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Dave Says: Finance My Girlfriend's Car?

JANUARY 3, 2023

Dear Dave,
My girlfriend wants me to finance a new car for her. I’ve already got debt from my own truck loan, and I really don’t like the thought of being liable for more debt. I had her current car checked out by a mechanic who said it’s in good enough shape to last at least another year or so. I’m 30, and I make $120,000 a year. She’s 19, and she makes about $800 a week. We’ve been seeing each other for about four months, and I was interested in hearing your take on things.

Dear Cody,
I really hope this isn’t the case, but you just described a sugar daddy. She doesn’t make much money, she’s 19 years old, and she wants you to buy her a car. I mean, can you understand why I’m worried about that? I seriously doubt there’s an explanation you could give her for saying “no” that will satisfy her, no matter how logical, sweet or well-intentioned.

If you were my son, I’d thump you on the head if you did this. I’m the guy who tells people to stay out of debt, remember? So, I think you knew what my take on this would be. You need to get out of debt yourself, and you sure don’t want to go into debt for someone else—especially when you’re not even married to that person.

Here’s the biggest problem. I’ve got a feeling it’s going to put a real strain on your relationship if you don’t do this. But the thing is, you’re going to put an even bigger strain on things if you do, because it’s going to change the tone and the dynamic of the relationship to one of dependency—and not just on her part. You’re going to be dependent on her making the payments, because if she doesn’t, they’ll fall into your lap. And if that happens, there will be even more strain on the relationship.

This could get really messy and awkward in a hurry, Cody. If she’s willing to understand your position and learn about smart ways of handling money, that’s fine. It could end up being a great thing for both of you.

But be prepared for the very real possibility that she ain’t going to like this.
— Dave

* Dave Ramsey is an eight-time national bestselling author, personal finance expert and host of “The Ramsey Show,” heard by more than 18 million listeners. He has appeared on “Good Morning America,” “CBS This Morning,” “Today,” Fox News, CNN, Fox Business and many more. Since 1992, Dave has helped people regain control of their money, build wealth, and enhance their lives. He also serves as CEO of Ramsey Solutions.