New Castle News

June 8, 2012

Dave Ramsey: Financial infidelity also wounds

By Staff
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — Dear Dave: Recently, I discovered that my wife secretly kept and used credit cards over the last several years.

I also found out there are two liens on our home from some of this debt. She was hiding the mail from me so I wouldn’t find out. I’m angry about the dishonesty, but I want us to get the debt cleaned up. What do you suggest? — Tom

Dear Tom: This debt and the liens are a symptom. What we’re looking at here is a repeated pattern of lying and deception. Anyone can become scared or ashamed and make a mistake, but this has happened several times. It’s called financial infidelity for a reason.

Really, it’s the same kind of lying as sexual infidelity. It hurts and makes people angry on a lot of the same levels, and that’s because it’s a broken trust.

Assuming that you guys can talk things out and heal this rift in your marriage, you’re going to have to contact these credit card companies and try to settle the debts. You guys aren’t bringing home a lot, so you need to start scratching together every nickel and dime you can and make an offer to erase these debts.

That will also remove the liens on your home. Many times creditors will settle a debt for pennies on the dollar. If you’re lucky, you may be able to get them to accept about 25 percent of the amount owed.

But I think you’ve got a much bigger problem here. You guys have some serious issues that need to be resolved. I’d advise going to your pastor, if you’re in a good church, or finding a reputable marriage counselor. Your wife needs to understand, loud and clear, that this kind of crap has to stop immediately! — Dave

Dear Dave: What happens to a vehicle if the co-signer on the loan files bankruptcy? — Robert

Dear Robert: First, it means that only the co-signer has gone bad. The car is still in your name, and the loan is still in your name.

If you were to notify the bank of this, and that you’d be keeping the car and still making the payments on time, then you shouldn’t have a problem. It also wouldn’t affect your credit score. Just because you partnered with someone who failed with money doesn’t mean you’re going to do the same thing.

There is one thing to keep in mind, though. It may show up on your credit bureau report that the loan has gone into bankruptcy. It shouldn’t indicate that you have gone into bankruptcy, just the loan. That much is true, since your co-signer filed bankruptcy. Still, this shouldn’t damage your credit score.

If it does, just stay on top of things, and report what has happened to the credit bureau. Your credit score should not be affected by something you didn’t do, as long as the loan involved is paid on a timely basis. — Dave

(For more financial advice please visit

Church to host Ramsey course

First Baptist Church will host two 10-week sessions of Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University.

The courses are scheduled for 9 to 10:30 a.m. Sundays, June 17 through Aug. 26, or 7 to 9 p.m. Mondays, Sept. 17 through Nov. 26.

Financial Peace University is a total money makeover programe that  takes the knowledge from God and turns it into real action  through a step-by-step process taught by Dave Ramsey. Ramsey is a personal money management expert, popular national radio personality and the author of three New York Times bestsellers. His column appears on Fridays in the New Castle News.

Participants will learn how to make the right money decisions to achieve  financial goals and God’s plan for their lives. The course includes practical lessons on eliminating debt, building wealth, giving like never before and more.

According to Ramsey’s website, the average family pays off $5,300 in debt and saves $2,700 in the first 91 days after beginning Financial Peace University, and is completely out of debt – except for their mortgage – in just 18 to 24 months.

The course is taught via video by Ramsey and includes a small group element. The cost is $90 per individual or couple.

To enroll in either of First Baptist’s sessions, log on to