Author Topic: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...  (Read 55104 times)

Kaikou

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So OP, have you said no to co-signing yet?  And have you taken your father off your credit card yet?
He said no to the cosign, but the guilting and I'm so disappointed in you and we'll talk more later started. Poor guy.

Where's the update?

Okay thank you.

http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/parents-just-asked-me-make-the-worst-financial-decision-please-help!/msg776702/#msg776702

Kaikou

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You don't have to "ask" your dad to get off your credit card it's not his decision, it's your card.  You can tell him, in a calm and kind manner, that you've reviewed things and you've removed him from the card, and you wish him every kind of luck going forward.

When people don't like the changes someone makes, they have a "Change back!" reaction it's a kind of emotional manipulation to try to get back to the old ways, the ways that were more advantageous to them and their (often dysfunctional) behavior.  That's completely standard.  When they see that you're serious, and that you're not angry or emotional, you're just determined and moving ahead, they'll calm down.  Right now they're just testing to see if they can manipulate you into continuing to play the game.  (The game right here seems to be "Buy into unwise financial decisions." Both your brother and your parents are heavily invested in this game.)  But you won't, end of story.  As the saying goes, "You don't have to show up at every argument you're invited to."  They'll try withholding affection, levying disapproval, various accusations of how you don't care and you're not supportive of the family.  That's all smoke and mirrors for "Buy into unwise financial decisions."  It's like a toddler screaming because he can't have ice cream for dinner.  All you have to do is hold fast and not let their emotionality make you emotional.  It will pass over.

agreed. You are being emotionally abused. Remove him from the card before you go into these "talks".

Kaikou

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OP - if there are any loans left that your parents co-signed, but you did not pay them off - get the info and pay them off. Given the financial situation they are in, that seems a morally right thing to do. Sure, you don't have to, but then again your Dad went bankrupt, but still he has to pay on the student loans, since they are not forgiven even in a bankruptcy.

If you sat down with your Dad and offered to pay your own student loans (the ones they co-signed on) - then, if he really felt the obligation to finance your brothers college tuition - he could do so. It is their decision, but you may want to ever so carefully point out why you think it is a bad idea.

You, however, say HELL NO, to co-signing for your brother! That is not your obligation. I get that he is family, but in this case your gut tells you NO and based on his past deeds - I would say it is in your best interest to say loud and clear - NO. He would destroy your plans and go partying - say NO.

yes if you have the means to pay, I would pay them myself. Use the next conversation to get everything straightened out - dad off card, student loan acct. payments, no to bro.

Kaikou

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You don't have to "ask" your dad to get off your credit card it's not his decision, it's your card.  You can tell him, in a calm and kind manner, that you've reviewed things and you've removed him from the card, and you wish him every kind of luck going forward.

When people don't like the changes someone makes, they have a "Change back!" reaction it's a kind of emotional manipulation to try to get back to the old ways, the ways that were more advantageous to them and their (often dysfunctional) behavior.  That's completely standard.  When they see that you're serious, and that you're not angry or emotional, you're just determined and moving ahead, they'll calm down.  Right now they're just testing to see if they can manipulate you into continuing to play the game.  (The game right here seems to be "Buy into unwise financial decisions." Both your brother and your parents are heavily invested in this game.)  But you won't, end of story.  As the saying goes, "You don't have to show up at every argument you're invited to."  They'll try withholding affection, levying disapproval, various accusations of how you don't care and you're not supportive of the family.  That's all smoke and mirrors for "Buy into unwise financial decisions."  It's like a toddler screaming because he can't have ice cream for dinner.  All you have to do is hold fast and not let their emotionality make you emotional.  It will pass over.
+1

OP, you don't need the credit card angst hanging over your head every month, wondering if/when your dad will pay. Removing him helps with boundaries. It's high time for your parent to figure out how to handle spending without your card.

My mother came to me in tears (21 years ago) because two of my sibs were on her card & not reimbursing her for their charges after they were no longer all living in the same house. She could barely afford the minimum payment & the debt was building. Yet she couldn't bring herself to drop them because "what if they had an emergency?" Looking back at all their charges showed absolutely no emergency & no consideration for poor dear mom. Oh, yes, my sibs were furious at both of us when told the bank of mom was closed, but they got over it.

Look for this book OP:

Boundaries: When to Say Yes, When to Say No to Take Control of Your Life
Book by Henry Cloud and John Townsend

frugaliknowit

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Absolutely NO.

If you are in a position to do so, offer some kind of match to what "skin he has in the game (not including loans)" upon successful completion (either by the course, or at the end).

GizmoTX

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If you are in a position to do so, offer some kind of match to what "skin he has in the game (not including loans)" upon successful completion (either by the course, or at the end).

No. I wouldn't do this. Your brother's education is not your problem or responsibility. You don't need any further entanglement.

What you may or may not owe your parents is an entirely different issue. Reimburse them if you want to, but do not tie any of it to funding a sibling. They can do that directly if that's what they want.

Jags4186

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I know this is easier said than done with family but here's my take:

1) Say no you're not cosigning (already done, well done).
2) Say you're not open to discussing it further and to stop asking you about it
3) Cancel your father's credit card.  You can e-mail him letting him know you are doing this
4) Say you're not open to discussing it further and to stop asking you about it

NumberJohnny5

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Do your parents know your brother didn't repay the $400 loan?

If not, then you can let it "slip" when they keep badgering you. Stick to the "no, no, no" spiel. Eventually you can blurt out "If he can't even pay me back the $400 he owes, why the &#*@ would I loan him tens of thousands?" This is basically what you'd be doing if you cosign. I wouldn't bring this up right away, show that you're trying to be reasonable and not wanting to hurt other people's feelings. Hey, if they drop it right away, that's exactly what you'd be doing, right?

If they already know, you can bring it up right away, calmly and rationally.

Do you want them to keep paying the loans that they said they would? Say something like "I understand you're having financial issues, I'll gladly repay the student loans you took out for me." Don't want them to keep paying? Find out the details of the loan (easy if they're in your name and parents cosigned, not so easy if they're in your parents' name) and just pay it off. I'd go for the latter option, even if you do this you'll still be obligated to them, but at least not as much (not legally obligated, or even morally perhaps, but obligated to them in THEIR mind).

The advice to have the brother come to you to ask about cosigning his loan is good, but might not be appropriate in your situation. I believe your parents took out loans to cover your expenses, and they're paying for them? They are expecting you to repay that "debt", so I think they are the ones you should be dealing with.

As for the credit card, definitely get your dad off your account ASAP. As in, before you even posted here. Go do that NOW. Next step is, how do you break the news?

You can simply tell him the hard truth. He'll probably be upset that you didn't at least talk to him first, that you're treating him like a child, etc.

You could bend the truth a bit. Call your credit card company and tell them you lost your card and need a new one re-issued. Tell them that you first want to remove your dad as an authorized user, THEN request a replacement card. If his card has the same number as yours, then the order really doesn't matter. If it's a different number, DEFINITELY cancel him as an authorized user, right away. Now call your dad, explain that you lost your card and are having a replacement sent. In light of recent events, you've decided to not have the credit card company send him a replacement as well. He'll still be upset, but maybe not as much? He thinks you didn't call the credit card company specifically to remove him. Rather, you were getting a replacement card anyway, and decided not to have his replaced too. Plus, it easily explains why it was cancelled before talking to him about it.

Personally, I'd go with the latter option in this case. While honesty is usually the best policy, sometimes "well, TECHNICALLY I was mostly honest..." may be an even better policy.

Faraday

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hey cashstasher....any update? You've gotten a zillion "TELL THEM NO" messages, but I'm interested in hearing what you think and what you feel you can do.
We are all rooting for you - this is serious stuff and we hope it works out so you can continue your journey to FIRE!

zolotiyeruki

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Do your parents know your brother didn't repay the $400 loan?

If not, then you can let it "slip" when they keep badgering you. Stick to the "no, no, no" spiel. Eventually you can blurt out "If he can't even pay me back the $400 he owes, why the &#*@ would I loan him tens of thousands?" This is basically what you'd be doing if you cosign. I wouldn't bring this up right away, show that you're trying to be reasonable and not wanting to hurt other people's feelings. Hey, if they drop it right away, that's exactly what you'd be doing, right?
The problem with this is that it opens the door to the parents paying back YB's $400 (possibly with a cash advance on the credit card), and then asking again about the cosign.

NoWorries

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I'd love to hear how your situation is going!

Some advice from someone over twice your age:

1. I am sorry that your parents put you in this situation. You are the only person in your family with good credit and they are trying to use your hard work and honesty for your brother, not caring how it might negatively impact you.
2. NO! Do not cosign for anyone. Your instincts are correct.
3. Tell your parents that you love them but that this makes you uncomfortable. That should be the end of it.
4. Stop sharing financial information with your family. They do not have the same values that you have about money. Definitely remove dad from your credit card.
5. Ask your parents why THEY asked you to cosign for your brother and your brother did not.

AlwaysLearningToSave

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Look for this book OP:

Boundaries: When to Say Yes, When to Say No to Take Control of Your Life
Book by Henry Cloud and John Townsend

^^^^^^^^^^^ Yes. Very good book that helped me a lot in working through my issues with my family's unfair pressure and unreasonable expectations. As I learned more from this book, I began to see other areas of my life that were affected by a lack of boundaries with family. I'm guessing you would have a similar experience and find that the issue prompting this post is the just the tip of the iceberg.

NumberJohnny5

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Do your parents know your brother didn't repay the $400 loan?

If not, then you can let it "slip" when they keep badgering you. Stick to the "no, no, no" spiel. Eventually you can blurt out "If he can't even pay me back the $400 he owes, why the &#*@ would I loan him tens of thousands?" This is basically what you'd be doing if you cosign. I wouldn't bring this up right away, show that you're trying to be reasonable and not wanting to hurt other people's feelings. Hey, if they drop it right away, that's exactly what you'd be doing, right?
The problem with this is that it opens the door to the parents paying back YB's $400 (possibly with a cash advance on the credit card), and then asking again about the cosign.

True, but you need to pull it off in a "I can't even trust him to pay back $400" instead of "sure, I'll loan you tens of thousands of dollars once someone gives me $400."

It's about the trust, not the money (ok, it's about the money too, just not the $400).

And it won't be possible for the dad to use the card for a cash advance BECAUSE THE CARD HAS ALREADY BEEN CANCELLED! Right OP? RIGHT???!!!
« Last Edit: August 23, 2015, 09:40:01 PM by NumberJohnny5 »

Goldielocks

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OP --  You brother WILL get another chance at college...

In a few years, he will age out of needing to have parent's income reported on the aid applications, and he WILL qualify for a lot more subsidized / unsubsidized student loans.     Enough that he can attend a local college to complete a degree, but not a fancy "all inclusive" aka "room and board paid" place.

Hopefully he will have saved up some money by then, too.

LeRainDrop

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cashstasherat23, you might want to remove your dad as an authorised user right now, before you talk to your parents again about the brother's proposed loans. There is a risk that your parents may decide that if you are not going to cosign the loans, they will just take a large cash advance on your credit card to finance your brother's education themselves. They may even rationalise it as merely doing what you should have done. I wouldn't take the risk. I would contact the credit card company this very moment and remove your dad now before he even get a chance to consider how he could use the card to help your brother.

I'm going to reiterate Cathy's advice here. Your parents are not behaving rationally in this matter. If they are sitting on such a big pile of cash, then why don't THEY loan your brother the money from their own retirement accounts? Oh, that's right, because that is a terrible idea! Just like asking your child to co-sign another child's student loan is a terrible idea. So, it makes me wonder what other irrational ideas or actions they will pursue . . .

You may think that your Dad (or Mom) would never do something like take a couple of $10K cash advances from your card (in this case for the "good reason" of helping your brother, of course) without asking or telling you about it, but I had a family member do exactly that to me once. Prior to it happening, I never would have thought the person would do something like that. Thankfully in my case the second cash advance attempt triggered an "usually high cash advances" request flag and they called me because it tripped a fraud-control wire in their computer system. I immediately closed the account on the phone as the caller recommended, but there was nothing they could do about the first $10K already advanced since the advance went to an authorized user, which they don't consider fraud. I had to get a lawyer involved to make the other person held responsible for paying that money back.

So, take your Dad off the card. Just tell him that you are taking him off so he doesn't get embarrassed by a declined card, and suggest that a prepaid card (like a Serve card or Target Redcard) is probably his best bet for places where he needs to use credit cards. He doesn't need to be "building back up his credit" while he is in bankruptcy. Probably plenty of companies will offer him cards either way once enough time has passed. He just wants the convenience of having a credit card, and he is taking advantage of your kindness in the process. It sounds to me like both your parents and brother need to be on "cash only" for awhile since they've proven they can't handle credit responsibly.

Oh, and I'll third (fourth? fifth?) that your "No" should from this day ever forward be "We've already discussed this and I'm not changing my answer. I'm not going to discuss it with you anymore. Thank you for your consideration." You are under absolutely no obligation to call them to discuss is further.

+ 1 million

LeRainDrop

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Look for this book OP:

Boundaries: When to Say Yes, When to Say No to Take Control of Your Life
Book by Henry Cloud and John Townsend

^^^^^^^^^^^ Yes. Very good book that helped me a lot in working through my issues with my family's unfair pressure and unreasonable expectations. As I learned more from this book, I began to see other areas of my life that were affected by a lack of boundaries with family. I'm guessing you would have a similar experience and find that the issue prompting this post is the just the tip of the iceberg.

Yes, this book is great!  My therapist recommended it to me when I was going through the issue of establishing appropriate boundaries with my parents.  Like your parents, OP, they honestly felt they had no other choice but to pressure me and youngest brother to bail out all the others in our family.  Another FANTASTIC book for life in general is The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck:  http://www.amazon.com/Road-Less-Traveled-Timeless-Edition/dp/0743243153

cashstasherat23

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Sorry all! Have had a busy weekend and meant to give an update, but just got around to it today when I got back to work (prime MMM forum time, of course!)

So I did say no to the cosign over the phone last week, but my mother was not very happy with that and said that we would talk later about it in more detail. That was Thursday night and haven't heard a peep from them at all since then. Have been on a weekend trip and hanging out with friends, so didn't feel like calling them and engaging in drama, but I intend on calling after work today to sort things out. It's strange that they would go for this long without talking to me, so I am sure that they are hurt and trying to figure things out, but at least they seem to have accepted my no. Or are plotting ways to convince me otherwise...

Also plan to discuss the credit card situation with them, figure out a way to get the remaining balance paid off, and get my father off the card. As for the student loans that they may or may not have taken out for me...that's another beast to tackle. I do regularly check my credit report, and the only loans on there are the ones that I have in my name, so have no idea how much my parents have taken out. I'm not really in a position right now to pay back the loans that I have AND the ones that they have, but in the next year or so I should be and can work something out with them, once the $16K that I have left is taken care of.

Will keep you all updated on the situation as it continues to unravel...

Really appreciate all of the advice!
« Last Edit: August 24, 2015, 10:08:48 AM by cashstasherat23 »

GizmoTX

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Excellent -- silence is good. How much is your credit card balance? Is this yours or dad's? Any balance is your first priority!

Before you start asking about loans your parents took out for your education, I suggest you come up with an estimate of the total your degree cost before loans if you haven't already done this. Pull the records of tuition, fees, & any R&B expenses paid to your university(s) that would qualify for loans. Most have this online, although you may have to contact them if you no longer can access this. Separately, add the principal amount of your loans when you graduated plus any grants or scholarships you received or direct payments you made (not loan payments), & subtract this total from your total education cost. The difference is what your parents paid or took out loans for. You may have to adjust this if expenses for textbooks or travel were significant. Now you are armed for any decision or discussion about what you owe your parents for your education, & what & when you decide to do anything about it.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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You don't need to discuss this with them further. You're letting them frame the conversation. Cancel your father's card immediately and inform him politely of your decision.

cashstasherat23

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Excellent -- silence is good. How much is your credit card balance? Is this yours or dad's? Any balance is your first priority!

Before you start asking about loans your parents took out for your education, I suggest you come up with an estimate of the total your degree cost before loans if you haven't already done this. Pull the records of tuition, fees, & any R&B expenses paid to your university(s) that would qualify for loans. Most have this online, although you may have to contact them if you no longer can access this. Separately, add the principal amount of your loans when you graduated plus any grants or scholarships you received or direct payments you made (not loan payments), & subtract this total from your total education cost. The difference is what your parents paid or took out loans for. You may have to adjust this if expenses for textbooks or travel were significant. Now you are armed for any decision or discussion about what you owe your parents for your education, & what & when you decide to do anything about it.

The balance is about $2K...all his. I pay off my portion of the card each month, and it's never more than a couple hundred dollars for gas/groceries/occasional eating out. He pays in segments of $500 or $1,000, all depending on "when mom gets paid," and what other bills he has due.

partgypsy

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Don't make it adversarial if it doesn't need to be. Let him know you are streamlining your life and so you are closing that card. Anything left on the card you will send him the bill. Why add drama?

I would also wait until you finish paying off student debt in your name before even broaching the topic of paying off your other share. Wait until you are out of debt and then decide what you are going to do. I also agree with doing research about estimating what is the possible amount they may have taken on. Usually the college sends financial aid letters, detailing the full price, internal scholarships/grants. See if you can get a record of those for every year. 

Mr FrugalNL

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You don't need to discuss this with them further. You're letting them frame the conversation. Cancel your father's card immediately and inform him politely of your decision.

Agreed. If people want something from you, let them come to you; don't come to them. When on the street, you don't actively seek out beggars to tell them you have no change to spare, do you? You save that line for when one approaches you and asks for some change.

GizmoTX

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How much is your credit card balance? Is this yours or dad's? Any balance is your first priority!

The balance is about $2K...all his. I pay off my portion of the card each month, and it's never more than a couple hundred dollars for gas/groceries/occasional eating out. He pays in segments of $500 or $1,000, all depending on "when mom gets paid," and what other bills he has due.

Wow. This is such a red danger flag. If he can't pay in full every month, he has no business using a credit card, especially yours. Some people think that carrying a balance builds credit, but it doesn't -- a history of on time payments & low utilization does that. What is the credit limit on your card?

Unfortunately, he's become dependent upon the card to defer paying more than one month out. You really need to limit your risk & get him off your card.


cashstasherat23

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How much is your credit card balance? Is this yours or dad's? Any balance is your first priority!

The balance is about $2K...all his. I pay off my portion of the card each month, and it's never more than a couple hundred dollars for gas/groceries/occasional eating out. He pays in segments of $500 or $1,000, all depending on "when mom gets paid," and what other bills he has due.

Wow. This is such a red danger flag. If he can't pay in full every month, he has no business using a credit card, especially yours. Some people think that carrying a balance builds credit, but it doesn't -- a history of on time payments & low utilization does that. What is the credit limit on your card?

Unfortunately, he's become dependent upon the card to defer paying more than one month out. You really need to limit your risk & get him off your card.

I know...it's awful, especially because I am so vigilant about paying off my own charges in full each month!! I did feel very guilty before about saying no to him or having him removed from the card, but am determined to stop letting this continue.

GizmoTX

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How on earth could/can you feel guilty about someone else's spending? It's the here & now that is hurting your parents, not the money they spent on your university or your sibs'. If it did get them into trouble, you didn't make that decision. The point is, since their income has decreased & their credit is gone, they have to be frugal, not continue with their old spending habits. Ironically, your credit card is helping to enable this. They're still doing it by expecting you to provide the easy way out rather than insisting that your younger brother pay his own way. Yes, you have a degree & he doesn't, but he has only himself to blame for that.

If you get called ungrateful or worse for stopping the card, then know that deep down they expected you to carry them, while bribing you with cash & gifts they cannot afford.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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How much is your credit card balance? Is this yours or dad's? Any balance is your first priority!

The balance is about $2K...all his. I pay off my portion of the card each month, and it's never more than a couple hundred dollars for gas/groceries/occasional eating out. He pays in segments of $500 or $1,000, all depending on "when mom gets paid," and what other bills he has due.

Wow. This is such a red danger flag. If he can't pay in full every month, he has no business using a credit card, especially yours. Some people think that carrying a balance builds credit, but it doesn't -- a history of on time payments & low utilization does that. What is the credit limit on your card?

Unfortunately, he's become dependent upon the card to defer paying more than one month out. You really need to limit your risk & get him off your card.

I know...it's awful, especially because I am so vigilant about paying off my own charges in full each month!! I did feel very guilty before about saying no to him or having him removed from the card, but am determined to stop letting this continue.

It's business hours right now. It will take you 20 minutes. Get it done now and we will have a thread full of congratulations GIFs for you on your triumphant return.

purplearcanist

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One of the things that my older, wise roommate said is that the way to beat manipulation is with directness.  Make of that what you will.
Also, I need to start posting more, there is much here to learn.

iknowiyam

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If you can't get your dad off the card I would at least lower the limit on it - $1000 is plenty of room for transactions and to rebuild his credit. In Canada here, supplemental cards don't even build the second persons credit - they only hit your report not dads. Maybe double check that.

And NO do not cosign for bro.

And can you work to pay out loans your parents had for your school? If you can even determine the amount of yours vs theirs?

What a mess.

Definitely intend to ask them about it. It's weird because I think some of my other brothers loans are all included in the payments as well, but will have to figure it out. They've never told me how much they have in loans, just that they'll be "paying these off for the rest of our lives!" I went to a state school, so don't think it's that much, especially with the $30K that I took on, but know it's the right thing to do to get that settled with them.

Not an expert, but I believe it does help the second person in the US - at least it used to. My credit history goes back to age 12 because I was an authorized user on a parent's card (didn't actually have a card in my hand until 15 or 16).

partgypsy

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You can close the card. And typically what it means you can no longer charge new stuff off, but (obviously) need to pay back the balance (I don't remember what time period). Call now.

Greg

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I'm pretty sure you can close the card but still have time to pay it off.  Worth checking.  Not sure if that would help your dad or not, or if it's worth the risk.

GizmoTX

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Don't close the card! Just remove your dad as an authorized user. This is assuming that you added him as an authorized user.

If he is joint on the card, that's different -- the lender may not let you drop him because both of you agreed to be responsible for the debt & he doesn't qualify on his own. In this case, first open a new card in your name only. If you choose the same bank, make sure there will be no transferability of charges from the first card (confirm this). You may want a different card product/bank just to be sure. Then absolutely close the joint card, but the lender may require you to first pay off the outstanding balance in full. If this is the case, do it! You can still collect it from your dad or consider it part payment for your university.

MarciaB

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You probably already know this, but going forward you are going to need to practice "stealth wealth" (do a search for this on these forums if you're not familiar with the term). Your family should not be aware of your growing financial independence, nor should they be aware that you've got a big stash, don't have to work when you're FIRE, etc. You'll have no end of requests, complaints, threats, and whatnot if they know you've got resources. They will never leave you alone and perpetually try to make you feel guilty for not bailing them out at every turn.

Faraday

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You probably already know this, but going forward you are going to need to practice "stealth wealth" (do a search for this on these forums if you're not familiar with the term). Your family should not be aware of your growing financial independence, nor should they be aware that you've got a big stash, don't have to work when you're FIRE, etc. You'll have no end of requests, complaints, threats, and whatnot if they know you've got resources. They will never leave you alone and perpetually try to make you feel guilty for not bailing them out at every turn.

+1 to MarciaB's comments. There are other threads where mustachians have had to deal with this in real time. The only thing worse than being ridiculed for being frugal is when they find out you have a stash and think it's free cash they should have access to.

My family doesn't know my stash. I'm not so much hiding it from them (I would tell them if I thought they were asking in order to become frugal for themselves.) but I know for sure they aren't going to conceive of it and think to ask.

I hope, in time, to become even more frugal and appear to be even poorer than I currently appear!

NumberJohnny5

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I know...it's awful, especially because I am so vigilant about paying off my own charges in full each month!! I did feel very guilty before about saying no to him or having him removed from the card, but am determined to stop letting this continue.

Based on that, I'm assuming you've already called to cancel his card.

NZBubble

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I know it will be money out of your pocket, but have you thought about essentially giving the gift of their unpaid balance to your parents as a justification for cancelling the other card?

I think it would mitigate the guilt you feel, and if they are overextending themselves by carrying debt on a card, this gives them a Get Out of Jail Free card so they *should*'be able to cover their expenses fully with no card payment to make going forward.

It's a bit like forgiving the debt to a borrower who has to be chased for repayment. It's mentally freeing, it gives you the ability to draw a line in the sand and say no more.

Kaikou

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Sorry all! Have had a busy weekend and meant to give an update, but just got around to it today when I got back to work (prime MMM forum time, of course!)

So I did say no to the cosign over the phone last week, but my mother was not very happy with that and said that we would talk later about it in more detail. That was Thursday night and haven't heard a peep from them at all since then. Have been on a weekend trip and hanging out with friends, so didn't feel like calling them and engaging in drama, but I intend on calling after work today to sort things out. It's strange that they would go for this long without talking to me, so I am sure that they are hurt and trying to figure things out, but at least they seem to have accepted my no. Or are plotting ways to convince me otherwise...

Also plan to discuss the credit card situation with them, figure out a way to get the remaining balance paid off, and get my father off the card. As for the student loans that they may or may not have taken out for me...that's another beast to tackle. I do regularly check my credit report, and the only loans on there are the ones that I have in my name, so have no idea how much my parents have taken out. I'm not really in a position right now to pay back the loans that I have AND the ones that they have, but in the next year or so I should be and can work something out with them, once the $16K that I have left is taken care of.

Will keep you all updated on the situation as it continues to unravel...

Really appreciate all of the advice!

Okay can you put Update in the title when you come back? It makes for smoother reading as we still have people who want to make sure you stop making less than smart decisions. If not oh well.

I think we already told you how to get your dad off the card, lol.

As for the student loans, obviously they were taken out by your parents wanting to pay for your college and you are under no obligation to pay them back. That being said...Don't you feel obligated to pay them back. From the response here, I would say no. Seems like you are ducking and dodging. I just think of the character you want for yourself and the change in family dynamic you are seeking. It's not just words, its actions. But people have different morals, I guess.

AGAIN I KNOW YOU HAVE NO OBLIGATION, but that is even more the reason to do it.

And what are all these trips and vacations about OP? Not to knock your lifestyle, sounds nice.

Kaikou

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You don't need to discuss this with them further. You're letting them frame the conversation. Cancel your father's card immediately and inform him politely of your decision.

Agreed. If people want something from you, let them come to you; don't come to them. When on the street, you don't actively seek out beggars to tell them you have no change to spare, do you? You save that line for when one approaches you and asks for some change.

Right or +1. OP be an authority over your life. Make a decision WITHOUT THEM. Make a decision if you want to help to pay the loans they took out.

Bob W

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You did the right thing by saying no.   Your parents want all their kids to be smart with money.   You are the success. 

Find some good credit repair books and send to brother.

By the way --- You know someone can be an authorized user and not actually have a card don't you?   I mean you could add your brother as an authorized and he wouldn't even need a card.

I just cosigned a loan for my daughter because I love her.   I am fully aware I may end up paying the whole debt but my name is on the car as well.  She is good for it and works hard.  so I'm good with that.   Would I sign a student loan for her.   Hell no!

dpfromva

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Any request to co-sign -- get out your Monty Python coconuts and run away! My kid wanted to live in New York City after college. Asked me to co-sign on an apartment for her and another student. Honey, I can't do it, I said. Mom, she said, you can't get an apartment without x income or a co-signer. Sorry, honey, I can't do it. Within 2 weeks, she was renting half of someone's living room in West Harlem and living in NYC -- because she really wanted to be there, she made it happen. How's that for a life skill and confidence-building experience? I did help her buy some folding screens to put around her bed (smile).

LeRainDrop

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How much is your credit card balance? Is this yours or dad's? Any balance is your first priority!

The balance is about $2K...all his. I pay off my portion of the card each month, and it's never more than a couple hundred dollars for gas/groceries/occasional eating out. He pays in segments of $500 or $1,000, all depending on "when mom gets paid," and what other bills he has due.

Wow. This is such a red danger flag. If he can't pay in full every month, he has no business using a credit card, especially yours. Some people think that carrying a balance builds credit, but it doesn't -- a history of on time payments & low utilization does that. What is the credit limit on your card?

Unfortunately, he's become dependent upon the card to defer paying more than one month out. You really need to limit your risk & get him off your card.

I know...it's awful, especially because I am so vigilant about paying off my own charges in full each month!! I did feel very guilty before about saying no to him or having him removed from the card, but am determined to stop letting this continue.

Wait -- your dad is carrying a BALANCE on your card???  Hell no!!!  If he can't get a card on his own, it's because people/banks more sophisticated than you or I have determined him to be too much of a credit risk.  You shouldn't stick your neck out for that person.  The fact that he's not even paying it off in full every month shows a lack of responsibility on his part, plus a lack of respect for your financial well-being (leaving aside the egregious request for you to co-sign your brother's student loans).  You've got to move past your feelings of guilt for putting up appropriate boundaries with family -- this is for your own well-being.

mtn

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Any request to co-sign -- get out your Monty Python coconuts and run away! My kid wanted to live in New York City after college. Asked me to co-sign on an apartment for her and another student. Honey, I can't do it, I said. Mom, she said, you can't get an apartment without x income or a co-signer. Sorry, honey, I can't do it. Within 2 weeks, she was renting half of someone's living room in West Harlem and living in NYC -- because she really wanted to be there, she made it happen. How's that for a life skill and confidence-building experience? I did help her buy some folding screens to put around her bed (smile).

I wouldn't be so cut and dry with it. I was close to having my dad co-sign with me, because I did what I thought was the smart thing and never had a credit card. So I had a rude awakening when I tried to get a credit card.

I think that if the situation ever presents itself, I may someday incorporate an LLC for my kids to pay rent to, even if they're living in my house. I may even pay the rent for them, but this past experience of getting an apartment without a roommate was harrowing. Even when I offered to pay 3 months up front they shied away.

Kaikou

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no resolution from OP?

cashstasherat23

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Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
« Reply #192 on: September 01, 2015, 09:24:44 AM »
For all inquiring minds...I just posted an update in the OP!

2ndTimer

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Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
« Reply #193 on: September 01, 2015, 09:40:27 AM »
Based on the experience you describe, I would strongly recommend that you keep your saving plans VERY quiet.  It is clear that there are people in your family who will regard anything you have as a target and will not take rejection well.  Much better if they don't know what you have.

MissStache

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Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
« Reply #194 on: September 01, 2015, 09:41:48 AM »
Good on you, OP!   I know it is so easy for us to be like "just say no!" but in reality it is so much harder than that.  You've taken a huge step and this stranger on the interwebs is cheering for you!

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
« Reply #195 on: September 01, 2015, 09:42:44 AM »
And you de-authorized his card immediately, right? RIGHT?

cashstasherat23

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Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
« Reply #196 on: September 01, 2015, 09:49:30 AM »
Good on you, OP!   I know it is so easy for us to be like "just say no!" but in reality it is so much harder than that.  You've taken a huge step and this stranger on the interwebs is cheering for you!

It was extremely hard, and I am half wishing that I could hit undo and bring back the email, but could not have done it without the encouragement of everyone on the forum! In my heart I know it's the right thing to do for myself, but the guilt right now is overwhelming. Happy to have support, even if it's from strangers on the interwebs!

Kaspian

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Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
« Reply #197 on: September 01, 2015, 09:53:48 AM »
Good on you, OP!   I know it is so easy for us to be like "just say no!" but in reality it is so much harder than that.  You've taken a huge step and this stranger on the interwebs is cheering for you!

It was extremely hard, and I am half wishing that I could hit undo and bring back the email, but could not have done it without the encouragement of everyone on the forum! In my heart I know it's the right thing to do for myself, but the guilt right now is overwhelming. Happy to have support, even if it's from strangers on the interwebs!

Yeah, it must be totally weird having strangers tell you that you did the "right thing" while your family disagrees.  But you did the right thing!  :)

CheapskateWife

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Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
« Reply #198 on: September 01, 2015, 09:55:04 AM »
You'll all be happy to know that as intended, I also offered to pay for the student loans that they took out in my name, as well as to remove myself from the family cell phone plan, rather than pay them the money for my portion every month as I've been doing, as I really would like to be fully responsible for myself financially. I also told them that I appreciate everything they have done for me thus far and don't want them to think for a second that I don't, but this is a completely different situation that I don't want to be a part of anymore.

You done good OP, and I think it sends a more consistent message to just take care of these debts on your own behalf rather than asking their permission to be financially independent.

Step one:  Don't ask them to remove you from the family plan...do it your damn self.  Get on the internets right now, start up a Ting account and transfer your number now.  It takes at most 24 hours; mine took 15 minutes.  Then you are free and financially responsible for yourself, and you tell mom and dad that you are off the plan.  Done!

Step two:  Identify any other places in your life that mom and dad are subsidizing you and shut it down.  Car insurance?  Get your own!  Student loans taken out to benefit you?  I've never known a company that wouldn't accept a payment against an account even if it doesn't come from the name on the loan.  Do it!  Surely you can find the company name and account number.  Give them a call and make payment arrangements. 

Step three:  Have you shut down that credit card yet?  Sheesh!  It doesn't matter that Dad's feelings are hurt...he is hurting your credit!  His feelings are his responsibility...your life is yours.

Psychstache

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Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
« Reply #199 on: September 01, 2015, 10:12:12 AM »
I am concerned about your parents 'finding another way' but not talking about it. Might want to watch your credit reports like a hawk just in case they go to an extreme like taking out a loan in your name without your knowledge.