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Ask Dave

Bad advice from a bad friend

A friend has suggested that Jennifer and her husband not pay their credit card bills in order to get a settlement and pay less. Jennifer isn't sure about this, but Dave is - he's sure it's a bad idea.

QUESTION: Jennifer and her husband are currently in Baby Step 2 and paying off all their debt except for their home. A friend recently told Jennifer to pay everything off except for the credit card debt, saying they can then settle for a lesser amount and not have so much money going out the door. Jennifer says this feels a little unethical to her. Dave says there’s a good reason why it feels this way.

ANSWER: Why would you not pay off your credit card debt? The reason that feels unethical is because it is unethical. Your friend is a goob. What a horrible friend, to tell you not pay a bill that you’re able and obligated to pay. Unbelievable!

If you’re able to pay your bills, you pay your bills. It’s absurd. If you can pay the bill, pay the bill. If you honestly can’t pay the bill, and you have to settle, then it’s okay at that point to try and reach a settlement.

It’s ethics. Pay the bill.