My wife and I got married six years ago and she completed graduate school a year after that. She got a job immediately and has worked part-time since then. Once she was working, she offered to take over the student loans she had acquired that her parents had offered to pay. Her parents declined and said they wanted to pay them.

Fast-forward. We have been looking to possibly buy a bigger house before our boys (5, 3) start elementary school, so we applied for a mortgage. Turns out her credit is terrible due to student loans in default. Apparently her parents haven’t been able to make the payments but were too embarrassed to tell us. The loan balance is now even more than the original amount.

So now we’ve taken over the loans and any home purchase is off the table. Her parents both work full-time, and seemingly live within their means. They are apologetic but have offered no explanation as to why they were unable to pay. We otherwise all get along well but I’m so furious I don’t know if I can get over it. Am I overreacting? Do they owe me an explanation? I would love to know what they were choosing to spend their money on while they were ruining my wife’s credit and wrecking our hopes to upgrade our home.

No to overreacting, yes to the explanation (not that that means he’ll get it)–but what now?

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