Student loan debt is a significant financial burden for millions of Americans. It is the second-largest type of consumer debt in the United States after mortgages. Student loan debt can significantly impact borrowers’ finances, delaying or preventing them from buying a home, starting a business, or saving for retirement.

A user asked, Will I be a jerk if I began a doctoral program against my fiance’s wishes?


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The Original Poster (33F) and her fiance (35m) have been engaged for about two years.

Recently, OP has been pushing him about a date, and he has been insistent that they should get their finances in order first- to him meaning debt free, including the wedding. (Of course, he is willing to take as much money as OP’s Dad will give for it) 


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The background is right after the lockdowns, he got really into financial tiktok/Dave Ramsey blah blah blah and insisted they both become debt free.

They agreed, but he took it super seriously- selling everything (people were worried about him) and getting a second full-time job. To his credit, he paid off about 60k in a year.

What Did OP Do

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Meanwhile, OP has been finishing her 2nd master’s and has been accepted into the Ph.D. program.

What Does OP Say

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OP says, “I also want to enjoy my early 30s by attending events and going on trips with our friends. Currently, between student loans (125k), my car (25k), and credit cards (about 10k), I am in some pretty high debt but anticipate my salary to be around 200k in 3 years or double what he is currently bringing home.”

What Did He Do

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When OP told him OP was accepted to the doctoral programs, he lost it. He said a ton of hurtful things about OP not growing up.

What Does OP Think

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OP says, “I feel like he is not supporting my dreams and may just have a problem with the fact I will have a Ph.D. while he has a master’s.  I also think political differences are becoming more apparent. (he says things like, “You’re dumb for waiting for student loan forgiveness”) 

I feel like he is trying to hold me back from my dreams. Will I be wrong for not following his advice? ”

You’re NOT Financial Compatible

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“NAH. You’re not financially compatible. A huge number of marriages end because of finances. You’re both lucky to have discovered this before getting married. Now, it seems that you and he have some decisions to make.”

You Are A Jerk If You Want Support

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“It’s you are a jerk if she’s planning on him financially supporting her for the three years while she does her PhD.

This woman owes $160,000 and wants to add to it.. she wants student loan forgiveness but is about to take out even more student loans.. because someone with that much debt doesn’t have the money laying around to self-finance the PhD..

She wants to make a financial decision with his wallet against his wishes. That’s called being a jerk.’

You Guys Aren’t Compatible

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“This is almost verbatim what I was going to say. The financial incompatibility is already bubbling up as more serious, hurtful arguments.

PhDs are very expensive, and even with a 200k job, what you earn may not offset the expense, especially when considering the time your existing debt will accrue more interest and the fact you have shortened your income-generating lifespan again to earn it.

It’s great to have dreams but is GETTING the Ph.D. more important than USING it. The two of you are heading in different directions now, you aren’t going to make an effective team. Everything is going to devolve into a fight, compromises one party doesn’t want to make, frustration, and resentment that’s going to become bitter. There’s no way forward that isn’t going to cost one of you something significant to you.”

You Have Two Masters

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“You are a jerk – while I think he’s over the top in having a 0 dept goal you are quite irresponsible with your money. You have two masters and are still not trying to get into the job market.

Why on earth do you have a 25k loan for a car? If you don’t have a serious income, you need to get a used car. My car was 6k, and it runs great. 10k in credit card debt is also quite a lot. I have no clue how you even have a limit that high, considering you must not have much income.”

You Should Get A Job

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‘You are a jerk  – You sound naive at best. Oh I’ll pay off my 160K in debt because of student loan forgiveness and landing some mysterious 200K job, and a PhD will only take 3 years….sure Jan.

You expect your fiancé to be okay with you lighting more money on fire without a concrete plan to pay it off and your asking if you’re a jerk? Girl get real, you know you’re in the wrong!”

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