In that case it would be reasonable to apportion the electricity bill across all flats in the block, either pro-rata or based on size of property.

    There are rules around "back billing" which means the supplier can only charge for the previous twelve months if they are at fault. This would include where they have used estimated readings rather than readings from a meter, but it depends on the specific situation. However they can back bill where the customer has been obstructive, or where the customer has refused to pay anything. The rules are specialist; again he needs to take ownership of this and get the specialist advice.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Don't lend him money unless you can afford to lose it.

    Have him talk to these Step Change lot. People who are bad with money are notoriously disingenuous when discussing the subject and I suspect it'd be easier for him to lay his cards on the table properly with a third party than with you.

    This.

    We do a lot of work with StepChange and they will help him properly break it down and challenge him if they think his expenditure is too high. But they will support him and give him whatever help he needs.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think part of it is him taking ownership of it, which I'm going to try to encourage him to do. I'll slip the link into an email and get him to have a look.

    With the meter - no they have asked for one to be installed and BG have been twice and been unsuccessful both times. No idea why though, but his housemate has been trying to sort it but they won't talk to her because she's not the account holder. :/
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