Got a tough love and money question? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
**"I paid my ex-girlfriend's student loans. We just broke up. Should I ask her to pay me back?"
A precarious situation indeed. I've seen this often–partner A wants to do something nice to help partner B, and then something goes awry and partner A is left holding the bag. This is a classic mix of love and money colliding in a car crash and it's a very crappy situation to be in.
Look, if you're able to support a partner financially, it's certainly an incredibly nice and supportive thing to do, so karma-points for your kindness. But my general advice around lending (or even covering expenses) is to be clear on the terms before you do it. Whether it's a loan or an out-right gift, you'll want to first come to terms with how you feel about it and then communicate that to your partner.
Having a really clear understanding of expectations on both sides will relieve a lot of stress and arguing later. And, this might be surprising, but also give the receiving partner an opportunity to share how they feel about the gift.
In this case, it sounds like that may not have happened? If it's a material amount of money to you (which sounds like it is!), then I'd consider approaching your ex and asking her to help you come up with a plan for payback. Maybe your ex is more open to it than you'd originally imagined? (Maybe I'm being optimistic here.) And if she's not, there's not much you can do at this point. Legally, it's seen as a gift and may even be taxable if it's over $15,000.
You may just have to chalk it up and warn your future self to do your diligence if it comes up again.
Can sharing your money fears spice up your sex life? We say “absolutely.”READ MORE
A newsletter designed to help
you achieve relationship goals.
A newsletter designed to help you achieve relationship goals.
To safely consume this site, we recommend reading this disclaimer. Any outbound links will take you away from Zeta, to external sites in the world wide web. Just so you know, Zeta doesn’t endorse any linked websites nor do we pay/bribe anyone to appear on here. Any reference to prices on the site are just estimates; actual prices are up to specific merchants and their current desire to charge you for things. Also, nothing on this website should be construed as investment advice. We’re here to share our favorite tools, tactics and tips for managing your money together. This content is for your responsible consumption. Please don’t see this as a recommendation to buy specific investments or go on a crypto-binge. Lastly, we 100% believe that personal finance is exactly that, personal. We may sometimes publish content on this website that has been created by affiliated or unaffiliated partners such as employees, advisors or writers. Unless we explicitly say so, these post do not necessarily represent the actual views or opinions of Zeta.
The Zeta Joint Card and Joint Account is offered by LendingClub Bank, N.A., Member FDIC. Zeta Help Inc. is a service provider of the issuing bank. All deposit accounts of the same ownership and/or vesting held at the issuing bank are combined and insured under an FDIC Certificate, up to $500,000. The Zeta Joint Debit Card, provided by MasterCard, may be used everywhere where MasterCard Debit Cards are accepted.