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Barefoot Investor gives advice to fan who made big personal loan, super mistake

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The money author said he doesn’t judge people who fall into bad debt, but he couldn’t go past calling out one huge error.

Money author Scott Pape, better known as the Barefoot Investor, has reprimanded a fan who used his method to become debt-free only to undo it all by taking out $85,000 in personal loans and dipping into her super fund to help out her boyfriend.

The woman named Linda boasted she had become debt-free back in 2019 at age 26 after reading his book but fast-forward to this year and she is drowning in a mountain of debt.

She explained her boyfriend had a rough couple of years after losing his job and going through custody battles with his ex and she wanted to support him.

“But now I’m desperate. I have nothing in my savings and I live week-to-week. He’s trying to get a loan to put the debt into his name but his chances aren’t looking good as he has a bad credit rating and unexpected bills keep popping up,” she wrote to the money expert.

“The bank says the loan will probably need to be secured. My friends have given me a hard time about it but I just wanted to help my boyfriend like he would have done for me.”

Mr Pape shared Linda’s plea for advice on how to get the debt out of her name on his blog.

While he said he wouldn’t “judge” her, he couldn’t stop himself from slamming the woman for one big error.

“I’m really dirty that you took money out of your super, Linda. That was for your retirement,” he said.

More than $37 billion was sapped from retirement funds through the federal government’s early release of superannuation scheme during the pandemic, with 4.9 million Aussies making an application.

Industry Super Australia found 725,000 people had effectively drained their superannuation accounts through the scheme.

Anyone who withdrew the maximum $20,000 allowable under the early access scheme would have foregone up to $3644 of investment growth by May this year, according to the McKell Institute.

Mr Pape told Linda that now he had gotten his superannuation gripe “off his chest”, he would explain what to do about the debt she had incurred on behalf of her boyfriend.

“If he’s got no assets, no income, and a bad credit rating, he’s going to struggle to get a loan,” he said.

“You could request to have his name added to the loans, but you’ll still both be jointly and severally liable: so if he doesn’t pay they’ll still chase you.”

But he added it was up to her boyfriend to step up and own the debt by doing whatever it takes to pay it back.

“Here’s the deal: it’s up to him to pay it back. If he wants to prove his love and commitment to you, he’ll work two jobs (plus deliver pizzas at night) to pay it off,” he said.

“I’d sit him down and explain that you helped him out of love and because you knew that he’d do the same thing for you. Well, now it’s time for him to prove it.”


The money author said he doesn’t judge people who fall into bad debt, but he couldn’t go past calling out one huge error.

Money author Scott Pape, better known as the Barefoot Investor, has reprimanded a fan who used his method to become debt-free only to undo it all by taking out $85,000 in personal loans and dipping into her super fund to help out her boyfriend.

The woman named Linda boasted she had become debt-free back in 2019 at age 26 after reading his book but fast-forward to this year and she is drowning in a mountain of debt.

She explained her boyfriend had a rough couple of years after losing his job and going through custody battles with his ex and she wanted to support him.

“But now I’m desperate. I have nothing in my savings and I live week-to-week. He’s trying to get a loan to put the debt into his name but his chances aren’t looking good as he has a bad credit rating and unexpected bills keep popping up,” she wrote to the money expert.

“The bank says the loan will probably need to be secured. My friends have given me a hard time about it but I just wanted to help my boyfriend like he would have done for me.”

Mr Pape shared Linda’s plea for advice on how to get the debt out of her name on his blog.

While he said he wouldn’t “judge” her, he couldn’t stop himself from slamming the woman for one big error.

“I’m really dirty that you took money out of your super, Linda. That was for your retirement,” he said.

More than $37 billion was sapped from retirement funds through the federal government’s early release of superannuation scheme during the pandemic, with 4.9 million Aussies making an application.

Industry Super Australia found 725,000 people had effectively drained their superannuation accounts through the scheme.

Anyone who withdrew the maximum $20,000 allowable under the early access scheme would have foregone up to $3644 of investment growth by May this year, according to the McKell Institute.

Mr Pape told Linda that now he had gotten his superannuation gripe “off his chest”, he would explain what to do about the debt she had incurred on behalf of her boyfriend.

“If he’s got no assets, no income, and a bad credit rating, he’s going to struggle to get a loan,” he said.

“You could request to have his name added to the loans, but you’ll still both be jointly and severally liable: so if he doesn’t pay they’ll still chase you.”

But he added it was up to her boyfriend to step up and own the debt by doing whatever it takes to pay it back.

“Here’s the deal: it’s up to him to pay it back. If he wants to prove his love and commitment to you, he’ll work two jobs (plus deliver pizzas at night) to pay it off,” he said.

“I’d sit him down and explain that you helped him out of love and because you knew that he’d do the same thing for you. Well, now it’s time for him to prove it.”

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