Saturday, February 9, 2013

Woman Learns the Hard Way Not To Loan Out Her Credit Cards

Dear Tazi:

I am in deep financial trouble and I don’t know how to get out of it. While we were dating, I allowed my now ex-boyfriend “Roger” to use my credit cards for emergency purchases, like clothes for work or gas to put in his car. He had been out of work for a while before we met, so when he found a job he had no good clothes to wear to it or any way to buy gas to get there until his first paycheck. Because he had to be added to the payroll, and there was a mix-up with his social security number it took him almost a month to get his first paycheck. After he got paid, rather than pay me back the money he owed me, he decided to go out and celebrate his new job with his friends, leaving me at home.

I figured Roger would pay me back the money he owed me when he got his next paycheck (he gets paid every two weeks), but that was the end of the month and his rent and utilities were due, so I figured I would have to wait another few weeks. Two weeks later, when I asked Roger for the money, he dumped me. He said he couldn't stay with someone who was going to constantly pester him about money.

Tazi, I feel so used, but that is only part of the problem. Roger charged almost $2,000 to my credit card for fancy clothes, shoes, and other things he said he needed for work. I do not have the money to pay this off, and can no longer afford to make the minimum payment, which has gone up because the balance is so high.

I have tried talking to the credit card company to tell them that the purchases obviously were not mine, so I should not have to pay for them; Roger is the one they should be harassing for money. The credit card companies have told me that unless Roger stole my card or otherwise used it without my permission I am responsible for the charges. I tried going to the police, but they told me that since I gave Roger permission to use my credit card it is a civil matter, not a criminal one, and they cannot help me.

Tazi, Roger has changed his phone number so I can no longer call him to ask him to pay me the money back, and my credit is in a downward spiral so I can’t even take out a bank loan to pay off the credit card. There is no one in my life who will loan me money; my own mother told me that if I can’t pay my credit cards what expectation others have that I will pay them? I looked into going to a payday loan service, but the interest rate is even higher than the rate on my credit cards, with less time to pay back the balance.

Tazi, would you be able to loan me the money to pay off my credit cards?

Tapped Out

Dear Tapped Out:

No. No I will not loan – or give – you the money to pay off your credit cards. For one I don’t know you; for another I am not a bank; and, to give a third reason, if I had the money to loan it would go straight to my Mommie to put towards her student loans. An education is an expensive thing – something you have learned by getting schooled by your ex-boyfriend.
I am printing your letter as a warning to others not to trust their financial stability with someone they hardly know. You do not say for how long you and Roger were dating, but mention that he was out of work before you met, and presumably found a job around the time you started dating. This means you were together less than a month when you gave him free reign with your credit cards.

Since you cannot make the minimum payment on your credit cards, I suggest you talk to the card issuer about working out a payment plan. Your ability to make purchases will probably be suspended during this time but at least your credit will start to improve. Do not refuse to pay the balance on your credit accounts – the purchases may not have been for you, but they were made with your permission which means you are responsible for paying the bill.

You may be able to recover some of your loss in small claims court, which would mean suing Roger for a breach of agreement, but you must be able to prove that Roger agreed to pay the charges he put on your credit account. This will be difficult if Roger was not listed as an additional user on your account. Sad to say, it looks like you will have to chalk this loss up to experience – and know to never loan out your credit cards again.


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