Author Topic: Mental Illness Debit Card  (Read 2113 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Mental Illness Debit Card
« on: November 30, 2019, 07:59:53 AM »
I have an adult sister "Sandy" who is mentailly ill, has 2 kids, and has a long history of stealing money from my parents.

She comes up with scams like fakes an illness to get cash for treatment from my parents. She also has written many bad checks. Sandy also has stolen credit card numbers from my parents to buy things online, and has also used my parents debit cards like credit cards to run up big bills. She has been to jail for a short time for these crimes.

What I am looking for is to find some sort of debit card they can use with her where they can put a certain amount of money in an account for her quickly, and she can use the debit card only as a debit card, not as a credit card nor as an ATM card. Also we would need to easily see the transaction history of what the card was used to buy.

Any thoughts on this?


  • Magnum Stache
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Re: Mental Illness Debit Card
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2019, 08:29:42 AM »
Prepaid Visa cards?  You can easily look at transaction history on those.  Only issue is that you can buy money orders with them at Walmart, which is potential cash-equivalent access.

Also, I know you said debit not credit, but I think with some credit cards you can add an authorized user with their own card on your account but a separate spending limit.  Pretty sure I saw that in my Amex account somewhere.

I'm sorry your family is in that situation.

Proud Foot

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Re: Mental Illness Debit Card
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2019, 11:25:08 AM »
It's not free but the Greenlight Card might be something that would work for this. You/they would then have to decide whether the $4.99 monthly fee is worth it or not.


  • Magnum Stache
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Re: Mental Illness Debit Card
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2019, 07:43:48 AM »
Posting to follow, as I have an extremely generous mother who cannot seem to get her charitable contributions under control.  we plan to put her on an allowance but want her to feel as if she has autonomy.  Hope to get some good ideas from this thread.


  • Magnum Stache
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Re: Mental Illness Debit Card
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2019, 10:00:32 PM »
What my uncles did was give my grandmother a credit card with a limit and they paid it off every month. Or you could have a debit card attached to an account that only gets a certain amount put in it each month.

It's tricky because banks and credit card companies want to make getting money really easy so they can charge interest. It might be hard to find a credit card that doesn't have a cash advance option. Maybe a secured credit card would work that the sister gets in her own name. It's a card for people who are building their credit so the limit is fairly low.
Maybe wire her cash once a month?


  • Walrus Stache
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Re: Mental Illness Debit Card
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2019, 08:55:12 AM »
It sounds like your sister, due to her mental illness (hopefully she's getting treatment?) isn't capable of responsible money management. If possible, automating bill payments and limiting the amount of cash/credit she has available might prevent the overspending. But realistically, that may not be possible without a guardianship or something.

Giving her money directly, in any form, may be enabling. And since there's kids involved, that just makes things harder. A more comprehensive solution may be needed.