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Should I pay off my son's debt?

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    #16
    As for the kid being mad that you're 'messing' up his chances to go to college, when he wasted all this money he should have thought he's messing his chances by himself.
    One of the biggest problems with society today, in my opinion, is the refusal of people to take personal responsibility for their actions. He blew $8K yet now he wants to blame mom for in in a round about way that would get the blame off him and on to her, she messed up his life! The very best thing she can do for him is make him pay off the debt and SEE proof that it is paid off (not taking his word for it) before she ever writes a check to the college. Any of her money that she set aside for college needs to go directly to the college not to him otherwise she may find at the end of a year, he blew that money as well and never went to a single class.
    Gailete
    http://www.MoonwishesSewingandCrafts.com

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      #17
      I have seen this in my family, too. My grandmother always helped my father with anything he needed. I mean any screw ups he made, were 'covered' by her. Sure, he didn't make big mistakes (fortunately), but he is still not able to be as responsible with his money as he should be. No matter what happens, she's the one to pay for it and bail him out. Responsibility is the main thing we can teach our kids. I knew we don't have money so I was always careful with what I do and tried not to mess up, since there wasn't anyone to 'clean up' for me. That made me self-sufficient and effective when it comes to money.

      If you keep on 'saving' your kid and not let him/her take the fall for his/her mistakes, you'll keep on bailing said kid even when he's 60
      Personal Finance Blog | Dojo's PF Musings

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        #18
        Do it, pay it off

        Tough situation. Normally i would say donít pay it off for him, but you do not want to jepdise his education. So in this instance i think paying it off, but making sure he pays it back to you so he still learns is the best course of action

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          #19
          I would not pay his debt off. It is better he learn his lesson now than at 40. Our oldest got himself in debt to the point it was in collections. We refused to pay it off and it was right under $1000. We let him suffer through collection calls etc. He worked and paid it off when hounded. He has a good chunk for college and only for college. If he doesn't go then no money. I hope my 18 year old learned from watching his older brother.I don't want to watch this again. To be honest my first instinct was to write the check. I had to overrule that instinct.

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            #20
            Paying it off for him will make it 10X worse. When you bail someone out, they are much more likely to ask for money in the future. Don't create a monster.

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              #21
              My ex-husband that got us into terrible debt--ran up $42K in cc debt in about a year and a half--still hasn't learned. He just married his FIFTH wife as he constantly has to find a woman to bail him out financially. Then when they can't stand it anymore, he is out and in no time trying to find a new dumb woman. It isn't that he is great looking, etc. but has great charisma initially and is a master manipulator. The thing is, someone has been bailing him out for years and he hasn't learned his lesson yet. I would hate for you to see your son get wrapped up in that same kind of mess since he had someone who bailed him out. If he doesn't clear up his debts, put his college money in your retirement account.

              I realize that this thread is getting old and the decision most likely made, but would be interesting to know how it turned out.
              Gailete
              http://www.MoonwishesSewingandCrafts.com

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                #22
                NO WAY!

                It's not going to be the end of the world if he has to delay college a year. And it sounds like he needs to learn that not having money = a delay in getting what you want.

                If you feel like being generous, allow him to live with you rent-free and getting meals for free for the next year while he works to pay off his debts. Even at minimum wage, working 25-30 hours a week, that should be doable.

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                  #23
                  No. I would not. There's no lesson learned if you pay off his debt right now.

                  Think of it this way. He can learn a $8,000 lesson now at an early age, or learn a $108,000 lesson later in life. By not giving him money, you're actually saving him a lot more money.

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                    #24
                    I say bail hi out, and while you're at it can I borrow some money? Jokes of course, paying it off for him will only create a crutch for him in the future. He will most likely take those risks again if he knows he has a possible out. Now, the motherly instinct you are feeling is to help him.

                    Help him learn how to get himself out of this mess. A huge skill that will pay itself back over and over in his lifetime. What's a better "gift" than that mom?

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                      #25
                      The OP started this thread in August and hasn't been back since, and probably isn't coming back. Too bad, I was really interested to find out what she decided to do.

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                        #26
                        I was really interested to find out what she decided to do.
                        So was I!
                        Gailete
                        http://www.MoonwishesSewingandCrafts.com

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                          #27
                          Bail him out, that's what government is doing anyway. as real as life lesson gets

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                            #28
                            It won't help him in the long run if you pay off his debt. My father helped me pay off my debt once, and when I kept the same cycle going over the years, he stopped lending me money. It upset me at the time, but now I see it was necessary for me to really learn on my own about finances, and now I'm glad he didn't keep giving me money.

                            Unfortunately, many of us have no financial education as we grow up, and just go right into debt. I would give your son a book such as "Rich Dad Poor Dad", or related book, so he can start to learn about money.

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                              #29
                              Originally posted by doris78 View Post
                              I just found out that my son has racked up over $8,000 in credit card debt during the past year. I'm not sure how he opened all the credit cards, but he did. he is past due on his payments and because of the poor credit score this has created a situation where he isn't able to qualify for student loans.

                              I saved a college fund for him and he now wants me to use the college fund to pay off the credit card debts. he says that unless the debts get paid off, her will never be able to get loans to go to college so it makes sense to use them this way. I have said that if he doesn't use the money for college, then he won't use the money at all. This has made him very upset.

                              Am I being to harsh? Should I help him in this situation since he has seemed to have learned his lesson? The mother in me is torn as what to do.
                              He needs to learn to be responsible for himself, paying this off will teach him that no matter how deep a hole he digs mommy will be there to pull him out. He needs to get a job and pay off his debt, once that is done and he understands just how much work getting out of debt involves you can let him attend college with his college fund but I would not let him touch it to pay off debt that he knowingly racked up to get himself into this situation.

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