High-earner Josh has some debts to clear, but has been offered a mortgage

Claer Barrett chats to Josh, a high-earner living in New Jersey who has large credit card bills to settle. The 30-something finance worker has spent $20,000 paying for holidays and unexpected bills on his interest-free cards, but his wife is unaware of how much he now owes. Under lockdown, the couple have impressively managed to save more than $27,000. His wife wants to use their savings towards a deposit on a house, but should Josh come clean and pay off some of his card debt? Experts Robert Armstrong and Sara Williams (aka the Debt Camel) offer their tips.

If you would like to talk to Claer for a future episode, please email the Money Clinic team at money@ft.com with a short description of your problem, and how you would like us to help. Follow Claer on Twitter and Instagram @Claerb

Further reading:

--Sara Williams writes the independent Debt Camel blog, offering no-nonsense advice for people who want to get out of debt. Covering debt problems and debt solutions, she has won praise for answering common questions about debt without jargon, and has been a debt adviser in the UK for more than 15 years.

--Robert Armstrong, the FT’s US Finance editor, recently bought a house in Brooklyn, and is already regretting his purchase, as he explains in this column: Was buying a Brooklyn townhouse just before lockdown the worst trade of my life?

--He has also explored the topic of mounting consumer debt in this FT video: Will Covid-19 light the fuse on a debt bomb?

--If, like Josh, you find it difficult to talk openly to your partner about your finances, check out Claer’s column, Six ways to manage money - and not fall out with your partner (which is free to read).

--Last year, Claer spent a day inside one of the UK’s biggest debt helplines and spoke to advisers about how people of all income levels can and do suffer from debt problems — and heard practical tips on what to do about it. 

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