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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: cashstasherat23 on August 20, 2015, 06:58:52 AM

Title: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: cashstasherat23 on August 20, 2015, 06:58:52 AM
Could really use some mustachian advice on what to do here!

The situation: woke up to a text this morning asking if I would consider co-signing for my brothers student loans. Cue instant sick feeling, and immediate NO reaction.

Out of my entire family, I am the most financially responsible. Two years out of college, will pay off the last of my $30k in student loans this year, and then planned to shift gears and skyrocket my savings for a retirement in my mid-20s.

My parents: used to be upper middle class, dad lost his job, mom still had hers. Continued to live UMC lifestyle, tried to open a business that went out of business, declared bankruptcy. They have cooled down a lot on spending, but still live pretty extravagantly in my eyes. I have made my dad an authorized user on my credit card to help build credit, and so far has been ok. He always pays, although often not the full payment. Any interest he accrues, he also pays. I don't love the situation, but trust my dad wouldn't leave me with the bill.

My brother: alright kid, but completely and totally irresponsible. He was going to school to be an engineer, failed out due to too much partying and going to see his gf, went to community college for a year, and is now trying to go back to another university. He has a part time job, but spends all the money he makes on alcohol and going out to eat with his girlfriend. He's also dishonest, and has stolen $400 from me recently. He also has screwed my other brother over with not paying him for things he promised he would pay for, leaving my other brother stuck with the bill.

I have yet to talk to my parents, as they asked late last night and I was asleep, but know that they will promise that if he doesn't pay, they will pay. I feel more comfortable with that, but what if something happens to them?

I know that my brother is not the type to pay off his loans quickly, like I have. If I sign for this, I feel like I'll have it hanging over my head for the next 30 years, or more, in a best case scenario where he actually pays. Then, what if he moves away, or just decides to stop paying?

In my gut I know it's the worst decision I could make, but also feel incredibly put on the spot and uncomfortable. How can I say no...its family!

Are there any suggestions I could give my family to help them figure out how to pay for his school, without me having to put my name on this train wreck?


UPDATE: I told my parents no, they did not react well but have not asked me since. Will be calling them again to discuss the situation with the credit cards, and get my father off the card, but so far it seems like all is quiet and they have accepted my decision to not co-sign.  Thanks for the great advice.

UPDATE 2: Had another awkward conversation with my mother a few days after that first call, and it seemed like although I had told her no, she was determined to get those loans one way or another. I was actually nervous, because I although I didn't think she would go behind my back, I knew she knew my social security number, and the thought crossed my mind that she might do it anyway. However, I talked with them again last night and it seems that they've figured out another way to help my brother, although they haven't said what that is. Also on the phone call last night I finally brought up with my father that I'd like for him to stop using my cards. He joked around about it, and asked me what the big deal was because he was helping my credit score (which I know is not true), but I could also tell that he was hurt. That was confirmed this morning, when my mom texted me to tell me that he was very hurt, and to ask me what happened, what brought this on, etc... and also mentioned that they have always supported me.

I didn't want to discuss via text message, but have a hard time standing up to them on the phone and always cave in, so I just finished penning a very long email to explain to them where I'm coming from, and why I don't want to do this anymore. I just hit send, and actually feel very nervous and sick to my stomach, as I feel like a traitor to the family and am worried that they will not understand, but I hope that they understand where I'm coming from. I guess that this would have had to happen eventually, so it's better that I do this sooner rather than later, but it's an awful feeling!

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.

I hope that they understand, and that this doesn't cause a huge rift in my family. Very nervous, but hoping that this is the right thing to do. Thanks for all of your input, MMM friends!
Title: Re: Parents just asked me make the worst financial decision, please help!
Post by: Kris on August 20, 2015, 07:05:56 AM
Quite honestly, I would give them all the reasons you wrote. Just the fact that he stole from you is reason enough. But all of these very clear signs of irresponsibility, plus the fact that he has not shown any effort to reform himself, plus the fact that he wasn't enough of a grown-up to ask you himself, but that your parents had to do it... All signs point to him not being mature enough to use the loan responsibly and take college seriously, much less pay it back.

To do this, I would say, would border on enabling behavior.  Your brother isn't yet adult enough to succeed. When he is, he will figure out how to do this on his own.
Title: Re: Parents just asked me make the worst financial decision, please help!
Post by: AlwaysLearningToSave on August 20, 2015, 07:22:18 AM
Just say no.  And don't try to explain yourself or give justifications, because then you will get into a never-ending discussion of why you should or should not do so and you will likely never be able to convince them that your reasons are correct.  They will try to play the family card and twist your arm into doing it even though you know doing so is a potentially terrible financial decision.

A question I have is why does he need a co-signor for student loans?  Doesn't he have access to federal student loans without the requirement of a co-signor?  The fact they are looking for a co-signor suggests to me that they are looking at private student loans, which makes me think that perhaps these loans would be over and above the federal student loans available, which makes me feel even stronger that you should run, not walk, away from this.

The one justification I can think of that your family might understand is that you don't ever want to be in the position of being a creditor of your brother because it would strain the family relationship.  Consigning the loans would potentially place you in the position of being a creditor of your brother if you ever had to make good on the loans.  Therefore, you won't cosign.  But again, you don't need to explain your decision.  Just say no.
Title: Re: Parents just asked me make the worst financial decision, please help!
Post by: MissStache on August 20, 2015, 07:29:41 AM
Gads, what an awful situation!  Can't believe your parents even asked you to do that.

I know when I'm faced with an emotional and awkward situation like this, I'm way better in writing than in person, because I get cry-y and off track.  Could you write an email similar to this post, outlining the reasons why you don't want to do it?  I'd start the email with an emphatic no and end with an emphatic no, just to be clear where your position is.

Good luck!  And stay strong! 
Title: Re: Parents just asked me make the worst financial decision, please help!
Post by: rubybeth on August 20, 2015, 07:30:21 AM
I would say no, absolutely not; he should be able to go to school on whatever the minimum subsidized loans are he can qualify for. If that means going to community college or state school and living at home or with lots of roommates and working while in school, so be it. It sounds like he needs to learn some responsibility anyway, so doing these things would be a step in the right direction. If he won't do these things, maybe he shouldn't be going to college yet.

I have a cousin doing just what I described above, so I know it's do-able--she's working a full time retail job and getting as much overtime as she can this summer, living with parents, and will be able to afford most of her tuition for the next year at the nearby university. She's also going to continue working part-time once school begins, and her parents are maybe going to kick in about $1,000 to help her out, if needed. Tuition is running about $8,000 a year for off campus residents taking 15 credits each semester, plus books.
Title: Re: Parents just asked me make the worst financial decision, please help!
Post by: Erica/NWEdible on August 20, 2015, 07:34:20 AM
No! No! No! No! No!

My mom used to tell me to "listen to my little voice" when making a decision. Your little voice is clearly screaming at you that this is a terrible idea.

Just tell your parents you aren't comfortable legally binding your finances to your brothers. Stay strong. Do not waver. Do not compromise. Do not feel guilty about it.

Good luck, man.
Title: Re: Parents just asked me make the worst financial decision, please help!
Post by: Another Reader on August 20, 2015, 07:37:16 AM
Your parents have enabled this brother's irresponsibility all his life.  Now they want you to take over the enabling.  The answer is no.  You need to protect yourself and no guilt is warranted here.
Title: Re: Parents just asked me make the worst financial decision, please help!
Post by: mtn on August 20, 2015, 07:37:51 AM
Just tell them No. If they ask why not, tell them you're not in a position to do that. If they disagree, tell them all the reasons why you're in a position not to do that.
Title: Re: Parents just asked me make the worst financial decision, please help!
Post by: GizmoTX on August 20, 2015, 07:40:16 AM
You say (hell) no, period. And advise the rest of your family to do the same.  Your brother had his chance at college & he blew it. He alone is responsible for funding the rest of his life, with or without college. He is already showing what his priorities are. People do manage to get an education without student loans -- it's time your brother figures this out for himself. He needs his skin in the game, not yours.

I would be put off if my parents expected me to take on the liability for a sibling's bad choices. You are correct in assuming that you would likely be making the payments. Don't do it, even if your family threatens to be mad at you.
Title: Re: Parents just asked me make the worst financial decision, please help!
Post by: bsmith on August 20, 2015, 07:45:51 AM
Do not do this. No. NO.
Title: Re: Parents just asked me make the worst financial decision, please help!
Post by: little_brown_dog on August 20, 2015, 07:46:52 AM
“I’m really sorry but I’m still paying off my own student loans. I really can’t take on any more debt.”

What reasonable parent would disagree?
Title: Re: Parents just asked me make the worst financial decision, please help!
Post by: Basenji on August 20, 2015, 07:51:55 AM
No fucking way. And don't get into reasons, you don't want that debate. Just say you are regretfully unable to. Even bringing up the stealing is bad juju. So sorry you have to deal with this.
Title: Re: Parents just asked me make the worst financial decision, please help!
Post by: AlwaysLearningToSave on August 20, 2015, 08:01:13 AM
“I’m really sorry but I’m still paying off my own student loans. I really can’t take on any more debt.”

What reasonable parent would disagree?

I agree that no reasonable parent would disagree.  But the fact they have already asked shows that OP's parents are NOT reasonable.  Therefore, OP should not try to reason with them.  Just say no.  Don't explain.  Just say no. 
Title: Re: Parents just asked me make the worst financial decision, please help!
Post by: cashstasherat23 on August 20, 2015, 08:14:44 AM
Thanks for the emphatic no's everyone!

They do enable this brother, and he did have the same chances that we other two siblings had in the beginning with college, and he messed them up. Since he failed out the first time, he's been living at home while going to CC, but not saving, and rather spending like crazy. They even still give him money for gas and to take his girlfriend out for dinner, and he's 21! He is the baby of the family and everyone treats him as so, but I CANNOT do this and have him ruin my finances. I 100% agree it's time for him to grow up and start handling his own problems.

I do feel bad because I have talked money with my parents quite a bit...they know that I am rapidly paying off my loans and starting to invest heavily, but that I am very frugal and responsible even though I have money. I regret telling them so much about my strong financial situation, but they are the ones I go to for advice, and normally they are very reasonable and helpful. They also co-signed for my loans when I was starting school, but I feel like that was a very different situation. I am really mad at them for putting me in this position, but hopefully they will understand.
Title: Re: Parents just asked me make the worst financial decision, please help!
Post by: Jack on August 20, 2015, 08:17:43 AM
I'm kind of a jerk, so I would respond by meme:

(http://i3.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/newsfeed/000/727/909/f8d.jpg)
 (http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/nope)
Title: Re: Parents just asked me make the worst financial decision, please help!
Post by: fitfrugalfab on August 20, 2015, 08:21:46 AM
I'm sorry you are put in this position. I come from a family in which it is unspoken that everyone has to take care of each other fiscally, which my DH and I don't agree with (long story, won't bother getting into it).

I would simply say "I don't have the means to leverage myself to help him right now. I really hope it works out but I simply can't afford to help him." Hopefully your family doesn't know enough about your finances to call you out on this. If your family digs for details, simply say you're uncomfortable talking about it. It might be awkward with your family for a bit, but hopefully the situation ends there and is never brought up again.

 I understand what it's like to be fiscally responsible and others aren't, and because of it you feel this weird burden that shouldn't have been placed on you in the first place. You're essentially getting punished because you made sacrifices to be in the position where you are in while others decided just to spend when they shouldn't have been.

If you give in to co-signing with your bother, I guarantee it won't stop there. I've seen it first hand. It will probably snow ball with homes, cars, his kids college, et. all because you said yes one time. I know he's your family but this is a position where you need to think about number one: yourself. It wasn't your decision for your brother to go to college so why do you need to foot the bill?

I know I may sound harsh but I emphasize so much with your situation and unfortunately, tough love is the only way out of this one.
Title: Re: Parents just asked me make the worst financial decision, please help!
Post by: fb132 on August 20, 2015, 08:21:56 AM

I do feel bad because I have talked money with my parents quite a bit...they know that I am rapidly paying off my loans and starting to invest heavily, but that I am very frugal and responsible even though I have money. I regret telling them so much about my strong financial situation, but they are the ones I go to for advice, and normally they are very reasonable and helpful. They also co-signed for my loans when I was starting school, but I feel like that was a very different situation. I am really mad at them for putting me in this position, but hopefully they will understand.

THEY decided to co-sign for your loans, your brothers are not your kids, it is not your responsibility to take care of your brothers. You can offer them advice if they wish, but they are adults and shouldn't be sucking your blood dry. If you co-sign, you will be paying those loans and whatever dreams you have with your money will be delayed big time.

i do understand your situation, my family is the samething, they suck with money and they usually come after me. I don't mind helping out my parents, but the rest of my family (like my cousins), I refuse to help them out. I am not their banker.
Title: Re: Parents just asked me make the worst financial decision, please help!
Post by: I'm a red panda on August 20, 2015, 08:36:59 AM
No. No. Absolutely not. No.

I would never cosign for anyone for anything.  Honestly, parents shouldn't really even cosign for loans for their kids, unless they just intended to take the loan out themselves.

Just say no.

Strong financial situation or not, you likely do not have the money to pay for someone else to go to college. And that is exactly what you will be doing by cosigning his loans.  You say you have your own loans! Clearly, you don't have millions just sitting around.


Normally, I would say maybe there is something else you could do (like offer a rent free room if you are near the school?) but the brother you described, I don't think I'd do that either.
Title: Re: Parents asked me make the worst financial decision I can imagine, please help!
Post by: Tbill on August 20, 2015, 08:44:43 AM
Say No and feel great about it. I have a brother with a similar reputation and I have had to tell him no, but I dont regret it and life moves on. I feel he respects me more because he knows he cant steam roll me like he does other people.
Title: Re: Parents asked me make the worst financial decision I can imagine, please help!
Post by: ShoulderThingThatGoesUp on August 20, 2015, 08:47:21 AM
No, and the next time you ask, I am mailing you a box of warm raw chicken.

That last part might be a felony, I think I saw something on @CrimeADay about that. But seriously. No.
Title: Re: Parents asked me make the worst financial decision I can imagine, please help!
Post by: cashstasherat23 on August 20, 2015, 08:47:58 AM
Say No and feel great about it. I have a brother with a similar reputation and I have had to tell him no, but I dont regret it and life moves on. I feel he respects me more because he knows he cant steam roll me like he does other people.

Yeah well, that's the other thing that make me think 100% no. He used to be a great kid, but has turned into kind of an asshole in the past few years, and only thinks of himself and his girlfriend, and partying with his friends. He has not asked me for it himself, and he has done similar things in the past, where if he wants something from me, he'll have my mom call.  I wouldn't feel comfortable lending him $50 and expecting to see it back, let alone tens of thousands.
Title: Re: Parents just asked me make the worst financial decision, please help!
Post by: GizmoTX on August 20, 2015, 08:48:30 AM
OP, mixed in with this is your challenge to change your child-parent relationship to an adult-adult one. The responsible child wants to please parents, but this dynamic has to change for you to become an autonomous adult. I am not saying abandon your relatives, but don't let them pull a guilt trip on you either. Your role now is to create your own family of loved ones & friends.

It sounds as if your parents believe that your brother will only move out on his own when he has a college degree and/or that it's their obligation to provide him with one, including making you part of the means. You already know they should be charging him rent, not funding his playtime. Their decisions, & it's not helping your brother. Your parents are already anticipating your brother not paying you when they promise to pay if/when that happens, when they already piggyback on your credit card. That should stop too, BTW.



Title: Re: Parents just asked me make the worst financial decision, please help!
Post by: GoodStash BadStache on August 20, 2015, 08:50:44 AM
I predict it would be a personal/family disaster to cosign for a loan like that, not necessarily a financial disaster for you if you're fiscally responsible.  People with differing values regarding money who have a personal relationship as well should never be financially linked in the way you would if you cosign the loan.

Even if he graduates and he keeps making the student loan payments you'd probably view his poor money management even more critically, through the lens of your financial values.  When he buys a loaded SUV, when he goes on a two week vacation, when he buys a round of drinks at the bar, you can start to see it as your money that he's spending and either resent it or try to impose your values.  In a worst-case scenario it could even become a point of leverage for him to get more money out of you (i.e. if you can't loan me that couple hundred I know you're on the hook for 5k, 10k, whatever the amount is).

If you feel like you need to give your parents a reason, I'd sell it as caring enough about your brother to not want to destroy your relationship over money.  If he did in fact literally steal $400 from you, I can't see how your parents would even ask you to consider cosigning for him.
Title: Re: Parents just asked me make the worst financial decision, please help!
Post by: cashstasherat23 on August 20, 2015, 08:51:44 AM
OP, mixed in with this is your challenge to change your child-parent relationship to an adult-adult one. The responsible child wants to please parents, but this dynamic has to change for you to become an autonomous adult. I am not saying abandon your relatives, but don't let them pull a guilt trip on you either. Your role now is to create your own family of loved ones & friends.

It sounds as if your parents believe that your brother will only move out on his own when he has a college degree and/or that it's their obligation to provide him with one, including making you part of the means. You already know they should be charging him rent, not funding his playtime. Their decisions, & it's not helping your brother. Your parents are already anticipating your brother not paying you when they promise to pay if/when that happens, when they already piggyback on your credit card. That should stop too, BTW.

Very much agree with that one, Gizmo. I have told my dad several times that even though he pays me on time, I'd really like for him to stop using the card because I feel like he's spending irresponsibly/above his means, but he insists that I shouldn't be annoyed, because he always pays, and hey, I'm getting free credit card points!

I very much am trying to change the parent-child relationship to an adult-adult, but as you can see, am having some struggles along the way. I think now may the be time to definitely put my foot down on the loans, but also to finally cut off the credit card usage and remove the cards in his name.
Title: Re: Parents asked me make the worst financial decision I can imagine, please help!
Post by: partgypsy on August 20, 2015, 08:56:10 AM
I don't understand how your parents think it's even OK to ask you to do this! Really crossing the line. Your younger (irresponsible) brother is not your responsibility. Heck they are not even your parents' responsibility anymore, he is 21 years old!

If he was truly serious about going and completing college, he would find a way to do it, co-signer or no co-signer. The fact that he is living at home and not saving money for college but spending it instead, looks to me like he is still not mature or motivated enough to complete his college degree.
I hope your brother figures it out (some people are slower to mature than others), but having your parents enable him at this time is really eroding his ability to develop self-sufficiency skills which are critical to being an adult. They are setting him up to be at a disadvantage, long term.
Title: Re: Parents asked me make the worst financial decision I can imagine, please help!
Post by: Duchess of Stratosphear on August 20, 2015, 09:01:55 AM
Wow, that's a tough situation. I would absolutely say no, but if you want to help your brother, maybe you could give him a "scholarship" if he shapes up and does well in school--whatever help with tuition you could afford to kick in. Of course, you may not want to GIVE him money, but it seems like that would be a way to help him and not risk losing so much (I'm thinking $1000 bucks a year or something that's not going to ruin your own finances). It could also be a safe way out to say: "No, I can't cosign the loan, but if he gets back in school and does well, I'll consider kicking in $XXX if he stays in good academic standing" or something. It seems that he may be unlikely to do this, at least right now, so you're off the hook, but if he does do it, then you can feel good about contributing and maybe keep everybody happy without lots of risk to you. I'm assuming, of course, that he will have access to other federal loans that could make school possible even if you don't cosign.
Title: Re: Parents asked me make the worst financial decision I can imagine, please help!
Post by: cashstasherat23 on August 20, 2015, 09:14:36 AM
Thanks for the good suggestions! I just really appreciate being able to talk to someone, anyone about this! My parents requested that all of us children not share their financial situation with anyone outside the family...which has already led to some awkward times with friends and acquaintances as they've gone bankrupt, and are in the process of losing the family home to foreclosure. They are now renting, and like I said before, doing a better job at living within their means, but I feel like they also still have a skewed idea of financial responsibility. I have no one to talk to, so I talk to you all anonymously!

Although I'd like to help out because it is my family, I wouldn't be comfortable letting him stay with me, or giving him any "scholarship" money...I honestly think it would just go to waste. It's unfortunate, but he's kind of aimless. I think he's going to college because he doesn't know what else to do. It seems like he thought that being an engineer would be a quick way to lots of money, but then realized that he actually had to put in a lot of work to do that. He's still going for it, but I don't think his heart is really in it, and don't want to be stuck paying for an engineer's schooling worth of student loans for someone who may just end up working part time jobs for a very long time.


UGH such a frustrating situation, but at least now I feel more confident in saying a big N-O!

Title: Re: Parents asked me make the worst financial decision I can imagine, please help!
Post by: abhe8 on August 20, 2015, 09:20:42 AM
Just say no. it's a terribly idea for you and for him. I know it's hard to tell family no, but it's the eighth thing to do. Strongest predictor of future behavior is past behavior.
Title: Re: Parents asked me make the worst financial decision I can imagine, please help!
Post by: Cookie78 on August 20, 2015, 09:24:53 AM
I just popped in to agree with EVERYONE ELSE and say NO. You have zero responsibility to enable him and to let him drag you down with him.

Title: Re: Parents asked me make the worst financial decision I can imagine, please help!
Post by: pachnik on August 20, 2015, 09:30:49 AM
Say No and feel great about it. I have a brother with a similar reputation and I have had to tell him no, but I dont regret it and life moves on. I feel he respects me more because he knows he cant steam roll me like he does other people.

+1 This is exactly it.  Please say no to your parents' suggestion that you co-sign. 
Title: Re: Parents asked me make the worst financial decision I can imagine, please help!
Post by: GizmoTX on August 20, 2015, 09:31:26 AM
OP, you don't need your dad's permission to take him off your account. He can still spend without a CC but you won't have to see what he's wasting or have to deal with a day when he doesn't pay you.

When you settle up the statement, ask him for the card back as a courtesy notice. Then take him off the account regardless of whether he gave you the card or not. It isn't your fault he ruined his credit. The card is a temptation he doesn't need. The reward points are not worth the risk.

See if you can remove his co-sign from your loans. Should the cosigner die or file for bankruptcy before the loan is paid in full, the student loan servicer may place the loan in default and demand that the balance be paid in full, even if all payments have been made on time. Besides removing this risk, it takes your loans off the table as a rationalization.
Title: Re: Parents asked me make the worst financial decision I can imagine, please help!
Post by: Valetta on August 20, 2015, 09:31:57 AM
Do not do this.

I have a friend that cosigned on her sister's student loans ten years ago and continues to regret it to this day. It ruined her financial life, destroyed her credit, etc. when her sister didn't pay and didn't tell her she wasn't paying. It was a disaster.

Just don't do this.
Title: Re: Parents asked me make the worst financial decision I can imagine, please help!
Post by: cashstasherat23 on August 20, 2015, 09:37:23 AM
OP, you don't need your dad's permission to take him off your account. He can still spend without a CC but you won't have to see what he's wasting or have to deal with a day when he doesn't pay you.

When you settle up the statement, ask him for the card back as a courtesy notice. Then take him off the account regardless of whether he gave you the card or not. It isn't your fault he ruined his credit. The card is a temptation he doesn't need. The reward points are not worth the risk.

See if you can remove his co-sign from your loans. Should the cosigner die or file for bankruptcy before the loan is paid in full, the student loan servicer may place the loan in default and demand that the balance be paid in full, even if all payments have been made on time. Besides removing this risk, it takes your loans off the table as a rationalization.

Good to know. I have $15K left on the loans that I am solely responsible for, but know that they have some loans in their name that they took out for my schooling, that my name is on too I believe. My intention has always been to help them pay off those loans after I finish the loans that I am solely responsible for, but I think it's time to get it all out on the table, and figure out how to move forward with that.

Also, RE the credit cards, I know I can just take him off whenever I'd like, and it is my own card, not one that he gave me. Its hard because that is the one awkward point in my father and my otherwise pretty good relationship. I definitely don't imagine anything would happen like him cutting me out of his life, but it's very hard to put my foot down on these things.
Title: Re: Parents asked me make the worst financial decision I can imagine, please help!
Post by: mm1970 on August 20, 2015, 10:00:19 AM
Could really use some mustachian advice on what to do here!

The situation: woke up to a text this morning asking if I would consider co-signing for my brothers student loans. Cue instant sick feeling, and immediate NO reaction.

Out of my entire family, I am the most financially responsible. Two years out of college, will pay off the last of my $30k in student loans this year, and then planned to shift gears and skyrocket my savings for a retirement in my mid-20s.

My parents: used to be upper middle class, dad lost his job, mom still had hers. Continued to live UMC lifestyle, tried to open a business that went out of business, declared bankruptcy. They have cooled down a lot on spending, but still live pretty extravagantly in my eyes. I have made my dad an authorized user on my credit card to help build credit, and so far has been ok. He always pays, although often not the full payment. Any interest he accrues, he also pays. I don't love the situation, but trust my dad wouldn't leave me with the bill.

My brother: alright kid, but completely and totally irresponsible. He was going to school to be an engineer, failed out due to too much partying and going to see his gf, went to community college for a year, and is now trying to go back to another university. He has a part time job, but spends all the money he makes on alcohol and going out to eat with his girlfriend. He's also dishonest, and has stolen $400 from me recently. He also has screwed my other brother over with not paying him for things he promised he would pay for, leaving my other brother stuck with the bill.

I have yet to talk to my parents, as they asked late last night and I was asleep, but know that they will promise that if he doesn't pay, they will pay. I feel more comfortable with that, but what if something happens to them?

I know that my brother is not the type to pay off his loans quickly, like I have. If I sign for this, I feel like I'll have it hanging over my head for the next 30 years, or more, in a best case scenario where he actually pays. Then, what if he moves away, or just decides to stop paying?

In my gut I know it's the worst decision I could make, but also feel incredibly put on the spot and uncomfortable. How can I say no...its family!

Are there any suggestions I could give my family to help them figure out how to pay for his school, without me having to put my name on this train wreck?

Ah, this is a tough one, but just say no.  I don't think a text is the right way.  In person, on phone is better.

First of all:
Mom/Dad, my brother recently stole $400 from me.
He dropped out of school already due to partying too much.
He spends too much money on booze and eating out.
Frankly, he is irresponsible with money and he's done nothing to show me that he'd be a good risk.

So sorry, but no.
If he manages to get through two years of school on his own, cuts down on drinking, and maintains at least a 3.0 gpa, then we can discuss it later.  But I make no promises.

Otherwise, you know how I paid for school?  1-800-USA-NAVY.

If you can spare any money, you could set aside money for books or tuition for him, but I'd say only do that if you have it, and only after he sticks it out and cleans up his act for AT LEAST two years.  I'd be willing to help out for senior year maybe.
Title: Re: Parents asked me make the worst financial decision I can imagine, please help!
Post by: BBub on August 20, 2015, 10:03:16 AM
Of course you don't need co-sign for your brother, and yes you need to remove your dad as authorized user on the cc.  Try to have these conversations in as calm a manner as possible, keeping it logical and very respectful.  You don't want it to blow up into a me vs. them emotional mess.  Explain that you don't have unlimited means, and you are working very hard to get yourself on a solid financial footing. You aren't in a position to be loaning other people money at age 23 with debt of your own.  Plain and simple.

Then once you get out of these situations, make it clear that you are not going to be the family's central banker from here out.  You don't have to say it with a big announcement, but if they come back in the future continue to repeat the message that you are concerned with your own financial well-being and not in a position to help.
Title: Re: Parents asked me make the worst financial decision I can imagine, please help!
Post by: MayDay on August 20, 2015, 10:12:53 AM
How about refusing to discuss with your parents? Anytime they bring it up, you respond with, "have brother call me and I'll discuss the situation directly with him.". 

Then if your brother does actually call you can tell him no and advise him to use non-private loans.

If your parents ask again, respond "brother and I already talked about a plan (him using non-private loans) but if brother still has questions, he can call me again".

If they try to convince you, just keep responding that you're happy to discuss that directly with brother.
Title: Re: Parents asked me make the worst financial decision I can imagine, please help!
Post by: gillstone on August 20, 2015, 10:15:51 AM
Its OK to say no, even if its very hard.  And you definitely need to say no.  Back when my older sister was married, she and her husband took out extra student loans and asked my mother and stepfather to cosign on a large one so they could "focus on school".  The husband then took the cash and plowed it into an illegal marijuana growing operation because he is an asshole.  Cue divorce a few years later and he's defaulted on the loan and left my parents holding the bag. 

Don't give money to assholes, even if (and especially if) they are family.

Also, don't let your parents say they will cover if he doesn't pay.  If they can't sign onto his loan, they can't cover it.  Having both your parents and your brother leave you holding the bag is a recipe for strife that can last decades rather than the relatively short shit-storm that may ensue from saying no right now.
Title: Re: Parents asked me make the worst financial decision I can imagine, please help!
Post by: sallyanne on August 20, 2015, 10:23:40 AM
How about refusing to discuss with your parents? Anytime they bring it up, you respond with, "have brother call me and I'll discuss the situation directly with him.". 

Then if your brother does actually call you can tell him no and advise him to use non-private loans.

If your parents ask again, respond "brother and I already talked about a plan (him using non-private loans) but if brother still has questions, he can call me again".

If they try to convince you, just keep responding that you're happy to discuss that directly with brother.

I really, really like this!
Title: Re: Parents asked me make the worst financial decision I can imagine, please help!
Post by: RobinAZ on August 20, 2015, 10:34:31 AM
I agree with everyone else, this is not in your best interests.  But it is also a terrible thing to do to your brother.  You KNOW he needs to grow out of his current selfish and self serving attitude, and that there is almost a 100% chance he will default on the loan if he continues in this manner.  You would be setting him up for failure, and the shame will make it harder for him to eventually turn things around FOR HIMSELF.  Sometimes, we have to hope someone hits rock bottom so they finally get the message, but they can hit rock bottom themselves-- we don't have to be a part of the descent!!!!

As for what to say, there are lots of suggestions already but remember, "No." is a complete sentence!!!

Good luck!  I am sorry to hear that your parents put you in this position, that sucks.
Title: Re: Parents asked me make the worst financial decision I can imagine, please help!
Post by: Reynolds531 on August 20, 2015, 10:35:25 AM
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.
Title: Re: Parents asked me make the worst financial decision I can imagine, please help!
Post by: backyardfeast on August 20, 2015, 10:36:03 AM
I really like the "I will talk directly with brother about it" angle too. 

Other suggested phrasings, in case they help: "Mom, Dad, you know I've been working really hard to get myself onto a solid financial footing, and that I've had to make some tough choices and sacrifices to do this.  Because of this, I'm finding it difficult to have my financial life tied to anyone else, because I find myself worrying about how their decisions will affect me.  I really value my relationships with you and friends, and I don't want to find myself resentful or bitter, or to judge other people's financial choices.  For instance, in my mind, brother was given the same opportunities that I was for college, and he made choices with those opportunities that I don't respect.  If I tied my finances with with brother at this stage, I know it would ruin our relationship.  If he would like financial advice, or suggestions on how to still go to school without student loans (or military funding, whatever), I'm happy to talk with him and share what I've learned.

By the same token, Dad, I'm having a tough time with our shared credit card.  I love and respect you, and I don't want to worry about your financial choices, either.  So I'm going to....blah blah (put whatever boundaries up that you want, including taking him off the card by x date, be gentle but firm).  I know this is kind of an awkward thing moving from a parent-child relationship to a more adult one, but I think it's an important step.  You have always worked so hard so that I could be a successful adult, and I think it's time I stepped up into that role."

Just in case it helps to have some possible words! :)  Good luck--and congrats on being so responsible and in such good shape at such a young age!
Title: Re: Parents asked me make the worst financial decision I can imagine, please help!
Post by: cashstasherat23 on August 20, 2015, 10:44:28 AM
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.
Title: Re: Parents asked me make the worst financial decision I can imagine, please help!
Post by: Mr. Green on August 20, 2015, 10:47:30 AM
NOOOOOO! Brother's character alone merits a denial. Don't do it!
Title: Re: Parents asked me make the worst financial decision I can imagine, please help!
Post by: abiteveryday on August 20, 2015, 11:12:16 AM
"No." is a complete sentence.     

Go back and read it again.
Title: Re: Parents just asked me make the worst financial decision, please help!
Post by: FLA on August 20, 2015, 11:19:04 AM
Just tell them No. If they ask why not, tell them you're not in a position to do that. If they disagree, tell them all the reasons why you're in a position not to do that.

I would barely tell them the reasons why you cannot do that, none of their business, I'd say something along the lines of being on a strict budget and cannot take on his risk.  Also, he's an adult but has his parents asking for him?  There is no way I would ever do this.  Any guilt heaped on you by your parents, remind them of what you did/do for them and now you are taking care of you.
Title: Re: Parents asked me make the worst financial decision I can imagine, please help!
Post by: Harvestqueen on August 20, 2015, 11:31:53 AM
Absolutely say no. 
Title: Re: Parents asked me make the worst financial decision I can imagine, please help!
Post by: neil on August 20, 2015, 11:35:50 AM
Everything said so far is good advice.

Your parents are responsible for debt they took on to support your college.  But if you feel more comfortable, I would consider squaring that up first.  Instead of talking to your parents first, get your college financial statements and find out how it was financed.  This should give you an idea of where they might be, but there might also be some capitalized interest as well.  Perhaps it is possible to refi with Sofi or some other avenue to get the loans in your name, and you can wipe the slate clean.  I am not sure what the rules allow, but it is worth considering more immediate alternatives if you feel like your parents have a right to ask for help after helping you.
Title: Re: Parents asked me make the worst financial decision I can imagine, please help!
Post by: robartsd on August 20, 2015, 11:38:30 AM
Your parents are responsible for debt they took on to support your college.  But if you feel more comfortable, I would consider squaring that up first.  Instead of talking to your parents first, get your college financial statements and find out how it was financed.  This should give you an idea of where they might be, but there might also be some capitalized interest as well.  Perhaps it is possible to refi with Sofi or some other avenue to get the loans in your name, and you can wipe the slate clean.  I am not sure what the rules allow, but it is worth considering more immediate alternatives if you feel like your parents have a right to ask for help after helping you.
OP's parents cosigned on loans - OP has paid of those loans. Presumably OP's parents want OP to cosign on brother's loan because OP's parents credit is too screwed up to help him.
Title: Re: Parents asked me make the worst financial decision I can imagine, please help!
Post by: charis on August 20, 2015, 11:38:56 AM
How about refusing to discuss with your parents? Anytime they bring it up, you respond with, "have brother call me and I'll discuss the situation directly with him.". 

Then if your brother does actually call you can tell him no and advise him to use non-private loans.

If your parents ask again, respond "brother and I already talked about a plan (him using non-private loans) but if brother still has questions, he can call me again".

If they try to convince you, just keep responding that you're happy to discuss that directly with brother.

I really, really like this!

Do this.  Don't let your brother off the hook by letting him make things weird between you and your parents.  You don't have to say no to them.  You can say it to him.
Title: Re: Parents asked me make the worst financial decision I can imagine, please help!
Post by: Kaikou on August 20, 2015, 11:40:00 AM
No way!
Title: Re: Parents asked me make the worst financial decision I can imagine, please help!
Post by: AlwaysLearningToSave on August 20, 2015, 11:46:08 AM
How about refusing to discuss with your parents? Anytime they bring it up, you respond with, "have brother call me and I'll discuss the situation directly with him.". 

Then if your brother does actually call you can tell him no and advise him to use non-private loans.

If your parents ask again, respond "brother and I already talked about a plan (him using non-private loans) but if brother still has questions, he can call me again".

If they try to convince you, just keep responding that you're happy to discuss that directly with brother.

I really, really like this!

Do this.  Don't let your brother off the hook by letting him make things weird between you and your parents.  You don't have to say no to them.  You can say it to him.

+2.  I like this.  Your brother is getting the benefit so he should be the one asking you.  Your parents are only asking you because they can't do it themselves and they probably think there is a better chance that they can get you to cosign than if your brother were to ask.  Make him do his own dirty work, then tell him no for all of the reasons outlined so far. 
Title: Re: Parents just asked me make the worst financial decision, please help!
Post by: robartsd on August 20, 2015, 11:47:29 AM
Very much agree with that one, Gizmo. I have told my dad several times that even though he pays me on time, I'd really like for him to stop using the card because I feel like he's spending irresponsibly/above his means, but he insists that I shouldn't be annoyed, because he always pays, and hey, I'm getting free credit card points!

I've seen advice for putting your kid's name on your credit card to help them build credit score - but the advice also included not letting them actually have the card.
Title: Re: Parents asked me make the worst financial decision I can imagine, please help!
Post by: GizmoTX on August 20, 2015, 11:50:23 AM
Are you making the payments on the loans your parents co-signed for you?
If there are loans they took out for you, you should agree on what you owe for those & make payments directly to the lender until your obligation is taken care of. Don't give the money to your parents unless they've already retired the loan.
Title: Re: Parents just asked me make the worst financial decision, please help!
Post by: sheepstache on August 20, 2015, 11:57:20 AM
I do feel bad because I have talked money with my parents quite a bit...they know that I am rapidly paying off my loans and starting to invest heavily, but that I am very frugal and responsible even though I have money. I regret telling them so much about my strong financial situation, but they are the ones I go to for advice, and normally they are very reasonable and helpful. They also co-signed for my loans when I was starting school, but I feel like that was a very different situation. I am really mad at them for putting me in this position, but hopefully they will understand.

But as you say, your parents were rather well off when they did this for you. They probably had a lot of assets like equity in their house, etc. It's a different story for a young person who is just starting to make their way in life. You need to save money for a rainy day and for the down payment of a house, car purchase, etc., etc. (not that these will cost you a lot since you're a mustachian, but this is a context they will understand). Co-signing for a loan in your situation will have a more negative affect on your credit rating than it did for them (I have no idea if this is true).

After you say no, I would stop talking to them about money at all. Don't let them or anyone else in your family know that you're "investing heavily," your net worth, etc. You have to be stealth from now on.
Title: Re: Parents asked me make the worst financial decision I can imagine, please help!
Post by: LoneWolfstache on August 20, 2015, 12:10:06 PM
 Don't do it, trust those little flags that go off in your gut. Do the math so you can shut them up with hard numbers and fact to back up your emotional discontent. Foolproof.
Title: Re: Parents asked me make the worst financial decision I can imagine, please help!
Post by: cashstasherat23 on August 20, 2015, 12:10:46 PM
Are you making the payments on the loans your parents co-signed for you?
If there are loans they took out for you, you should agree on what you owe for those & make payments directly to the lender until your obligation is taken care of. Don't give the money to your parents unless they've already retired the loan.

I am not, and they have never asked me to pay the portion that they have in their name. I actually don't even know if my name is on them at all, which I guess is bad, and I should find that out.  What they said to each of us when we were in high school was that our only job was to get a good education, get good grades, and afterwards, get a good job, and that they would take care of college, essentially. I have done that, but now that I am out of college and heading towards a stable financial situation, I feel that it would be the right thing to do to offer to help pay the loans.
Title: Re: Parents asked me make the worst financial decision I can imagine, please help!
Post by: Ghzbani on August 20, 2015, 12:10:55 PM
How about refusing to discuss with your parents? Anytime they bring it up, you respond with, "have brother call me and I'll discuss the situation directly with him.". 

Then if your brother does actually call you can tell him no and advise him to use non-private loans.

If your parents ask again, respond "brother and I already talked about a plan (him using non-private loans) but if brother still has questions, he can call me again".

If they try to convince you, just keep responding that you're happy to discuss that directly with brother.

That's a great tactic that I've used a couple times in similar --though certainly not as extreme -- situations. Wholeheartedly recommend this tactic!
Title: Re: Parents just asked me make the worst financial decision, please help!
Post by: I'm a red panda on August 20, 2015, 12:23:15 PM


I've seen advice for putting your kid's name on your credit card to help them build credit score - but the advice also included not letting them actually have the card.

My husband is always really mad that my credit history extends before I was born- because my Dad did this.
I did get the cards though. And used them responsibly. 
Title: Re: Parents just asked me make the worst financial decision, please help!
Post by: cashstasherat23 on August 20, 2015, 12:26:41 PM


I've seen advice for putting your kid's name on your credit card to help them build credit score - but the advice also included not letting them actually have the card.

My husband is always really mad that my credit history extends before I was born- because my Dad did this.
I did get the cards though. And used them responsibly.

My parents actually did this for me too...I was on their AMEX account for many years in high school and college, which I think is part of the reason I started out with great credit. Incidentally, another thing that my dad says to make the case for me letting him use my card now.
Title: Re: Parents just asked me make the worst financial decision, please help!
Post by: BBub on August 20, 2015, 01:55:18 PM
After you say no, I would stop talking to them about money at all. Don't let them or anyone else in your family know that you're "investing heavily," your net worth, etc. You have to be stealth from now on.
+1
Title: Re: Parents just asked me make the worst financial decision, please help!
Post by: ShoulderThingThatGoesUp on August 20, 2015, 01:59:52 PM


I've seen advice for putting your kid's name on your credit card to help them build credit score - but the advice also included not letting them actually have the card.

My husband is always really mad that my credit history extends before I was born- because my Dad did this.
I did get the cards though. And used them responsibly.

Oh, I thought credit reports were just not figuring out what had happened that they had a credit history older than I am. Didn't know that this is something one can do on purpose. Thanks, Dad!
Title: Re: Parents asked me make the worst financial decision I can imagine, please help!
Post by: BBub on August 20, 2015, 02:02:55 PM
How can you put someone on a credit card before they are born?  When adding my wife as an authorized user I had to provide her name, bday, SSN, etc.
Title: Re: Parents asked me make the worst financial decision I can imagine, please help!
Post by: Kroaler on August 20, 2015, 02:05:48 PM
Just say no.  Don't enable anyone.   I had a brother headed down the wrong way financially cause I kept getting put on the spot to enable his behavior financially.  One day I finally said no.     Long story short he's now a productive working member of society.        Also stealth wealth man, from now on.   You need to have the cheapest car in your family to avoid future issues.
Title: Re: Parents asked me make the worst financial decision I can imagine, please help!
Post by: 2Birds1Stone on August 20, 2015, 02:09:03 PM
Another vote for NO
Title: Re: Parents asked me make the worst financial decision I can imagine, please help!
Post by: cashstasherat23 on August 20, 2015, 02:17:39 PM
Just say no.  Don't enable anyone.   I had a brother headed down the wrong way financially cause I kept getting put on the spot to enable his behavior financially.  One day I finally said no.     Long story short he's now a productive working member of society.        Also stealth wealth man, from now on.   You need to have the cheapest car in your family to avoid future issues.

Hah! Funny that you mention that...my dad actually got me set up with my first car, a little $1,500 beater that one of his friends was selling. Used my graduation money to buy it, have had it for two years now, and it's been great so far!

That's whats pretty hard about this. Most of the time, my parents are very helpful and have given me great advice.  My mom has given me advice on job hunting and salary negotiations. My dad helps with car repairs and got me starting in investing and the stock market. However, I think that now I'm heading down a different path, or just becoming an adult (eek!) and I'll have to keep my mouth shut.
Title: Re: Parents asked me make the worst financial decision I can imagine, please help!
Post by: Cassie on August 20, 2015, 02:22:18 PM
When he doesn't pay it will tear the family apart & be worse then if you had refused initially. It is not fair for your parents to even ask.
Title: Re: Parents asked me make the worst financial decision I can imagine, please help!
Post by: Kaikou on August 20, 2015, 03:37:57 PM
How can you put someone on a credit card before they are born?  When adding my wife as an authorized user I had to provide her name, bday, SSN, etc.

I would like to know too.
Title: Re: Parents asked me make the worst financial decision I can imagine, please help!
Post by: ShoulderThingThatGoesUp on August 20, 2015, 03:41:06 PM
How can you put someone on a credit card before they are born?  When adding my wife as an authorized user I had to provide her name, bday, SSN, etc.

I would like to know too.

You don't. But if they're on an account you had before they were born it seems like it shows up as that account's age of credit history. A reason I hadn't thought of to keep a card.
Title: Re: Parents asked me make the worst financial decision I can imagine, please help!
Post by: Paul der Krake on August 20, 2015, 04:33:30 PM
How can you put someone on a credit card before they are born?  When adding my wife as an authorized user I had to provide her name, bday, SSN, etc.

I would like to know too.

You don't. But if they're on an account you had before they were born it seems like it shows up as that account's age of credit history. A reason I hadn't thought of to keep a card.
Yup. Makes for some funny conversations when someone is checking your credit for some application and the person in charge pulls the report and goes "alright, it looks like your average account is... wait a second, it says 25 years... but you're only 22 years old... wait a second while I call my supervisor..."
Title: Re: Parents just asked me make the worst financial decision, please help!
Post by: Fuzz on August 20, 2015, 05:04:17 PM
OP, mixed in with this is your challenge to change your child-parent relationship to an adult-adult one. The responsible child wants to please parents, but this dynamic has to change for you to become an autonomous adult. I am not saying abandon your relatives, but don't let them pull a guilt trip on you either. Your role now is to create your own family of loved ones & friends.

I really like this.

You're in a tough spot.

Also, I think you should transition out of having your dad as an authorized user. Maybe only do it for another year? They need to be responsible for their own decisions.
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: ambimammular on August 20, 2015, 05:46:47 PM
But he's your baby brother, you HAVE to say yes!!

Naw, just kidding. Tell little bro to put on his big boy pants. I would laugh off that request like the sad joke it is.
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: cincystache on August 20, 2015, 08:13:34 PM
I would never willingly co-sign for any debt for anyone, ever, period. You have nothing to gain from doing this and everything to lose. I'm not just talking financially either, you aren't doing your brother any favors by teaching him that SOMEONE ELSE will always be there to bail his butt out, the same goes for your parents. Tough love is in order here. He shouldn't be taking out loans in the first place. He should go to community college and learn a trade while living at home and paying his way through, no student loans.

I'm not a huge fan of Dave Ramsey on the whole, but I would love to hear his response to this one...

Best of luck, I hope when you say no, your family respects you and doesn't try to guilt you in to changing your mind.
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: okits on August 20, 2015, 09:33:42 PM
Have you responded yet?  How did it go?

(Put me in the "no, NO, NO!!!!" camp on this one, BTW.)
Title: Re: Parents asked me make the worst financial decision I can imagine, please help!
Post by: LeRainDrop on August 20, 2015, 10:35:18 PM
Are you making the payments on the loans your parents co-signed for you?
If there are loans they took out for you, you should agree on what you owe for those & make payments directly to the lender until your obligation is taken care of. Don't give the money to your parents unless they've already retired the loan.

I am not, and they have never asked me to pay the portion that they have in their name. I actually don't even know if my name is on them at all, which I guess is bad, and I should find that out.  What they said to each of us when we were in high school was that our only job was to get a good education, get good grades, and afterwards, get a good job, and that they would take care of college, essentially. I have done that, but now that I am out of college and heading towards a stable financial situation, I feel that it would be the right thing to do to offer to help pay the loans.

I feel like your family is my family, and you are me.  So much of what you have said resonates with my family experience.  I have the UMC parents who gave me lots of financial support growing up and in college and gave me lots of good financial advice, yet ended up tanking themselves financially, and the irresponsible younger (middle) brother who made lots of bad choices, spent all his money, mooched off parents, felt he deserved financing of his "dream" by other family members, even though he was a quitter but delusionally believed he was a hard-worker.  So, about three years ago, my parents ended up pressuring me and my youngest brother to give them very substantial loans to bail them out of their financial collapse (in a matter of months, several things came to a head -- crazy over-extending themselves with monthly expenses, paying interest only on nearly all their loans, two lay-offs, divorce, and needing to sell our 30-year house).  Then, my middle brother and my parents pressured me and my youngest brother to loan a few grand to the middle brother, as the parents had already fully tapped-out their cash and credit to give to him.  At the time of these loans, I was barely 30, and youngest brother was 25.

Anyhow, at this point, things have turned a corner for the better, but it has been an extremely stressful, dramatic, emotionally draining, and scarring experience over the last few years.  As someone who has essentially been in your position but caved, please let me warn you, tell them HELL NO!!!!!  Actually, say "no" politely but very firmly.  Do not get into a discussion of why or why not, just, "I'm sorry, but no I cannot do that.  I've made my decision, and I'm not comfortable discussing this any further."

It was so, so, so hard for me to battle my feelings of guilt at the thought of saying "no" to desperate family members, and I lost that battle and loaned the money.  So, I totally get where you are coming from and your internal struggle to wrestle with how to handle this.  But I eventually learned to set up boundaries -- boundaries with family is a VERY important lesson that took counseling for me.  After those loans, Bank of Older Sister and Younger Brother closed shop.  I am fortunate to report that, at this time, all borrowers are paying us back, but it was still a poor decision for me to concede to that lending relationship, especially as to middle brother.  It changed the family dynamic in ways that I wish not.  It has been emotionally damaging for me, and I feel compelled to steer you away from this outcome.

Oh, and the reason I originally quoted this part of the thread is that you can find out whether your name is on any of the student loans your parents still have for your college education very easily by requesting your free credit report online.  This will list all your credit cards, real estate loans, auto loans, student loans, and other.  You'll be able to see which are still open and what the current balance on each is, as of the last time the lender reported it to the credit bureau (typically within the last month or two).  There are a number of ways to get your free credit report; every six months, I use www.quizzle.com, which provides the Equifax report for free.
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: JJNL on August 21, 2015, 02:15:10 AM
+1 in the HELL NO camp. And for that matter:
- please, please, please get your Dad off your credit card
- untangle your finances from your parents' if they are still somehow connected through loans
- talk once (ONCE) about what you and they feel you owe them for college until you agree
- pay that back, if any
- and from then on you and they stand on your own two feet financially and never mix finances again.

Also, they sound like the last people you should be asking advice about finances from. You have a much better financial head on your shoulders than they do, so you don't need their advice. And they've just shown you that they will use the information you've given them to wheedle you into making poor financial choices out of guilt in the interest of your sibling, who is a) a grown-ass adult who should be able to support himself and b) their problem if he comes running to mama and daddy for money, and most certainly not yours. They are REALLY out of line on that one. Being in eachother's financial lives will ruin your family dynamic in the long run, so stop it! There's a whole forum-load of people to ask for advice right here, for starters.

Lastly, your parents are responsible for their own financial situation. You might want to start thinking about what you'll do when they themselves come asking you for money, because they're broke. It sounds like this might not be too far in the future. I agree with the last poster that even then the answer should be NO, even though that would be hard. Don't let them drag you down with them. Of course you will want to help, but offer help in kind. Like letting them stay in your basement for a while, going through their finances with them and giving them advice (they are the kids here who should be listening to financially adult you, for Chrissakes), helping them put stuff on Craigslist etc. But under NO circumstances give them any cash, you do NOT owe them that!

BTW, I have very fiscally responsible parents, but a younger sister who used to be a lot like your brother: living on my parent's dime, enrolling and failing at one school after another b/c of laziness, partying etc. She only wised up after my parents decided to cut her off. They found her a rented apartment, moved her and some furniture out, filled the fridge and gave her a few months rent, and basically said: you are an adult now, from here on out you're on your own. This was the hardest thing my parents ever did, and they fought about it a lot, but it was also the best thing they could have done for her.  After the money ran out my sis was forced to get a job, and found out that with 0 education all she could do was jobs that sucked. She got her act together and started putting herself through college afterwards. My parents did go back to supporting her then, but only after she'd proven that she was serious this time around by passing all her exams in her first year. This time around, she took the opportunity given and graduated with flying colours. What I'm trying to say is this: some people really do need to learn the hard way. Bumping their nose into the wall is the only way they'll learn. The best and kindest thing you can do for them, is allowing them to do so.
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: Rural on August 21, 2015, 06:28:46 AM
Say no and cancel your dad's card to remove the temptation to use it to pay little brother's tuition.


Oh, and +1 to refusing to discuss consigning with your parents - say no to little brother.
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: I'm a red panda on August 21, 2015, 06:46:20 AM
If your parents are in the financial trouble they are, you NEED to remove your Dad as an authorized user of your credit card.  That's basically co-signing a loan for him!

Yes, you say your parents helped you out with your loans; but well, they are the parents, you are not!

Make sure they don't starve, help them out where you can- but do not give them free reign to spend your money!
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: cashstasherat23 on August 21, 2015, 06:53:16 AM
Have you responded yet?  How did it go?

(Put me in the "no, NO, NO!!!!" camp on this one, BTW.)

I did respond, but it didn't go as smoothly as I'd hoped. I actually was out on a date, but stepped away quickly to call them, as I knew they we're waiting to hear from me. I told my mom, and she was not happy about it. She just said why not? And I told her that I couldn't make that kind of commitment, and some of the other reasons given. She didn't accept it, but said we could talk about it later. She sounded really disappointed, and maybe a little angry. I'll have to give the family a call again later tonight to discuss, but I was truly not expecting that reaction...although I'm shocked she asked me too, so I guess I don't know her as well as I thought! Will definitely keep you all posted on the situation as it evolves.
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: Pigeon on August 21, 2015, 07:08:14 AM
I would absolutely say no.  There is no upside for you in co-signing, and truth be told, there's really no long-term upside for your brother.

He has options, even with his track record, should he decide to turn himself around.  He could live at home and continue at cc for another year while working.  He could look for companies that offer tuition reimbursement to help him out.  Starbucks has a program for people who want to get online degrees. Around here, local grocery store chains offer some tuition reimbursement.  It will take him longer than 4 years, but so will starting out at a bunch of different colleges, majoring in partying and racking up loans.  The tuition reimbursement route would help him stay on track because he'd have to get decent grades to get reimbursed.
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: fitfrugalfab on August 21, 2015, 07:10:16 AM
Have you responded yet?  How did it go?

(Put me in the "no, NO, NO!!!!" camp on this one, BTW.)

I did respond, but it didn't go as smoothly as I'd hoped. I actually was out on a date, but stepped away quickly to call them, as I knew they we're waiting to hear from me. I told my mom, and she was not happy about it. She just said why not? And I told her that I couldn't make that kind of commitment, and some of the other reasons given. She didn't accept it, but said we could talk about it later. She sounded really disappointed, and maybe a little angry. I'll have to give the family a call again later tonight to discuss, but I was truly not expecting that reaction...although I'm shocked she asked me too, so I guess I don't know her as well as I thought! Will definitely keep you all posted on the situation as it evolves.


When you speak to your family tonight, you should make sure your brother is involved. IT's because of this situation that you're in this uncomfortable predicament. Stay strong and good luck!
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: I'm a red panda on August 21, 2015, 07:28:49 AM
Have you responded yet?  How did it go?

(Put me in the "no, NO, NO!!!!" camp on this one, BTW.)

I did respond, but it didn't go as smoothly as I'd hoped. I actually was out on a date, but stepped away quickly to call them, as I knew they we're waiting to hear from me. I told my mom, and she was not happy about it. She just said why not? And I told her that I couldn't make that kind of commitment, and some of the other reasons given. She didn't accept it, but said we could talk about it later. She sounded really disappointed, and maybe a little angry. I'll have to give the family a call again later tonight to discuss, but I was truly not expecting that reaction...although I'm shocked she asked me too, so I guess I don't know her as well as I thought! Will definitely keep you all posted on the situation as it evolves.


I'm really sorry you are having to go through family drama due to saying no.  It may be uncomfortable for awhile.
But there would have been family drama and massive resentment on your part if you did cosign too. Because you know very well it would not end well.

Your parents basically put you in an impossible situation designed to fail.  That really sucks.
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: GizmoTX on August 21, 2015, 07:34:05 AM
I did respond, but it didn't go as smoothly as I'd hoped. I actually was out on a date, but stepped away quickly to call them, as I knew they we're waiting to hear from me. I told my mom, and she was not happy about it. She just said why not? And I told her that I couldn't make that kind of commitment, and some of the other reasons given. She didn't accept it, but said we could talk about it later. She sounded really disappointed, and maybe a little angry. I'll have to give the family a call again later tonight to discuss, but I was truly not expecting that reaction...although I'm shocked she asked me too, so I guess I don't know her as well as I thought! Will definitely keep you all posted on the situation as it evolves.

Your mom is reacting this way because you are taking their easy solution to younger brother's problem off the table. Maybe it means YB will move out of their house, which your parents may desperately want. I would not expect anything but anger at you daring to say no to them. Expect tons of guilt about "all the help they gave you". DONT LET IT MAKE YOU SAY YES. YB did not do his "job" in school -- it's up to him now, not your parents & certainly not you.

If YB really wanted university, he'd work full time, save his money, & not need private student loans. He should be able to get federal loans in his own name & of course it depends on how pricy the next university is. NOT YOUR PROBLEM.

Your parents need to understand that their actions are pushing you away.
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: Bearded Man on August 21, 2015, 07:37:48 AM
I don't even know why this has to be a question, your brother steals from you and other family, is irresponsible and careless. He and your parents financial burdens are not your problems.

It's one thing to help out family in need, when they are honest and generally responsible, but other than you (congrats by the way), your family, especially your brother, makes poor choices while they live it up and expect you to foot the bill to "fix it".

DO NOT SIGN ON HIS LOANS. I predict he will drop out and default.
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: RyanAtTanagra on August 21, 2015, 08:18:39 AM
She didn't accept it

It's not her decision, there's nothing to 'accept'.  Good job, saying 'no' to family is hard.  It's easy for us to tell you to do it, but actually doing so is a whole other story.  Now even more important than the initial no is to stand your ground.  If you cave you'll be teaching your entire family that you're a push-over and if they hound you they'll get what they want.
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: AlwaysLearningToSave on August 21, 2015, 08:19:26 AM
Have you responded yet?  How did it go?

(Put me in the "no, NO, NO!!!!" camp on this one, BTW.)

I did respond, but it didn't go as smoothly as I'd hoped. I actually was out on a date, but stepped away quickly to call them, as I knew they we're waiting to hear from me. I told my mom, and she was not happy about it. She just said why not? And I told her that I couldn't make that kind of commitment, and some of the other reasons given. She didn't accept it, but said we could talk about it later. She sounded really disappointed, and maybe a little angry. I'll have to give the family a call again later tonight to discuss, but I was truly not expecting that reaction...although I'm shocked she asked me too, so I guess I don't know her as well as I thought! Will definitely keep you all posted on the situation as it evolves.

Stay strong.  I feel for you on how hard it is.  My family has the same track record of coddling a sibling and exerting unfair emotional pressure.  I feel like this could be my mother.  DO NOT attempt to explain or justify your decision.  In this short telephone conversation she has already shown that she will not accept any rational explanation for the decision.  If you try to explain your decision, she will meet every reason you give why you are not willing to do it with a reason why you should and it will only end when you either cave or shut down the conversation completely because she won't give up on it.  Shut the conversation down as early as possible to avoid the drawn-out, emotionally charged conversation and to ensure you don't unwittingly cave.  Firmly, but politely say that you've made your decision and are not willing to discuss it any further with your parents. 

It sucks and it will be hard.  But you can do it.  I've been there and gotten through it and can tell you it is better from the other side.  Things will not be the same because you are changing the family dynamics to a more adult-adult relationship rather than parent-child relationship.  The change will good for everyone in the long term, even though it will be painful for everyone involved in the short term. 
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: AlwaysLearningToSave on August 21, 2015, 08:23:31 AM
Now even more important than the initial no is to stand your ground.  If you cave you'll be teaching your entire family that you're a push-over and if they hound you they'll get what they want.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ This is right on the money.  You are teaching your family how to treat you.  This is a very critical time to define how you will relate to your family as an adult.  Stand firm now or this will continue to be a problem for a long time. 
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: MissStache on August 21, 2015, 08:31:34 AM
DO NOT attempt to explain or justify your decision. 

Yes.  This is such good advice.  When you talk to her later and she brings it up, your response should be "we already discussed this and I said no.  There is nothing more I have to say about it."  Then try to change the subject, like how about this recent date you went on!  Surely she cares about that. 

If she keeps coming back to it, then you should end the conversation/visit/phone call.  Look at this as a wonderful opportunity to set up boundaries.  It is outrageous that they even asked, and this is a good time to teach them that was they did was totally inappropriate, unfair, and something you won't allow in the future.

You have already told them no and that was the hard part!  Great job! 
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: gillstone on August 21, 2015, 08:34:31 AM
You did the right thing by saying no.  Part of building an adult relationship with your parents is setting boundaries and sometimes parents don't respond well to having those boundaries set. 

You did the hardest part (saying no).  And I'm sorry but the follow-up won't be very easy either because it means holding to that answer without wavering.  This isn't a place for compromise.  This is your financial well-being at stake as well as your relationship with your family.  The short-term drama of now pales in comparison to the drama of your brother dropping out and defaulting on the debt.

Best of luck




Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: James on August 21, 2015, 08:45:42 AM
Have you responded yet?  How did it go?

(Put me in the "no, NO, NO!!!!" camp on this one, BTW.)

I did respond, but it didn't go as smoothly as I'd hoped. I actually was out on a date, but stepped away quickly to call them, as I knew they we're waiting to hear from me. I told my mom, and she was not happy about it. She just said why not? And I told her that I couldn't make that kind of commitment, and some of the other reasons given. She didn't accept it, but said we could talk about it later. She sounded really disappointed, and maybe a little angry. I'll have to give the family a call again later tonight to discuss, but I was truly not expecting that reaction...although I'm shocked she asked me too, so I guess I don't know her as well as I thought! Will definitely keep you all posted on the situation as it evolves.


Please don't read too much into the disappointment. I would bet she is hugely disappointed in her son who didn't finish college and spends on his money on crap. And probably hugely disappointed with herself for not being in a position to help and needing to ask you. The disappointment with you is misplaced and hopefully won't last, she is hoping without any reason that this would be the winning lottery ticket to her disappointment with her son. You are just the messenger, remain calm and pleasant through any conversations, don't get defensive or angry, they are trying to help and you are just doing what you have to do.
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: cashstasherat23 on August 21, 2015, 09:04:33 AM
DO NOT attempt to explain or justify your decision. 

Yes.  This is such good advice.  When you talk to her later and she brings it up, your response should be "we already discussed this and I said no.  There is nothing more I have to say about it."  Then try to change the subject, like how about this recent date you went on!  Surely she cares about that. 

If she keeps coming back to it, then you should end the conversation/visit/phone call.  Look at this as a wonderful opportunity to set up boundaries.  It is outrageous that they even asked, and this is a good time to teach them that was they did was totally inappropriate, unfair, and something you won't allow in the future.

You have already told them no and that was the hard part!  Great job!

Yeahhhh...I kind of got into explaining reasons last night, and just started rambling. Going to keep it much more concise tonight and just say no. Will need to work up to asking my dad to get off my credit card, but that's a whole other thing that will take a few weeks to figure out.
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: ShoulderThingThatGoesUp on August 21, 2015, 09:07:06 AM
Or you could just cancel his card and say it's obvious that they don't have your interests at heart if they're asking you to cosign your brother's loans.
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: I'm a red panda on August 21, 2015, 09:13:14 AM
Depending on how it will effect your credit- you might consider just getting a different card and canceling that one altogether.

Just say it was stolen, and the account was canceled. 
Or, I guess without getting a totally new card, you could just call them and ask them to change the account number and send you a single new card, removing Dad as authorized user.

I have a hard time thinking of how I would deal with this, because I cannot imagine parents putting me in this situation.  And my in-laws are in a very similar situation to your parents; but thankfully they see a boundary line and haven't asked DH to cosign a loan for his sister, or use our credit cards!
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: neo von retorch on August 21, 2015, 09:15:10 AM
You are communicating and enforcing your boundaries. Remember a few things - you are responsible for yourself and dependents, but others that you care about, you are only responsible to (meaning, be honest, communicate your boundaries, but do not take on their responsibilities.) It's OK to hurt, but do not harm (meaning, they might not like it, they may complain and express that they are hurt, but you are not doing them any damage!) Boundaries do need to be communicated (but probably do not need justified - the justification is that you are responsible for taking care of yourself, living your life, making adult decisions.) So you only need to communicate what you are or are not willing to do, based on what is best for yourself. (It doesn't need to sound particularly selfish, but you can stress that you are making decisions based on your needs.)
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: cashstasherat23 on August 21, 2015, 09:17:59 AM
Or you could just cancel his card and say it's obvious that they don't have your interests at heart if they're asking you to cosign your brother's loans.

That will work too. That's why I want to have them removed from my cards...I trusted them, but the way that this is going down, I don't really trust them to have access to my finances at all anymore.
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: hodedofome on August 21, 2015, 09:28:10 AM
I had a friend who's dad tried to get him to cosign a loan for him. He went to our senior pastor who is extremely experienced in counseling people through family situations like this. He just looked at my friend and said "you wouldn't give a drunk a drink would you ?"

If someone is addicted to spending money/irresponsibility or whatever it is, giving them more money will just hurt them, not help them. Until they hit rock bottom and decide to change, there's not much you can do.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Parents asked me make the worst financial decision I can imagine, please help!
Post by: Candace on August 21, 2015, 09:31:13 AM
How about refusing to discuss with your parents? Anytime they bring it up, you respond with, "have brother call me and I'll discuss the situation directly with him.". 

Then if your brother does actually call you can tell him no and advise him to use non-private loans.

If your parents ask again, respond "brother and I already talked about a plan (him using non-private loans) but if brother still has questions, he can call me again".

If they try to convince you, just keep responding that you're happy to discuss that directly with brother.

That's a great tactic that I've used a couple times in similar --though certainly not as extreme -- situations. Wholeheartedly recommend this tactic!

Piling on to the list of people who recommend this. It makes sense. Refuse to discuss it with your parents. Only discuss it with your brother. Let your brother deal with why you aren't going to co-sign.

Good luck, and best wishes.
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: Kaikou on August 21, 2015, 09:33:29 AM
Or you could just cancel his card and say it's obvious that they don't have your interests at heart if they're asking you to cosign your brother's loans.

That will work too. That's why I want to have them removed from my cards...I trusted them, but the way that this is going down, I don't really trust them to have access to my finances at all anymore.

Just be honest and true to yourself. You won't regret that.
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: AlwaysLearningToSave on August 21, 2015, 09:45:53 AM
I trusted them, but the way that this is going down, I don't really trust them to have access to my finances at all anymore.

The loss of trust in my family members was the hardest thing for me to work through when I went through experiences similar to this (though definitely not the same as this).  The sooner you realize that you are the only person whom you can trust to look after your interests, the better.  Just remember that this doesn't mean you cannot trust your parents at all.  You can learn to trust different people with different parts of your life.  As you've said, your parents can still give you good advice in other areas of your life and you can trust the advice you receive from them in these other areas.  But I think you are very wise to decide that you no longer trust your parents with access to your finances. 

EDIT:  Kudos to you for taking responsibility for yourself and for doing these difficult things at a young age.  There are a lot of people who take far longer to take these steps, or never take them at all.  You will be better off in the long run for having done it. 
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: GizmoTX on August 21, 2015, 10:11:54 AM
I trusted them, but the way that this is going down, I don't really trust them to have access to my finances at all anymore.

The loss of trust in my family members was the hardest thing for me to work through when I went through experiences similar to this (though definitely not the same as this).  The sooner you realize that you are the only person whom you can trust to look after your interests, the better.  Just remember that this doesn't mean you cannot trust your parents at all.  You can learn to trust different people with different parts of your life.  As you've said, your parents can still give you good advice in other areas of your life and you can trust the advice you receive from them in these other areas.  But I think you are very wise to decide that you no longer trust your parents with access to your finances. 

EDIT:  Kudos to you for taking responsibility for yourself and for doing these difficult things at a young age.  There are a lot of people who take far longer to take these steps, or never take them at all.  You will be better off in the long run for having done it.
+1

Don't cancel your CC, as this will negatively affect your credit rating. Just remove your dad as an authorized user; your monthly settle up time is a good choice. In the meantime, call your CC issuer to set a limit on his spending; your credit limit should not be his, & if it spikes, you will be affected. Total spending on a card should be no more than 20% of the credit limit, or your credit score will suffer.
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: cincystache on August 21, 2015, 10:42:37 AM
I'm sorry you are going through this.

I agree with the advice to get your parents as far as possible from your finances, no credit cards, no cosigning.

Tell them you will cosign if they can get Dave Ramsey's blessing on the air :-)
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: Cathy on August 21, 2015, 10:54:29 AM
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 would also note that your brother owes you $400. You don't need to write off that loss. You are already his creditor, and he is in default of his obligations to you. I would take steps to recover the $400. That will show that you are not a pushover. If you can prove the alleged theft, you can obtain a judgment for the debt in small claims court. Judgments are public records and will appear on the brother's credit report, making it harder for him to benefit from his dishonesty in the future.
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: cincystache on August 21, 2015, 10:59:34 AM
I would also note that your brother owes you $400. You don't need to write off that loss. You are already his creditor, and he is in default of his obligations to you. I would take steps to recover the $400. That will show that you are not a pushover. If you can prove the alleged theft, you can obtain a judgment for the debt in small claims court. Judgments are public records and will appear on the brother's credit report, making it harder for him to benefit from his dishonesty in the future.

You don't mess around Cathy! Do you happen to be a lawyer?
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: cashstasherat23 on August 21, 2015, 11:02:00 AM
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 would also note that your brother owes you $400. You don't need to write off that loss. You are already his creditor, and he is in default of his obligations to you. I would take steps to recover the $400. That will show that you are not a pushover. If you can prove the alleged theft, you can obtain a judgment for the debt in small claims court. Judgments are public records and will appear on the brother's credit report, making it harder for him to benefit from his dishonesty in the future.

The $400 is a bit of a complicated situation. It was actually a birthday present from my parents to me, which I felt uncomfortable about accepting anyway, as I don't need the cash (and know that they shouldn't really be just handing it out)...but it was intended to be used while myself and my two brothers were on a trip together in South Africa. Because I live away from the family on my own, my father deposited the money into my brothers account, intending for him to withdraw it and give it to me . We ended up using my credit card the entire time we were there for all of our expenses, as that was easier than finding ATMs, and I figured I would get extra CC points for it. The deal was that once we got back to the US he would give me the money my father gave me as a gift, and then some of his own to pay for the things that I paid for him (dinners, activities, etc), but instead spent it all on trips with his girlfriend and who knows what else, and has ignored messages from me asking about it.

As I don't need the money/honestly probably would have given it to him at that time if he had just asked for it/didn't feel comfortable taking it from my parents in the first place, I consider it more so a good lesson in my brother's character. I think I'd rather not pursue it, but definitely will be wary of lending or accepting any money in the future.


ETA: Yes, I realize more and more as I type all this out just how crazy my family sounds. 
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: Mississippi Mudstache on August 21, 2015, 11:03:05 AM
Geez, this is worse than when my financially irresponsible mom had co-checking accounts with my financially irresponsible brother and my financially responsible brother. When Brother 1 overdrafted on his checking account, and Mom had no money in her checking account to cover it, they just pulled the money out of Brother 2's checking account, who had been working all summer to save up money to buy a car. Not good for family harmony! You've gotten good advice, so please don't co-sign your brother's loans!
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: AlwaysLearningToSave on August 21, 2015, 11:05:02 AM
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.

Cathy brings up a valid concern.  At least consider immediately imposing a limit on how much he can charge on the card and ensure he is not authorized to take cash advances.  The limit should be low enough that you are comfortable paying it off yourself if your dad doesn't make good. 

I would also note that your brother owes you $400. You don't need to write off that loss. You are already his creditor, and he is in default of his obligations to you. I would take steps to recover the $400. That will show that you are not a pushover. If you can prove the alleged theft, you can obtain a judgment for the debt in small claims court. Judgments are public records and will appear on the brother's credit report, making it harder for him to benefit from his dishonesty in the future.

I don't know that I would go this far because of the potential it has to burn bridges with your brother and other family members.  But that is your decision that depends on how important the relationships are to you.  If he doesn't know that you know he stole the money, then it might be worth calling him out on it so that he knows he was caught and won't be able to do it again.  I would likely just chalk the $400 bucks up as tuition to the school of hard knocks and make for damned sure he can't steal from you again.   
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: Cassie on August 21, 2015, 11:08:32 AM
I would not take him to small claims court either. That is like using a sledgehammer to kill an ant.  I would however, close the CC account-say you lost the card & then get a new one without your dad.
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: gillstone on August 21, 2015, 11:42:29 AM
If you decide to cancel the card, you should be honest about why.  You may disagree with your parents and have issues with how they handle money, but to lie is to say you don't respect them.  Given what you've written, I think you respect them, even if they frustrate you.
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: bsmith on August 21, 2015, 11:47:16 AM
Suggestions:
1. Don't try to justify yourself. Set boundaries and stick to them. Get these people away from your finances.
2. Don't lie about why you're doing anything. That's bad for you and your family.
3. This IS your family, so don't take them to court over peanuts.
4. Think about the future, specifically that these people will be in your life. Don't be a liar now, or a jerk about any of this, because it will come back to haunt you later. Be calm, respectful, don't talk too much about your reasons, and close these issues once and for all.
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: ShoulderThingThatGoesUp on August 21, 2015, 11:47:55 AM
I agree, you should close your dad's card right now and tell him about it. Your brother might just take it. Thieves are thieves.
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: cashstasherat23 on August 21, 2015, 11:56:57 AM
If you decide to cancel the card, you should be honest about why.  You may disagree with your parents and have issues with how they handle money, but to lie is to say you don't respect them.  Given what you've written, I think you respect them, even if they frustrate you.

I definitely do respect them, and of course am thankful for the opportunities they have given me so far. However, I really don't agree with the way that they spend, and no longer want to be wrapped up in it.

I don't intend to cancel the card, but I would like to remove my father from the card. Besides the risk, it's annoying each month to have to chase him down for the payments, and worry about it, especially when I only charge very small amounts on there and he's billing hundreds. I don't believe he'd stick me with the bill, but would rather not keep doing this.
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: Faraday on August 21, 2015, 11:58:48 AM
Could really use some mustachian advice on what to do here!
...insane stuff here...

In my gut I know it's the worst decision I could make, but also feel incredibly put on the spot and uncomfortable. How can I say no...its family!

Are there any suggestions I could give my family to help them figure out how to pay for his school, without me having to put my name on this train wreck?

It's IMPORTANT for you to say no. What if you meet someone and want to get married? You gonna bring that debt to the relationship like a nasty, puke-filled sock.

Ya wanna know how else this is gonna play out? In addition to your brother being an (apparent) asshole, he's gonna get angry with you being his debt-holder. he's going to be rebellious, irresponsible and angry.

This is gonna go way, way worse if you say YES vs. if you say NO.

There IS one important thing you can bring to the table here to support your "No": Tell your parents you want to get married and have babies someday, but you won't be able to do that if you have a debt obligation hanging over your head"

Any grandparents who would sacrifice a potential future grandbaby for co-signing a loan need their heads examined....
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: cashstasherat23 on August 21, 2015, 12:04:45 PM
Could really use some mustachian advice on what to do here!
...insane stuff here...

In my gut I know it's the worst decision I could make, but also feel incredibly put on the spot and uncomfortable. How can I say no...its family!

Are there any suggestions I could give my family to help them figure out how to pay for his school, without me having to put my name on this train wreck?

It's IMPORTANT for you to say no. What if you meet someone and want to get married? You gonna bring that debt to the relationship like a nasty, puke-filled sock.

Ya wanna know how else this is gonna play out? In addition to your brother being an (apparent) asshole, he's gonna get angry with you being his debt-holder. he's going to be rebellious, irresponsible and angry.

This is gonna go way, way worse if you say YES vs. if you say NO.

There IS one important thing you can bring to the table here to support your "No": Tell your parents you want to get married and have babies someday, but you won't be able to do that if you have a debt obligation hanging over your head"

Any grandparents who would sacrifice a potential future grandbaby for co-signing a loan need their heads examined....


Thinking more of a nomadic, traveling around the world, living where I want, unattached kind of life, but even more so, I would like to be able to travel around debt-free and FI, without someone else's student loans hanging over my head!
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: GizmoTX on August 21, 2015, 12:07:52 PM
As I don't need the money/honestly probably would have given it to him at that time if he had just asked for it/didn't feel comfortable taking it from my parents in the first place, I consider it more so a good lesson in my brother's character. I think I'd rather not pursue it, but definitely will be wary of lending or accepting any money in the future.

The fact that you don't "need" the money doesn't change the fact that your brother failed to do what he promised to. I agree that you should not legally pursue YB, but do think you should let both YB & parents know that not only are you aware that he kept your money, that has destroyed your trust in him & is the prime reason you will not co-sign. if he repays you, still do not co-sign. Actions (& lack of them) have consequences, which YB still has not learned.

Suggest you immediately stop saying you don't need money -- this plays into YB's help himself attitude & parents regarding you as a financial resource. Years from now you may be in a position to make gifts to them, but by your choice.
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: domo on August 21, 2015, 12:11:26 PM
OMG, I did this!
Don't do it. It's a terrible idea. My parents had been burned before, cosigning for a brand new Suzuki coupe that lasted for three days before he totaled it without having gotten insurance first. They refused any further assistance. He never paid them back.
Later he wanted to turn his life around and get a good paying job, so I cosigned for my brother's very small $5,000 loan to get his CDL. He didn't even tell me before defaulting on it after the second payment! I am very glad they called me before sending the account to collections. I paid it off immediately with a low interest loan (as I didn't have that amount in liquid assets), then paid that loan off in a few months. Over the years he has paid me back <$600 of the $5000. He worked as a driver for only three months before quitting (with no job leads!).

Your brother will not learn if people keep bailing him out. It's a fact of life.

I am glad to say that my brother did eventually get things straight. He had to hit rock bottom first, though. I love my brother, he's always been a very kind person. He never meant to screw my parents or me over financially. He just needed to learn that lesson to really wake up to the responsibility.
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: cashstasherat23 on August 21, 2015, 12:11:54 PM
As I don't need the money/honestly probably would have given it to him at that time if he had just asked for it/didn't feel comfortable taking it from my parents in the first place, I consider it more so a good lesson in my brother's character. I think I'd rather not pursue it, but definitely will be wary of lending or accepting any money in the future.

The fact that you don't "need" the money doesn't change the fact that your brother failed to do what he promised to. I agree that you should not legally pursue YB, but do think you should let both YB & parents know that not only are you aware that he kept your money, that has destroyed your trust in him & is the prime reason you will not co-sign. if he repays you, still do not co-sign. Actions (& lack of them) have consequences, which YB still has not learned.

Suggest you immediately stop saying you don't need money -- this plays into YB's help himself attitude & parents regarding you as a financial resource. Years from now you may be in a position to make gifts to them, but by your choice.

Very true. The parents are also both aware of this, and have said they will "talk to him," but nothing has come of it.
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: Faraday on August 21, 2015, 12:13:14 PM
As I don't need the money/honestly probably would have given it to him at that time if he had just asked for it/didn't feel comfortable taking it from my parents in the first place, I consider it more so a good lesson in my brother's character. I think I'd rather not pursue it, but definitely will be wary of lending or accepting any money in the future.

The fact that you don't "need" the money doesn't change the fact that your brother failed to do what he promised to. I agree that you should not legally pursue YB, but do think you should let both YB & parents know that not only are you aware that he kept your money, that has destroyed your trust in him & is the prime reason you will not co-sign. if he repays you, still do not co-sign. Actions (& lack of them) have consequences, which YB still has not learned.

Suggest you immediately stop saying you don't need money -- this plays into YB's help himself attitude & parents regarding you as a financial resource. Years from now you may be in a position to make gifts to them, but by your choice.


OMG yeah - I missed that. GizmoTX +1 on that. I NEVER UTTER THOSE WORDS. Saying those words reveals too much about your own situation and enables people who will attempt to victimize you.

re: "Potential grandkid" - I'm with you on wanting to travel around the world - awesome. But hey, the possibility IS a card you can play!
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: cashstasherat23 on August 21, 2015, 12:17:41 PM
As I don't need the money/honestly probably would have given it to him at that time if he had just asked for it/didn't feel comfortable taking it from my parents in the first place, I consider it more so a good lesson in my brother's character. I think I'd rather not pursue it, but definitely will be wary of lending or accepting any money in the future.

The fact that you don't "need" the money doesn't change the fact that your brother failed to do what he promised to. I agree that you should not legally pursue YB, but do think you should let both YB & parents know that not only are you aware that he kept your money, that has destroyed your trust in him & is the prime reason you will not co-sign. if he repays you, still do not co-sign. Actions (& lack of them) have consequences, which YB still has not learned.

Suggest you immediately stop saying you don't need money -- this plays into YB's help himself attitude & parents regarding you as a financial resource. Years from now you may be in a position to make gifts to them, but by your choice.


OMG yeah - I missed that. GizmoTX +1 on that. I NEVER UTTER THOSE WORDS. Saying those words reveals too much about your own situation and enables people who will attempt to victimize you.

re: "Potential grandkid" - I'm with you on wanting to travel around the world - awesome. But hey, the possibility IS a card you can play!

I agree with that, and don't want to make it seem like I'm oh so rich that money ain't a thang, cause that's not true. But I also don't really feel comfortable accepting their money anymore. If it was a gift, that's one thing, but they still continue to offer things like cash for gas or food whenever I'm visiting them, which I really do not need, and don't want to accept. I'll have to work on phrasing that better, although I fear the damage is already done.
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: Faraday on August 21, 2015, 12:29:16 PM
....
I agree with that, and don't want to make it seem like I'm oh so rich that money ain't a thang, cause that's not true. But I also don't really feel comfortable accepting their money anymore. If it was a gift, that's one thing, but they still continue to offer things like cash for gas or food whenever I'm visiting them, which I really do not need, and don't want to accept. I'll have to work on phrasing that better, although I fear the damage is already done.

What about accepting their cash paybacks and using it to start an investment fund for THEM? So they can see how little amounts can add up?
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: cashstasherat23 on August 21, 2015, 12:33:04 PM
....
I agree with that, and don't want to make it seem like I'm oh so rich that money ain't a thang, cause that's not true. But I also don't really feel comfortable accepting their money anymore. If it was a gift, that's one thing, but they still continue to offer things like cash for gas or food whenever I'm visiting them, which I really do not need, and don't want to accept. I'll have to work on phrasing that better, although I fear the damage is already done.

What about accepting their cash paybacks and using it to start an investment fund for THEM? So they can see how little amounts can add up?

Hm..good idea in theory, but I'd rather not meddle like that. Even with all of their terrible decisions and irresponsible spending, they tell me that they are "millionaires" with all of the money they have saved for retirement, and my mother also still has quite a good paying job ($100K+). They wrecked their credit, but at this point, I don't think an investment account for them would even make a difference...it's peanuts compared to what they supposedly have. And again, don't really want to get that involved in telling them how to live their lives. Would rather just extract myself and keep myself separate.
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: MissStache on August 21, 2015, 12:35:27 PM
....
I agree with that, and don't want to make it seem like I'm oh so rich that money ain't a thang, cause that's not true. But I also don't really feel comfortable accepting their money anymore. If it was a gift, that's one thing, but they still continue to offer things like cash for gas or food whenever I'm visiting them, which I really do not need, and don't want to accept. I'll have to work on phrasing that better, although I fear the damage is already done.

What about accepting their cash paybacks and using it to start an investment fund for THEM? So they can see how little amounts can add up?

Hm..good idea in theory, but I'd rather not meddle like that. Even with all of their terrible decisions and irresponsible spending, they tell me that they are "millionaires" with all of the money they have saved for retirement, and my mother also still has quite a good paying job ($100K+). They wrecked their credit, but at this point, I don't think an investment account for them would even make a difference...it's peanuts compared to what they supposedly have. And again, don't really want to get that involved in telling them how to live their lives. Would rather just extract myself and keep myself separate.

"Thank you so much for the $XXXX.  I donated it to XXXX Charity!  I'm sure they will really appreciate it and it felt so good to be able to give a substantial amount."
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: coffeehound on August 21, 2015, 12:36:57 PM

But I also don't really feel comfortable accepting their money anymore. If it was a gift, that's one thing, but they still continue to offer things like cash for gas or food whenever I'm visiting them, which I really do not need, and don't want to accept. I'll have to work on phrasing that better, although I fear the damage is already done.
[/quote]

No, thanks.  I budgeted for food/gas for this trip.
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: domo on August 21, 2015, 12:38:33 PM

 And again, don't really want to get that involved in telling them how to live their lives. Would rather just extract myself and keep myself separate.


And there it is. You can't keep them from helping your brother, but you can remove yourself from the equation. You don't have to be a party to this. The fact that they asked you to do it shows that they have hesitations cosigning for your brother as well. Tell them that you don't support this decision and you can't be involved with them financially if they go through with it.
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: cashstasherat23 on August 21, 2015, 12:45:07 PM

 And again, don't really want to get that involved in telling them how to live their lives. Would rather just extract myself and keep myself separate.


And there it is. You can't keep them from helping your brother, but you can remove yourself from the equation. You don't have to be a party to this. The fact that they asked you to do it shows that they have hesitations cosigning for your brother as well. Tell them that you don't support this decision and you can't be involved with them financially if they go through with it.

Whoops may have missed an important detail here! Not that they are trying to put this on me rather than them do it...they have tried to co-sign his loans, and cannot get approval because of their terrible credit. Still doesn't change the fact that they really shouldn't have asked me though...
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: GizmoTX on August 21, 2015, 12:46:48 PM

But I also don't really feel comfortable accepting their money anymore. If it was a gift, that's one thing, but they still continue to offer things like cash for gas or food whenever I'm visiting them, which I really do not need, and don't want to accept. I'll have to work on phrasing that better, although I fear the damage is already done.

Just say thanks but no thanks to all cash gifts from now on. This is a habit your parents are in, & may think is necessary to keep you all showing up. The gifts come with strings, as you are discovering. You are now a guest in their home, so it's actually more appropriate for you to bring a contribution of food or beverage to family events.
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: domo on August 21, 2015, 12:50:59 PM

Whoops may have missed an important detail here! Not that they are trying to put this on me rather than them do it...they have tried to co-sign his loans, and cannot get approval because of their terrible credit. Still doesn't change the fact that they really shouldn't have asked me though...
In that case, just tell them no. Broach the subject of taking your Dad off your card later, it needs to be done but both at once may seem like a personal attack. Tell them that your brother will only learn by standing on his own two feet, and advise them to limit their support of him.
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: AlwaysLearningToSave on August 21, 2015, 01:06:02 PM
Just say thanks but no thanks to all cash gifts from now on. This is a habit your parents are in, & may think is necessary to keep you all showing up. The gifts come with strings, as you are discovering.

+1.  The more I read, the more I think your family and my family have in common.  I also had to stop accepting "gifts" from my parents because I did not want the unspoken strings that were attached.  My mother never would have acknowledged that strings were attached--and I truly believe she did not believe there were strings attached-- but the strings were there. 

It's hard to refuse because you know you are making a decision that is directly contrary to your financial interests, at least in the short term.  But it is a small price to pay for freedom from the unfair expectations, unsolicited opinions, and emotional manipulation. 
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: BBub on August 21, 2015, 01:09:40 PM
I disagree on broaching the subject with your Dad later.  Do it now.  Use this moment as a clear sign that things have gone too far & seize the opportunity to draw the line on commingling of family finances.  If not now, then when?  There will not be a better time.  I personally hate having that type of thing hanging over my head.  The killer bee analogy comes to mind.
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: AlwaysLearningToSave on August 21, 2015, 01:41:27 PM
I disagree on broaching the subject with your Dad later.  Do it now.  Use this moment as a clear sign that things have gone too far & seize the opportunity to draw the line on commingling of family finances.  If not now, then when?  There will not be a better time. 

Yes.  Rip the band-aid off now. 
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: GizmoTX on August 21, 2015, 06:47:43 PM
I disagree on broaching the subject with your Dad later.  Do it now.  Use this moment as a clear sign that things have gone too far & seize the opportunity to draw the line on commingling of family finances.  If not now, then when?  There will not be a better time. 

Yes.  Rip the band-aid off now.
+1
Earlier I suggested waiting for the monthly settlement, but now I too think you should remove your dad from your credit card ASAP.

Just so you know, you should calculate what your total college cost was & how much was covered by parent loans & direct payment.
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: MBot on August 21, 2015, 07:36:04 PM
Just to chime in with another "please say NO!!!"
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: Zamboni on August 21, 2015, 08:31:10 PM
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.
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: 11ducks on August 22, 2015, 03:47:45 AM
Figure out what you owe your parents for college, and start paying them back at a few hundred a month. That way, they have the cash to front for your brother to pay for classes, if that's what they choose to do with it. It would be frustrating if they were that stupid, but, as they apparently are, you can assuage your own guilt by ensuring you owe them nothing.
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: JAYSLOL on August 22, 2015, 06:34:28 AM
Crazy thread, count me with the NO votes.  That kid needs to earn his way through school. 
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: GoldenNeko on August 22, 2015, 06:55:06 AM
Please OP, keep saying no and DO remove your parents from your credit card.

My little sister is like your brother. She borrowed money from all of her siblings (me included), lived for free a whole year at my older sister's home (yet never helped pay any food or brought a gift) and although she was working, she was spending all her money in crazy things. Debts were not her concern, she felt is was normal people helped her. She never even gave back a single euro.

Stop enabling this. Protect yourself. This kind of people cannot be helped. Their own behavior creates their own doom. Don't risk your own assets with someone like that. Especially if your brother already owes you money he doesn't want to give back.
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: MidWestLove on August 22, 2015, 08:21:29 AM
Wow. OP - 3 pages and you still need support?!

Stop (expletive) apologizing, stop worrying. Fuck no! move on. don't you have a life to live that does not involve worrying about things that do not need to be worried about.
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: Kaikou on August 22, 2015, 09:34:01 AM

But I also don't really feel comfortable accepting their money anymore. If it was a gift, that's one thing, but they still continue to offer things like cash for gas or food whenever I'm visiting them, which I really do not need, and don't want to accept. I'll have to work on phrasing that better, although I fear the damage is already done.

Just say thanks but no thanks to all cash gifts from now on. This is a habit your parents are in, & may think is necessary to keep you all showing up. The gifts come with strings, as you are discovering. You are now a guest in their home, so it's actually more appropriate for you to bring a contribution of food or beverage to family events.

"Remember that 400$ we gave you for your birthday? Yeah we need it for the mortgage. Thanks son."

Yeah money should be a no topic for your family.
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: BrickByBrick on August 22, 2015, 03:23:28 PM
No.  The advice on this thread is solid.  Enablers will continue to enable until they can't afford too anymore, then they'll turn to you.  Your brother is using your parents to guilt trip you.  That they would even ask for you to co-sign on their behalf makes it sound like they are far closer to the abyss than you might realize.  Immediately place a low limit on your father's credit limit with the goal of getting him off you card ASAP.

As others have mentioned, tell your parents your brother can contact you directly.  When/If he does, tell him he doesn't owe you that $400, forgive him that debt so you both can move on.  If he asks about co-signing, give him all the reasons you want, so long as the answer is a clear and firm NO.

Your family has to change their behavior.  They may (or will) go ballistic.  Hold on and don't give in to their guilt trips.  If they threaten to or do cut off contact with you, that is 100% on them and had absolutely nothing to do with you.
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: Paul der Krake on August 22, 2015, 03:52:17 PM
Somewhere on page 3 of this thread it was disclosed that the family is struggling financially even though OP's parents' income is still over 6 figures.

At this level of cluelessness, all bets are off. Take Cathy's first piece of advice (removing Dad from the card), and consider the lost $400 a cheap warning that helped you see the writing on the wall before you got sucked into much bigger amounts.

Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: GizmoTX on August 22, 2015, 04:43:47 PM
No.  The advice on this thread is solid.  Enablers will continue to enable until they can't afford too anymore, then they'll turn to you.  Your brother is using your parents to guilt trip you.  That they would even ask for you to co-sign on their behalf makes it sound like they are far closer to the abyss than you might realize.  Immediately place a low limit on your father's credit limit with the goal of getting him off you card ASAP.

As others have mentioned, tell your parents your brother can contact you directly.  When/If he does, tell him he doesn't owe you that $400, forgive him that debt so you both can move on.  If he asks about co-signing, give him all the reasons you want, so long as the answer is a clear and firm NO.

Your family has to change their behavior.  They may (or will) go ballistic.  Hold on and don't give in to their guilt trips.  If they threaten to or do cut off contact with you, that is 100% on them and had absolutely nothing to do with you.

Expect the guilt trip. When I was 21 & told my dad I was engaged, his first comment was that he would "cut me off" rather than congratulations. By then I was mainly living away at university & paying my own way, so it was clearly a meaningless threat. After our wedding, we immediately moved several states away for jobs, which really helped us be frugal & find our own way. Two years later my grandmother's will put $10K into a 10 year trust for him because she didn't think he'd hold on to it, & made me the trustee. He hounded me constantly to break it, finally hanging up on me when I again told him no. He didn't contact me for a year after that, which by then was a sad relief. I hope something like this doesn't happen to you, but you need to be strong.
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: Argyle on August 22, 2015, 06:25:53 PM
So OP, have you said no to co-signing yet?  And have you taken your father off your credit card yet?
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: Kaikou on August 23, 2015, 08:43:42 AM
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?
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: NoraLenderbee on August 23, 2015, 09:27:29 AM
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?

http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/parents-just-asked-me-make-the-worst-financial-decision-please-help!/msg776702/#msg776702
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: bsmith on August 23, 2015, 09:31:45 AM
Good thinking having that conversation by phone, and in a situation where you couldn't spend a lot of time discussing it. Nice strategy. Now if it comes up again, you can say, "We've already discussed this, and I'm not going to go through it again."

Looking forward to an update on the credit card issue as well.
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: Basenji on August 23, 2015, 10:20:35 AM
Last time on "The Parent Trap" (Update 1 from OP)
Have you responded yet?  How did it go?

(Put me in the "no, NO, NO!!!!" camp on this one, BTW.)

I did respond, but it didn't go as smoothly as I'd hoped. I actually was out on a date, but stepped away quickly to call them, as I knew they we're waiting to hear from me. I told my mom, and she was not happy about it. She just said why not? And I told her that I couldn't make that kind of commitment, and some of the other reasons given. She didn't accept it, but said we could talk about it later. She sounded really disappointed, and maybe a little angry. I'll have to give the family a call again later tonight to discuss, but I was truly not expecting that reaction...although I'm shocked she asked me too, so I guess I don't know her as well as I thought! Will definitely keep you all posted on the situation as it evolves.
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Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: Basenji on August 23, 2015, 10:22:07 AM
Update 2ish

Yeahhhh...I kind of got into explaining reasons last night, and just started rambling. Going to keep it much more concise tonight and just say no. Will need to work up to asking my dad to get off my credit card, but that's a whole other thing that will take a few weeks to figure out.
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: Basenji on August 23, 2015, 10:27:15 AM
Side detail, which makes parents' behavior even more curious

Hm..good idea in theory, but I'd rather not meddle like that. Even with all of their terrible decisions and irresponsible spending, they tell me that they are "millionaires" with all of the money they have saved for retirement, and my mother also still has quite a good paying job ($100K+). They wrecked their credit, but at this point, I don't think an investment account for them would even make a difference...it's peanuts compared to what they supposedly have. And again, don't really want to get that involved in telling them how to live their lives. Would rather just extract myself and keep myself separate.
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: Argyle on August 23, 2015, 10:37:29 AM
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.
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: Rosy on August 23, 2015, 10:45:07 AM
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.
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: TomTX on August 23, 2015, 10:52:54 AM
1) Fuck, no. No naked cosigning ever.* However, you will happily give your brother a gift of $400. Coincidentally, he already spent it. It's not worth the heartache of trying to get repayment from a deadbeat relative.

2) Get your Dad off your card. Now. He should get his own.

3) What the fuck? They make $100k and can't make ends meet?

*Only exception to cosigning is if you are already covered 100%, such as using the loan as a no-risk financial tool to help build credit. ie - my sister gives me $10k, I cosign an $8k loan and make the payments to help her build credit.
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: GizmoTX on August 23, 2015, 11:01:21 AM
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.
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: Kaikou on August 23, 2015, 11:35:45 AM
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
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: Kaikou on August 23, 2015, 11:37:38 AM
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".
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: Kaikou on August 23, 2015, 11:39:50 AM
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.
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: Kaikou on August 23, 2015, 11:49:00 AM
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
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: frugaliknowit on August 23, 2015, 12:55:35 PM
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).
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: GizmoTX on August 23, 2015, 01:32:43 PM
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.
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: Jags4186 on August 23, 2015, 01:59:10 PM
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
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: NumberJohnny5 on August 23, 2015, 06:27:46 PM
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.
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: Faraday on August 23, 2015, 06:31:08 PM
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!
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: zolotiyeruki on August 23, 2015, 07:25:21 PM
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.
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: NoWorries on August 23, 2015, 08:05:38 PM
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.
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: AlwaysLearningToSave on August 23, 2015, 08:23:58 PM
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.
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: NumberJohnny5 on August 23, 2015, 09:37:41 PM
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???!!!
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: Goldielocks on August 23, 2015, 09:54:19 PM
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.
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: LeRainDrop on August 23, 2015, 10:17:17 PM
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
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: LeRainDrop on August 23, 2015, 10:37:40 PM
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
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: cashstasherat23 on August 24, 2015, 09:48:31 AM
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!
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: GizmoTX on August 24, 2015, 10:51:36 AM
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.
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: ShoulderThingThatGoesUp on August 24, 2015, 10:58:39 AM
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.
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: cashstasherat23 on August 24, 2015, 11:14:35 AM
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.
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: partgypsy on August 24, 2015, 11:22:31 AM
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. 
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: Mr FrugalNL on August 24, 2015, 11:34:44 AM
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.
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: GizmoTX on August 24, 2015, 11:57:03 AM
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.

Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: cashstasherat23 on August 24, 2015, 12:10:11 PM
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.
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: GizmoTX on August 24, 2015, 12:50:46 PM
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.
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: ShoulderThingThatGoesUp on August 24, 2015, 12:56:39 PM
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.
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: purplearcanist on August 24, 2015, 01:10:35 PM
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.
Title: Re: Parents asked me make the worst financial decision I can imagine, please help!
Post by: iknowiyam on August 24, 2015, 02:04:47 PM
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).
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: partgypsy on August 24, 2015, 02:17:41 PM
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.
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: Greg on August 24, 2015, 03:00:59 PM
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.
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: GizmoTX on August 24, 2015, 03:48:17 PM
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.
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: MarciaB on August 24, 2015, 04:21:49 PM
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.
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: Faraday on August 24, 2015, 05:16:17 PM
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!
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: NumberJohnny5 on August 24, 2015, 09:31:22 PM
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.
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: NZBubble on August 25, 2015, 01:15:36 AM
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.
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: Kaikou on August 25, 2015, 02:48:23 AM
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.
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: Kaikou on August 25, 2015, 02:51:52 AM
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.
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: Bob W on August 25, 2015, 09:38:34 AM
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!
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: dpfromva on August 25, 2015, 08:37:19 PM
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).
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: LeRainDrop on August 25, 2015, 11:56:12 PM
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.
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: mtn on August 26, 2015, 10:15:06 AM
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.
Title: Re: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable, opinions please!
Post by: Kaikou on August 28, 2015, 02:42:50 PM
no resolution from OP?
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: cashstasherat23 on September 01, 2015, 09:24:44 AM
For all inquiring minds...I just posted an update in the OP!
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: 2ndTimer 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.
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: MissStache 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!
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: ShoulderThingThatGoesUp on September 01, 2015, 09:42:44 AM
And you de-authorized his card immediately, right? RIGHT?
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: cashstasherat23 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!
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: Kaspian 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!  :)
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: CheapskateWife 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.
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: Psychstache 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.
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: cashstasherat23 on September 01, 2015, 10:14:00 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.

Trust me, I've already looked at them, and will continue to monitor them!
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: cashstasherat23 on September 01, 2015, 10:22:43 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.

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!

Actually after I sent the email I went right to the Republic Wireless website, and am now checking out Ting, trying to see what the best option is for me.

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. 

Besides the cell phone, there is nothing else that they pay for me. The only other thing that comes to mind is my mother's health insurance, which I am currently on, but as secondary plan...I have my own health insurance. I don't believe it costs them anything to have me on there, but I can have them take me off of that as well.

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.

Oof...I have not. I did let him know that I would be contacting them, but have not yet called. I know...facepunch me. I will do it soon! First step was telling them...I had to work up to that, and I don't want to blindside them or embarrass them by removing the card without telling them, but I know it needs to be done.
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: AlwaysLearningToSave on September 01, 2015, 10:26:04 AM
I didn't want to discuss via text message, but have a hard time standing up to them on the phone and always cave in, so I just finished penning a very long email to explain to them where I'm coming from, and why I don't want to do this anymore. I just hit send, and actually feel very nervous and sick to my stomach, as I feel like a traitor to the family and am worried that they will not understand, but I hope that they understand where I'm coming from. I guess that this would have had to happen eventually, so it's better that I do this sooner rather than later, but it's an awful feeling!

. . .

I hope that they understand, and that this doesn't cause a huge rift in my family. Very nervous, but hoping that this is the right thing to do. Thanks for all of your input, MMM friends!

Good work, OP.  It sucks, I know.  I had many of the same feelings when I weaned myself from my family's strings-attached and manipulative financial support.  Fair warning: they probably will not understand where you are coming from and it will very likely cause a significant change in your family dynamic.  The dynamic will probably never be the same.  But that is a good thing.  You did what you did because the dynamic needed to change. 

I also can relate to not wanting to discuss such hard things over email and text but at the same time lacking confidence that I could stay strong in in-person interactions.  My family had the very unhealthy dynamic of never openly dealing with conflict or disagreement when I was growing up, and so I never learned how to manage it.  Trying to navigate such big disagreement and conflict was gut wrenching.  The more you do it, the easier it will become, but if you are like me, the family conflict will never be easy to handle.  I now manage conflict professionally on a daily basis and it now comes easily.  But conflict with my family still makes my gut churn.  Just remember that you don't owe them an explanation, justification, or apology.  If the conversation goes that direction, just shut it down by saying that you've made your decision and you don't want to discuss it any further.  Of course that is easier said than done, but it can be done.

We on the forum can be a good source of support, but it also helps to have someone who can support you in person as well.  A good counselor can be great (though that can be expensive).  A friend who has gone through something similar can often help.  For me my then-fiance-now-wife was an invaluable source of strength and encouragement in the hard times.

But you are not done yet.  Remove your Dad as an authorized user on the credit card.  You've already told him about it so you won't surprise him or cause a problem.  Just do it now so that it is done and will not continue to loom over you.

Then check out the "Boundaries" book reference earlier in this thread from your local library or buy a used copy on Amazon and start reading.  It will be invaluable for you. 
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: Gin1984 on September 01, 2015, 10:30:11 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.

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!

Actually after I sent the email I went right to the Republic Wireless website, and am now checking out Ting, trying to see what the best option is for me.

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. 

Besides the cell phone, there is nothing else that they pay for me. The only other thing that comes to mind is my mother's health insurance, which I am currently on, but as secondary plan...I have my own health insurance. I don't believe it costs them anything to have me on there, but I can have them take me off of that as well.

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.

Oof...I have not. I did let him know that I would be contacting them, but have not yet called. I know...facepunch me. I will do it soon! First step was telling them...I had to work up to that, and I don't want to blindside them or embarrass them by removing the card without telling them, but I know it needs to be done.
Get a referral if you do switch to ting or republic wireless.
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: Rosy on September 01, 2015, 11:05:05 AM
Tough - but well done and over with.
Congrats on standing up for yourself and protecting your assets for the future. Your desire and indeed right to make independent and smart choices with your money is something they should be proud of. It benefits no one at all if you cave in and follow their past and present history of reckless financial decisions.
Family is always tough and I hope in the end it all blows over sooner rather than later. A little distance can be a good thing to help everyone stand back and come to their senses - we hope:)

You love them and they love you, but it is time for you to disengage from a potential financial disaster.

As a parent, I can understand wanting to help all your children as they have helped you with your student loans, they are intent on doing the same for your brother.
They are living in la la land and have lost their grip on the reality of their true and rather dire financial situation. Your father and mother need to face facts and tell your brother - we are not in a position to help you. It is sad, but true. Besides, he already had his chance - the next school expenses should be entirely on him - period.
They are not doing him any favors by supporting his spendthrift, irresponsible ways.

Anyway - kudos to you for paying them back for your own student loans, I believe that is the right thing to do. Besides, if you paid them back for you SL why couldn't they use that money for your brothers SL - just a thought.
You never had an obligation to finance or co-sign anything for your brother, that is ludicreous. Forgiving the $400 is all I'd ever be willing to entertain and I would surely use it for ammunition in my arguments.

The phone is easy - set up a plan that works for you, then cancel your participation in the family plan. No need for long discussions at all.

To me the credit card is actually the red herring, it does represent your cutting the cord, but also makes things harder for your Dad, so I totally understand how hard this is to do. I'm not saying you should, but I would pay it off and close the account if that is possible. Your dad voicing the opinion that he is helping your credit only shows how removed from reality he has become.
Kudos for telling him upfront first - I know that was not easy. Deep breath and act upon it in a way that is considerate and satisfactory to you both. No need to be mean about it, but don't let it fester - cut the cord asap.

Do find out what the alternate solution to your brothers SL woes turns out to be and leave no doubt in their minds that you will no longer be involved in enabling their poor lifestyle choices. Good luck!:)
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: UnleashHell on September 01, 2015, 11:39:21 AM
That's some huge independent strides made right there. Excellent work. Congrats.
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: partgypsy on September 01, 2015, 01:05:05 PM
Good for you! And though it doesn't feel like it, not only is this better and clearer financially, this will lead to a healthier, more balanced relationship with your parents in the future. It's hard though to keep the line when probably so many in your family want you to revert to old ways.
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: jooles on September 01, 2015, 01:14:31 PM
Looks like you're well on your way to good choices.  Here's my two cents re all cosigned loans -

Just say NO!

Anyone who needs a cosigner is a bad risk.  Why are you suddenly you are smarter than the bank.  The bank is in business to loan money.  They only make money when they loan money.  The bank exists to loan money.  When the bank says no it is for a very good reason.

If you would give this brother, or any person, a GIFT of this amount of money, then do that.  Give him the money.  Co-signing on a loan is equivalent to accepting the loan as your responsibility to pay back.  The statistical likelihood of you being left holding the bag for this loan is VERY high.
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: Interest Compound on September 01, 2015, 01:33:04 PM
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.

Trust me, I've already looked at them, and will continue to monitor them!

This is probably the biggest red flag ever! Every day I see posts like this on the Personal Finance subReddit:

https://www.reddit.com/r/personalfinance/comments/3j6u49/brother_stole_my_ssn_and_personal_info_opened_up/

"Brother stole my ssn and personal info. Opened up a credit card in my name. Stole 8k USD from me from my bank and student loans. What can I do?"

You think the pressure to co-sign for your brother is bad...wait until you have to deal with the pressure to NOT press charges against your parents for identity theft! I cannot emphasize this enough, freeze your credit before it's too late!
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: cashstasherat23 on September 01, 2015, 01:41:26 PM
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.

Trust me, I've already looked at them, and will continue to monitor them!

This is probably the biggest red flag ever! Every day I see posts like this on the Personal Finance subReddit:

https://www.reddit.com/r/personalfinance/comments/3j6u49/brother_stole_my_ssn_and_personal_info_opened_up/

"Brother stole my ssn and personal info. Opened up a credit card in my name. Stole 8k USD from me from my bank and student loans. What can I do?"

You think the pressure to co-sign for your brother is bad...wait until you have to deal with the pressure to NOT press charges against your parents for identity theft! I cannot emphasize this enough, freeze your credit before it's too late!

Did not know that was an option, but something I will definitely look in to! I hate having to think of my parents as "the enemy" but I want to be sure that I am protecting myself and my finances. I don't think they would ever do anything like that, but I guess you never know.
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: AlwaysLearningToSave on September 01, 2015, 01:53:38 PM
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.

Trust me, I've already looked at them, and will continue to monitor them!

This is probably the biggest red flag ever! Every day I see posts like this on the Personal Finance subReddit:

https://www.reddit.com/r/personalfinance/comments/3j6u49/brother_stole_my_ssn_and_personal_info_opened_up/

"Brother stole my ssn and personal info. Opened up a credit card in my name. Stole 8k USD from me from my bank and student loans. What can I do?"

You think the pressure to co-sign for your brother is bad...wait until you have to deal with the pressure to NOT press charges against your parents for identity theft! I cannot emphasize this enough, freeze your credit before it's too late!

Probably a good idea.  Hopefully your parents are not so crazy as to steal your identity and taking precaution is overkill.  But you DO NOT want to risk the consequences of finding out the hard way that they ARE crazy enough to do it.  Freezing it won't take a ton of extra work but it will protect your family relationships and go a long ways toward helping you sleep better at night.  Just freeze it because you have a lot to lose if they prove themselves crazier than you think they are.
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: clifp on September 01, 2015, 01:58:27 PM
Add another yes you did the right thing and I can't believe your parents would ask you.

BTW, I'd suggest that if your brother/parents are serious about making money.  That whole situation has the making for one of those crazy reality/sitcom shows. Maybe they could write a script and sell  it.  The responsible millennial and his irresponsible  parents has man bites dog  quality to it.
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: GoldenNeko on September 01, 2015, 02:01:04 PM
Yes, protect yourself cashstasherat23! You did right with that mail.

You need to stand for yourself and protect your assets. In the end, you'll feel much better this way, rather than co-signing (willing or unwillingly it seems) your own financial doom.

I know it's not easy. I stopped speaking to my own parents during 6 months, a few years ago. The crisis was not finance related, but it was a long time coming. They didn't understand at first. But time helped them understand. Now, our relationship is back to normal, even better I'd say, cause now, I'm an adult taking my own decisions. And I don't resent them either.

Sometimes, a big crisis is better than an infected, unhealed wound.
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: Candace on September 01, 2015, 02:09:35 PM
To the OP:

I have used the following service to freeze my credit. It works great so far. It's free.

http://www.experian.com/consumer/security_freeze.html

Now, anytime I want to apply for a new credit card or loan, I have to jump through a few hoops, but so does anyone else trying to open an account in my name. I recommend this for people in general, regardless of any special situation, because I believe it reduces the risks if your identity is stolen.
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: cashstasherat23 on September 01, 2015, 02:18:07 PM
Yes, protect yourself cashstasherat23! You did right with that mail.

You need to stand for yourself and protect your assets. In the end, you'll feel much better this way, rather than co-signing (willing or unwillingly it seems) your own financial doom.

I know it's not easy. I stopped speaking to my own parents during 6 months, a few years ago. The crisis was not finance related, but it was a long time coming. They didn't understand at first. But time helped them understand. Now, our relationship is back to normal, even better I'd say, cause now, I'm an adult taking my own decisions. And I don't resent them either.

Sometimes, a big crisis is better than an infected, unhealed wound.

Right now it sure doesn't feel that way. I just got back a heart-breaking email from him, and am doing my best not to cry at work. He said that money is ok to seek, but family is forever, and is upset that I said wouldn't lend my brother the money, because we should be there to support each other. He is also taking this as me "losing faith in him", and says that he won't bother me again.

It's been very hard lately because my parents recently moved a few states away, and I've already felt far away from them. I am afraid that they will stop speaking to me, which is not what I intended.
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: GoldenNeko on September 01, 2015, 02:27:21 PM
Yes, protect yourself cashstasherat23! You did right with that mail.

You need to stand for yourself and protect your assets. In the end, you'll feel much better this way, rather than co-signing (willing or unwillingly it seems) your own financial doom.

I know it's not easy. I stopped speaking to my own parents during 6 months, a few years ago. The crisis was not finance related, but it was a long time coming. They didn't understand at first. But time helped them understand. Now, our relationship is back to normal, even better I'd say, cause now, I'm an adult taking my own decisions. And I don't resent them either.

Sometimes, a big crisis is better than an infected, unhealed wound.

Right now it sure doesn't feel that way. I just got back a heart-breaking email from him, and am doing my best not to cry at work. He said that money is ok to seek, but family is forever, and is upset that I said wouldn't lend my brother the money, because we should be there to support each other. He is also taking this as me "losing faith in him", and says that he won't bother me again.

It's been very hard lately because my parents recently moved a few states away, and I've already felt far away from them. I am afraid that they will stop speaking to me, which is not what I intended.

Do you have a friend you can call or see after work? You need to be with someone friendly at the moment.
I know how crappy it feels. Being right doesn't mean some part of yourself won't feel guilty, or ashamed. It's just cause you love your parents, and every child wants to please his/her parents.
Give them, and yourself, some time. You were right to say no. You know it deep down. And they know it.

If I could OP, I'd hug you. Try to see a friend or do something you really enjoy. The feelings will calm down.
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: MissStache on September 01, 2015, 02:29:05 PM
Yes, protect yourself cashstasherat23! You did right with that mail.

You need to stand for yourself and protect your assets. In the end, you'll feel much better this way, rather than co-signing (willing or unwillingly it seems) your own financial doom.

I know it's not easy. I stopped speaking to my own parents during 6 months, a few years ago. The crisis was not finance related, but it was a long time coming. They didn't understand at first. But time helped them understand. Now, our relationship is back to normal, even better I'd say, cause now, I'm an adult taking my own decisions. And I don't resent them either.

Sometimes, a big crisis is better than an infected, unhealed wound.

Right now it sure doesn't feel that way. I just got back a heart-breaking email from him, and am doing my best not to cry at work. He said that money is ok to seek, but family is forever, and is upset that I said wouldn't lend my brother the money, because we should be there to support each other. He is also taking this as me "losing faith in him", and says that he won't bother me again.

It's been very hard lately because my parents recently moved a few states away, and I've already felt far away from them. I am afraid that they will stop speaking to me, which is not what I intended.

Ugh, such awful, awful emotional manipulation.  Please realize that they are TRYING to make you feel bad and GUILTY because that is what manipulators do.  If they really thought that family was there to support each other, then they would not be using you and trying to get you to damage your own future for your brother's sake or for their own.  They are not looking out for your best interests.  They are being selfish.  You deserve much better. 



Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: cashstasherat23 on September 01, 2015, 02:34:10 PM
Yes, protect yourself cashstasherat23! You did right with that mail.

You need to stand for yourself and protect your assets. In the end, you'll feel much better this way, rather than co-signing (willing or unwillingly it seems) your own financial doom.

I know it's not easy. I stopped speaking to my own parents during 6 months, a few years ago. The crisis was not finance related, but it was a long time coming. They didn't understand at first. But time helped them understand. Now, our relationship is back to normal, even better I'd say, cause now, I'm an adult taking my own decisions. And I don't resent them either.

Sometimes, a big crisis is better than an infected, unhealed wound.

Right now it sure doesn't feel that way. I just got back a heart-breaking email from him, and am doing my best not to cry at work. He said that money is ok to seek, but family is forever, and is upset that I said wouldn't lend my brother the money, because we should be there to support each other. He is also taking this as me "losing faith in him", and says that he won't bother me again.

It's been very hard lately because my parents recently moved a few states away, and I've already felt far away from them. I am afraid that they will stop speaking to me, which is not what I intended.

Do you have a friend you can call or see after work? You need to be with someone friendly at the moment.
I know how crappy it feels. Being right doesn't mean some part of yourself won't feel guilty, or ashamed. It's just cause you love your parents, and every child wants to please his/her parents.
Give them, and yourself, some time. You were right to say no. You know it deep down. And they know it.

If I could OP, I'd hug you. Try to see a friend or do something you really enjoy. The feelings will calm down.

Thank you. I actually just finally messaged my best friend and told her all about it, because I need to talk to someone about it. I've been keeping the whole situation a secret for so long because my parents asked me to, but it's too much for me to deal with.

I'm also going on a date tonight, so hopefully that will help keep my mind off things. I hate that I'm in this situation!
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: GoldenNeko on September 01, 2015, 02:39:35 PM
Congrats on the date! Have fun, and report back to best friend after that (and to us, cause curious Mustachians here ^_^)
Joke aside, give yourself some time and try to enjoy your life, your happiness will do the rest.
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: zolotiyeruki on September 01, 2015, 02:39:45 PM
Right now it sure doesn't feel that way. I just got back a heart-breaking email from him, and am doing my best not to cry at work. He said that money is ok to seek, but family is forever, and is upset that I said wouldn't lend my brother the money, because we should be there to support each other. He is also taking this as me "losing faith in him", and says that he won't bother me again.

It's been very hard lately because my parents recently moved a few states away, and I've already felt far away from them. I am afraid that they will stop speaking to me, which is not what I intended.
It's always a bit of a strain when grown kids choose to not follow their parents' wishes.  And I think it's important to make it clear that you still care about them and love them.  But boundaries are still important.  My mom hates my haircut (#1 guard over the whole head), but I've made it clear to her that I'm not going to grow it off in order to show off my bald spot and receding hair line. :)  We still call them frequently just to talk and catch up.

Your parents may be trying to emotionally manipulate you, or they may just be genuinely disappointed in your choices.  Either way, it shouldn't matter to you.
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: mtn on September 01, 2015, 02:41:34 PM
"I understand how you feel. I am here for emotional support or financial counselling, but I cannot provide financial support. I am responsible for me, and at this moment in my life I cannot take on the risk of having anyone but myself on my liability sheet. My brothers past actions have made that an impossibility."
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: Candace on September 01, 2015, 02:41:53 PM
Yes, protect yourself cashstasherat23! You did right with that mail.

You need to stand for yourself and protect your assets. In the end, you'll feel much better this way, rather than co-signing (willing or unwillingly it seems) your own financial doom.

I know it's not easy. I stopped speaking to my own parents during 6 months, a few years ago. The crisis was not finance related, but it was a long time coming. They didn't understand at first. But time helped them understand. Now, our relationship is back to normal, even better I'd say, cause now, I'm an adult taking my own decisions. And I don't resent them either.

Sometimes, a big crisis is better than an infected, unhealed wound.

Right now it sure doesn't feel that way. I just got back a heart-breaking email from him, and am doing my best not to cry at work. He said that money is ok to seek, but family is forever, and is upset that I said wouldn't lend my brother the money, because we should be there to support each other. He is also taking this as me "losing faith in him", and says that he won't bother me again.

It's been very hard lately because my parents recently moved a few states away, and I've already felt far away from them. I am afraid that they will stop speaking to me, which is not what I intended.

Ugh, such awful, awful emotional manipulation.  Please realize that they are TRYING to make you feel bad and GUILTY because that is what manipulators do.  If they really thought that family was there to support each other, then they would not be using you and trying to get you to damage your own future for your brother's sake or for their own.  They are not looking out for your best interests.  They are being selfish.  You deserve much better.

This is so true. If your parents were "there to support you", they wouldn't be asking you to lend your brother money when they know he's so unlikely to pay you back. Family members don't support each other by letting themselves be doormats. Supporting someone who's just taking advantage of you doesn't make any sense.

Good luck.
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: okits on September 01, 2015, 02:49:55 PM
Oh cashstasherat23, that's hard, I'm sorry.  Family is forever, which is why you are doing this very hard thing that will hopefully force your parents and brother to change their destructive ways. You are also protecting yourself, which protects them, too.  Someday they may really need money for a true emergency (not a third try at school or maintaining lifestyle levels, but, say, a medical emergency), and you are no good to them then by ruining your finances over stuff like this.

Go ahead and reply once more, letting them know that you are putting your family first by being responsible and trying to get them to behave responsibly with finances, too.  (Yes, that's patronizing, but you're allowed to say it because it's true and they need to hear it.) Then leave it alone for a while.  Ask your best friend to screen their e-mails and voicemails (don't even listen to or read the guilt-trippy ones; if there are normal-sounding ones respond to those.) There was no way to do this without causing at least a temporary rift in your family, but you are setting boundaries and protecting the small oasis of financial sanity in your family (you.)

Get your dad off your credit card and freeze your credit, PRONTO.  Then see if serpentstooth will still send you those cookies.  Will be a nice pick-me-up to receive in the mail.  :)
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: SunshineAZ on September 01, 2015, 02:51:30 PM
Right now it sure doesn't feel that way. I just got back a heart-breaking email from him, and am doing my best not to cry at work. He said that money is ok to seek, but family is forever, and is upset that I said wouldn't lend my brother the money, because we should be there to support each other. He is also taking this as me "losing faith in him", and says that he won't bother me again.

It's been very hard lately because my parents recently moved a few states away, and I've already felt far away from them. I am afraid that they will stop speaking to me, which is not what I intended.
OMG What your father said is 100% textbook emotional blackmail!!!  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emotional_blackmail 

Please don't let him make you feel guilty for something that you are not obligated to do.  You should be angry at the manipulation, not guilty. 


Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: RyanAtTanagra on September 01, 2015, 02:52:50 PM
"I understand how you feel. I am here for emotional support or financial counselling, but I cannot provide financial support. I am responsible for me, and at this moment in my life I cannot take on the risk of having anyone but myself on my liability sheet. My brothers past actions have made that an impossibility."

This is a great and succinct response.  Copy/paste it.
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: lemanfan on September 01, 2015, 03:06:16 PM
I'm also going on a date tonight, so hopefully that will help keep my mind off things.

Good luck with the date!

We're here to give you moral support!  You're doing a brave thing - keep it up and make your own choices!

(and I can guarantee that serpentthooths cookies are worth waiting for... :)  )
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: innkeeper77 on September 01, 2015, 03:22:31 PM
I haven't read every post, but I had to chime in as a financial underwriter. Freeze your credit, but realize that there are three places you need to do this! Some institutions use one bureau, while some use others. Freeze it at experian, trans union, and Equifax. Doing it with just one will not fully protect you!

Also, sometimes when you are actually open an account, banks etc will ask for a temporary lift of the freeze to make it easier on them. Don't do this, go to whichever bureau they are using, and give them an access code. Its a pain for them, so they may not even tell you its an option. Do it anyway. An access code is much safer than undoing the freeze for 24 hours!

There are also things called "hawk alerts" that aren't a freeze but that mean the bank etc has to verify your identity on the phone  before opening an account. The freeze is more effective though, and prevents inquiries.
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: llorona on September 01, 2015, 03:26:25 PM
People don't react well when others seek independence. Wars have been fought for this very reason.

Your family is not going to like that you're flexing your muscles and extracting yourself from financial entanglement. This is new and different. They are going to have a reaction - confusion, hurt, anger, etc. Part of the process is letting them have their feelings and emotions without feeling responsible.

You mentioned concern that your family will stop speaking to you. Since your parents have already resorted to emotional manipulation, it's a possibility that they will withdraw from you for a while. But think about this: if they stop talking to you over this, who's really the one prioritizing money over family?
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: Capt Stubble on September 01, 2015, 03:27:58 PM
Right now it sure doesn't feel that way. I just got back a heart-breaking email from him, and am doing my best not to cry at work. He said that money is ok to seek, but family is forever, and is upset that I said wouldn't lend my brother the money, because we should be there to support each other. He is also taking this as me "losing faith in him", and says that he won't bother me again.

It's been very hard lately because my parents recently moved a few states away, and I've already felt far away from them. I am afraid that they will stop speaking to me, which is not what I intended.
OMG What your father said is 100% textbook emotional blackmail!!!  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emotional_blackmail 

Please don't let him make you feel guilty for something that you are not obligated to do.  You should be angry at the manipulation, not guilty.

+1. When you've gotten over the guilt and sorrow of hurting their feelings and upsetting the family dynamic, you'll probably get in touch with some (justified) anger if you haven't already. Your father owes you a sincere apology and I hope you'll do him the favor of demanding it.
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: cchrissyy on September 01, 2015, 05:55:15 PM
Quote
You mentioned concern that your family will stop speaking to you. Since your parents have already resorted to emotional manipulation, it's a possibility that they will withdraw from you for a while. But think about this: if they stop talking to you over this, who's really the one prioritizing money over family?

So true

You have taken big strides in your own independence. Maybe, for right now, this is also a time you need to be reaching out to friends. If you are lonely, try building up new or old friendships instead of reaching to your family while this stuff is still raw.

It sounds like they are hurt - and trying to use you - and using common emotional manipulation techniques -  and all of that cane be true at once, and also you can still care about them and want to be closer again in the future.  but for now, continue these amazing actions of taking responsibility for yourself and not hurting yourself on behalf of anybody else, and go read those books recommended in earlier comments about boundaries and such. Other people really do get this. Good luck!
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: Faraday on September 01, 2015, 06:04:42 PM
Right now it sure doesn't feel that way. I just got back a heart-breaking email from him, and am doing my best not to cry at work. He said that money is ok to seek, but family is forever, and is upset that I said wouldn't lend my brother the money, because we should be there to support each other. He is also taking this as me "losing faith in him", and says that he won't bother me again.

It's been very hard lately because my parents recently moved a few states away, and I've already felt far away from them. I am afraid that they will stop speaking to me, which is not what I intended.

Hey cashstash!
First, let me ask you - does that email actually SOUND like your FATHER? It reads more like something a mother would write when her sweet baby boy is getting kicked in the 'nads by sister.

I'm gonna put a spin on this that I hope will make you mad:

You are being manipulated for the sake of your deadbeat brother. It's that old "boys can do no wrong, girls can do no right" horseshit.

It's time for you to show them that you've got the chops baby. That you've got game and can BRING IT when you have to! Be strong. You owe it to the people you will love (and who will love you back) in the future!

For what it's worth, sweetie, there are many of us here who have suffered similarly, or even worse. We stand with you and we cheer you on. You are NOT choosing "money over family". You are NOT choosing ANYTHING over family. You are just living your life the way you decide.

You are a grown-ass woman and you do what you want. :-)

Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: Argyle on September 01, 2015, 07:05:52 PM
If family members are supposed to support each other monetarily, how come your father isn't supporting you monetarily by paying for his charges on the credit card promptly and without carrying a balance?  And how come family caring is expressed, apparently, only by giving someone money?  Wouldn't it be an expression of caring to love and cherish someone even if they decided not to spend more of their money on you?  (As you are doing to your brother and father.)

I'm not seeing caring here.  I'm seeing people who are so panicky about money that they're throwing around terms like "caring" and "loyalty" and stuff, just to extract more money.  If they're all that invested in family closeness, let them demonstrate it by shutting up about the money.

This stuff will pass.  Right now they're just having tantrums because their free money supply has been cut off.
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: okonumiyaki on September 01, 2015, 07:27:06 PM
My father stopped talking to my sister for a year or so (would make my mother answer the phone in case it was her...) over a engagement she ended where he felt she behaved badly.  My wife didn't talk to my FIL for a couple of years after he had an affair.  But time heals all wounds, and, yes, family is forever, and the relationships ended up stronger than ever.  In both cases it was a realisation that unconditional love doesn't mean you let other adults get away with being dicks.
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: Shinplaster on September 01, 2015, 07:48:42 PM
If family members are supposed to support each other monetarily, how come your father isn't supporting you monetarily by paying for his charges on the credit card promptly and without carrying a balance?  And how come family caring is expressed, apparently, only by giving someone money?  Wouldn't it be an expression of caring to love and cherish someone even if they decided not to spend more of their money on you?  (As you are doing to your brother and father.)

I'm not seeing caring here.  I'm seeing people who are so panicky about money that they're throwing around terms like "caring" and "loyalty" and stuff, just to extract more money.  If they're all that invested in family closeness, let them demonstrate it by shutting up about the money.

This stuff will pass.  Right now they're just having tantrums because their free money supply has been cut off.

+1

Because family IS forever, it's important to set these boundaries at the start of your adult life.  They will push, and prod, and throw tantrums just as children do to test those limits, but do not give in.  If you do, you will never get to really be an adult, and control your own life and finances. They know you love them - this is just noise.
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: Kaikou on September 01, 2015, 07:57:47 PM
OP I'm proud of you, we all are. Your parents need time to realize what's going on. It's hard to hear their backlash, but expected. Probably like the 5 stages of Grief.

Please freeze your credit like others have said.

Who knows maybe when this information makes way to your brother, he will think about his own independence or opportunity to seek it.

Lead don't follow.
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: K-ice on September 01, 2015, 09:50:05 PM

 He said that money is ok to seek, but family is forever, and is upset that I said wouldn't lend my brother the money, because we should be there to support each other. He is also taking this as me "losing faith in him", and says that he won't bother me again.


This is the part that shows your family still doesn't understand. I am sure you would strongly consider lending him the money if you had it. For example, you have the cash on hand and it is less than 5% of your net investments. Asking you to co-borrow the money in your name is a compleatly different and risky situation.

Stay strong!
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: LeRainDrop on September 01, 2015, 10:00:51 PM

 He said that money is ok to seek, but family is forever, and is upset that I said wouldn't lend my brother the money, because we should be there to support each other. He is also taking this as me "losing faith in him", and says that he won't bother me again.


This is the part that shows your family still doesn't understand. I am sure you would strongly consider lending him the money if you had it. For example, you have the cash on hand and it is less than 5% of your net investments. Asking you to co-borrow the money in your name is a compleatly different and risky situation.

Stay strong!

Totally agree!  One thing from my own family/lending experience -- My parents were unrealistically optimistic that Middle Brother would pay me back in a certain time frame, that he would strike success quickly, etc.  It wasn't that they maliciously wanted me to be saddled with his liabilities, but rather they were blind to the obvious risk.  Perhaps that's partly why your parents are feeling hurt -- they are too optimistic in thinking your brother will make it through school and pay all the loans timely, and so they cannot see why you wouldn't simply lend your name as a co-signer; if they opened their eyes to the more likely outcome, perhaps they would not apply the pressure.  Then again, perhaps they still would because it would kick the can down the road and buy them some time to hope they come up with another solution.  In any event, OP, you are doing the right thing.  I am very proud of you!
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: Zamboni on September 01, 2015, 10:16:24 PM
You mentioned concern that your family will stop speaking to you. Since your parents have already resorted to emotional manipulation, it's a possibility that they will withdraw from you for a while. But think about this: if they stop talking to you over this, who's really the one prioritizing money over family?

Wow, llorona really nails it with that last sentence. Powerful.

Cast away that lingering guilt, OP. No regrets. They'll get over it.

And if they don't, and if your Mom or Dad or Brother keep bringing it up even after you ask them to stop because you are not changing your mind, then be blunt: "We've already discussed this. I've asked you to stop dwelling on this yet you keep bringing it up. It hurts my feelings that you aren't listening and respecting my opinion, and every time you dredge it up again it's damaging your relationship with me. If you keep bringing this up, then who's really the one prioritizing money over family?"
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: MrsPfennig on September 02, 2015, 05:33:54 AM
If you were my child I would be proud of you. Good for you for standing up! Stay strong and don't let them manipulate you emotionally. As others have already suggested I also can recommend the book "Boundaries" by Dr. Henry Cloud. You have to read it!
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: Gray Matter on September 02, 2015, 06:25:22 AM
You've already gotten great advice and support here, but I'll chime in anyway, just in case one more voice supporting what you did helps.  Your dad's e-mail is ironic, because you are doing this because family is so important to you--you are taking steps to preserve the familial relationships, keep people on equal footing, and not let something like money come between you and your brother.  Stay strong, and know that your parents are the ones who are prioritizing money over family right now.

Also, on an unrelated issue, I had a huge blowout with my parents when I was 30 (they didn't like how I was raising my toddler and tried to force my hand...literally, wanted me to spank him when that's something I was against).  They "banished" us for a summer, wouldn't come to my house if he was there (Really?  I'm going to send my two-year-old away so you can visit?  I think not.).  It was excruciating for me, because I'd never really broken away from them psychologically as I should have, never rebelled, and still sought their approval.  If it had been any other thing besides my son, I probably would have caved, but I had a responsibility to him that outweighed my desire to be the dutiful daughter.

I was sick to my stomach over it for weeks, kept replaying conversations in my head, cried, talked about it obsessively with friends and colleagues, but stuck to my guns.  It took a long time, but things are better than ever between us.  I needed to break away in order to come back into the relationship as an adult--I should have done it much, much sooner!  I've never gotten anything like an apology from my parents (they're not the sort, as they're never wrong), but my mom did say that I have really great kids, and that perhaps all those things I did when they were little didn't hurt them after all, and if anything, made them nicer.  I appreciated her words, but the biggest point here is that I didn't need them.  I can't tell you what a relief it is to have appropriate boundaries.
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: midweststache on September 02, 2015, 07:15:30 AM
Hey cashstasher, I just wanted to chime in with some support. Other people have given you lots of financial advice, but I want to offer a perspective on the parent situation.

I'm assuming from your username that your in your early twenties--that's a particularly difficult time to navigate parent/child relationships, particularly if you've been away or living at home during college. You're an adult now--with your own priorities, finances, decisions, etc. That's really hard for parents, who think you're still their young kid. The dynamic of your relationship is changing--everyone is adults vs. you being a child and under their care--and while this change is good, necessary, and inevitable, it's very difficult to navigate. I'm in my late twenties, and only in the past few years (in fact, particularly after I got married this April) did my parents really step back and see me as my own person and a fully functioning adult rather than as just their daughter.

Part of this may come from the fact that you're pushing back against what they think is best, and, in their mind, that's not your place--you are their child, and they know what is best. Obviously, you disagree (for very good reasons) and so they friction is bound up in 1) the disagreement and 2) your new role/identity as more than their child. It sucks and it's hard.

When I told my (conservative, religious) parents that I was moving in with my BF (now DH) when I was 24, they flipped. It really strained our relationship. But I stuck by my guns because I knew that was what was best for me, and the relationship slowly got better. It was never the same, but that's OK--it shouldn't be. I'm an adult now, and though they will ALWAYS be my parents and I will ALWAYS be their daughter, that dynamic has changed. That change is hard (as you're experiencing now) but stand your ground--this is about asserting your identity as an adult as much as it is about asserting your financial agency and stability.

I hope things get better with your parents. Best of luck!
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: cashstasherat23 on September 02, 2015, 08:32:05 AM
Thanks for the support, all! Yesterday afternoon was pretty awful, but I ended up talking to my parents later in the evening, and things are a bit better, if still not resolved.

My father explained that he felt like he was being treated like a child by being told that the cards were just going to be cut off, and felt hurt that he thought that I was saying I didn't trust him to make payments. I understand where he's coming from, but he still doesn't seem to be understanding that I don't want him using the card anymore. He keeps insisting that he'll stop using it, but that I shouldn't cancel the card. I still want to, and explained that to him, but think it may take some time to get him to understand that. I know you all are saying that I should just call Chase and cut it off now, but I really am just not ready to do that. For this week, it's enough for him to pay the balance off and stop using it, and I'll tell him again that I'm canceling the card when I work up the nerve!

You all will be pleased to hear though that my mother was a voice of reason, and said that we should never let something like this come between us, and that we can figure it out, even if my father can be hotheaded and stubborn. Feeling a bit better than yesterday!
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: bsmith on September 02, 2015, 08:37:29 AM
You're talking to him too much about that card. Have him pay it off, then you can close it. Don't discuss it first, because obviously you will lose that battle. Obviously you will. Close it, then you can tell him you did after it's done.
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: Sibley on September 02, 2015, 08:50:24 AM
OP, you and your parents are evolving your relationship. Previously, they were adults and you were a child. The new state is that they are adults and you also an adult. That process isn't always fun. Hang in there, take care of yourself, and know that things will eventually get better.
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: Stockmom on September 02, 2015, 09:01:32 AM
So, is the agreement with your father that he still gets to use the card?  I agree that you're giving him too much input about it.  It's YOUR credit card account, not his.  The fact of the matter is you DON'T trust him to continue using the card.  Instead of feeling guilty when he points out that fact to you, you can just feel good about the fact that he gets it.  Just because it hurts his feelings doesn't mean it isn't a completely appropriate way for you to feel/act.  My advice is to stop talking to him about it and cancel it.  He can initiate a conversation again with you about it when he tries to use it again (which he isn't supposed to do again, right?).  If he holds up his end of the bargain, he will never have to know that the card sitting in his wallet won't do him any good. 
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: begood on September 02, 2015, 09:08:09 AM
Thanks for the support, all! Yesterday afternoon was pretty awful, but I ended up talking to my parents later in the evening, and things are a bit better, if still not resolved.

My father explained that he felt like he was being treated like a child by being told that the cards were just going to be cut off, and felt hurt that he thought that I was saying I didn't trust him to make payments. I understand where he's coming from, but he still doesn't seem to be understanding that I don't want him using the card anymore. He keeps insisting that he'll stop using it, but that I shouldn't cancel the card. I still want to, and explained that to him, but think it may take some time to get him to understand that. I know you all are saying that I should just call Chase and cut it off now, but I really am just not ready to do that. For this week, it's enough for him to pay the balance off and stop using it, and I'll tell him again that I'm canceling the card when I work up the nerve!

You all will be pleased to hear though that my mother was a voice of reason, and said that we should never let something like this come between us, and that we can figure it out, even if my father can be hotheaded and stubborn. Feeling a bit better than yesterday!

Is the account joint? Or is it YOUR card and he's an authorized user? If it's the latter, I encourage you to remove him as an authorized user. Has he paid off the $2K balance? Because until he does, then I think it is accurate to say he has not "made the payments".

You can kick this can down the road if you want, but until your father doesn't have access to your credit line, it feels like you're on shaky ground.
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: Kris on September 02, 2015, 09:19:53 AM
You're talking to him too much about that card. Have him pay it off, then you can close it. Don't discuss it first, because obviously you will lose that battle. Obviously you will. Close it, then you can tell him you did after it's done.

This.  Plus, if he isn't using it anymore, he won't know whether you've closed it or not, unless he happens to check his credit report. It's no longer his business. 
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: GizmoTX on September 02, 2015, 09:44:12 AM
If you must close the card rather than drop dad as an authorized user, open another CC first. Depending on your credit, this could be an opportunity to get better rewards. Then get dad off the first card, & freeze your credit with all 3 agencies. ASAP. Then tell him his card no longer functions. He already promised not to use it so he shouldn't be depending on it anymore, but you need to remove the temptation.

Kudos for becoming independent! Be patient, don't feel guilty, & stand your ground. Your family needs some time on their own to decide to treat you as an equal & self sufficient adult. Don't accept anything less!

Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: AlwaysLearningToSave on September 02, 2015, 09:47:27 AM
Your Dad is talking out of both sides of his mouth.  If your Dad truly isn't going to use the credit card, there is no reason for him to be on the account.  Remove him as an authorized user and tell him about it later.  If you are concerned and would still like to help him rebuild his credit, open a new credit card, add him as an authorized user, but don't tell him about it and never give him a card.  You get the satisfaction of knowing you are helping him rebuild his credit without the risk of him abusing the privilege and hurting your credit. 
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: Shinplaster on September 02, 2015, 10:24:05 AM
He keeps insisting that he'll stop using it, but that I shouldn't cancel the card.

And you know that means he WILL use the card again, as long as it's available.  If he really intends to stop using it, he wouldn't care if you cancelled it.   Take him off the card, and make the clean break.

You should be proud of yourself - this is very hard to navigate.  Families are very good at manipulating and "guilting" others into doing things they shouldn't.   Thankfully it sounds as if your Mom is going to be reasonable.  Your Dad will get over it.
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: RyanAtTanagra on September 02, 2015, 10:50:59 AM
He keeps insisting that he'll stop using it, but that I shouldn't cancel the card.

And you know that means he WILL use the card again, as long as it's available.  If he really intends to stop using it, he wouldn't care if you cancelled it.

Not to defend the parents, because I do agree 100% with the advice of everyone here, but I imagine the reason he wants to stay on the card, even if he doesn't use it, is to re-build his credit post-bankruptcy.  I don't know how hard it would be for him to get a CC on his own that would have zero fees and the normal 30-day grace period, making it worth it.
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: bsmith on September 02, 2015, 11:06:00 AM
What does he need credit for? Only buy stuff you can afford! This is just feeding in to his bad habits.

If he wants good credit, he should build it himself. I declared bankruptcy and rebuilt it. Inadvertently, because I don't carry a balance on credit cards, but still. Imagine what you could do if you tried. Oh wait, Dad doesn't have to try, because he's getting carried.
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: K-ice on September 02, 2015, 12:05:59 PM
I would probably take a breather on the cancle the card immediately discussion.

This is not the advise you have been hearing from most, but I think it may be too much at once.

I recall it was sometimes a hassle collecting from him. Does he pay in full on time or just the minimum?

If he is missing payments, has damaged your credit,  & you need to cover his ass, cut the cord, oh card! 

You can quit reading.

But let's say your Dad is responsible with it and pays in full on time. But he just needs you because his credit is so low.

However, it still bothers me that you both use the card. This just makes splitting the bill that much harder & the limit that much higher.

If he needs the help & you are comfortable with your dad, I would lower the limit, and get myself a new card. Stop using the card linked with your Dad. The limit needs to be higher with you both using it yet you have no control if you spend that limit or him. Lower the limit to just what he can afford & you could bail him out one last time if necessary. Tell your dad he is responsible for paying that card in FULL ten days before the due date.

Also, is his credit that bad that he can't even get his own card with a $200 limit?  Maybe you can help him find a card of his own. Go to the bank together, fill out the paperwork, get him started on his own. "Dad I want to help you build your own credit."

This parent child role reversal is ass-backwards, but I can tell you are a loving, caring daughter who doesn't want to leave her dad hanging.






Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: bsmith on September 02, 2015, 12:10:38 PM
Quote
Also, is his credit that bad that he can't even get his own card with a $200 limit? Maybe you can help him find a card of his own. Go to the bank together, fill out the paperwork, get him started on his own.

Come to think of it, I did this. Got a CC through the bank I had at the time and charged groceries and monthly expenses on it. They raised my limit pretty regularly, and probably would have more often if I'd asked. Now I'm doing travel hacking with cards from credit built up from that one over a long time.

You don't have to go to the bank with him. Find a card online.
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: cashstasherat23 on September 02, 2015, 12:16:12 PM
I would take probably a breather on the cancle the card immediately discussion.

This is not the advise you have been hearing from most, but I think it may be too much at once.

I recall it was sometimes a hassle collecting from him. Does he pay in full on time or just the minimum?

If he is missing payments, has damaged your credit,  & you need to cover his ass, cut the cord, oh card! 

You can quit reading.

But let's say your Dad is responsible with it and pays in full on time. But he just needs you because his credit is so low.

However, it still bothers me that you both use the card. This just makes splitting the bill that much harder & the limit that much higher.

If he needs the help & you are comfortable with your dad, I would lower the limit, and get myself a new card. Stop using the card linked with your Dad. The limit needs to be higher with you both using it yet you have no control if you spend that limit or him. Lower the limit to just what he can afford & you could bail him out one last time if necessary. Tell your dad he is responsible for paying that card in FULL ten days before the due date.

Also, is his credit that bad that he can't even get his own card with a $200 limit?  Maybe you can help him find a card of his own. Go to the bank together, fill out the paperwork, get him started on his own. "Dad I want to help you build your own credit."

This parent child role reversal is ass-backwards, but I can tell you are a loving, caring daughter who doesn't want to leave her dad hanging.

He does pay on time, but as time has gone on, it has gone from being the full payment to a partial payment, as the balances have gotten bigger. He always pays the interest charges as well when they are accrued, but it is a hassle for me every month to figure out what's owed, and now what's been carried over and not paid.

As for the card, it is silly, but this is my favorite credit card to have, my Chase sapphire card. I don't plan on canceling it, just removing him as an authorized user. I don't put much on it, and have about 10 other cards that I can use that all have 0 balances at all times (I did credit card churning for a while), but I'd prefer for him to just stop using this card, as I'd like to keep it my primary. If it came down to it though, of course I would cancel it completely, but don't think it needs to come to that.

He actually does have his own card as well, but has told me that the limit is very low, so he uses my card for the larger purchases he needs to make. Yes, I recognize this is a problem. Yes, it irritates me that this encourages spending above his means. For now, I think that lowering the limit may be a good solution, to get him to stop relying on it so much, before I remove him completely.
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: Argyle on September 02, 2015, 12:27:37 PM
I agree that if you're going to continue to keep him on it for a while (which I personally would advise against), stop using it yourself, so all the charges and interest will be his, and you can easily figure out how much he should be paying.

If you have ten other cards, aren't you paying unnecessary money for your cards?  The Chase Sapphire costs $95 a year, as I remember.  (I have one myself but it's still on the initial free one-year period, after which it is going to be cancelled.)  If you have more than one free-charging credit card, that's money going down the drain.  I never even have one myself — my standby credit card is fee-free (a Chase frequent-flyer card), and I only get others for their initial free periods, and then cancel.

Anyway, returning to the main topic, if your dad is no longer paying off the card every month, he is in over his head.  This is not someone whose credit you want entwined with your own.  I think the chances are large that you're going to be left paying off some of his debt, and that somehow you're going to get blamed for it.  ("If you had only let me stay on the card, I would have..."  But this is just fantasy talking, like the kind of fantasy that makes him think carrying a balance on a credit card is good money management.) 

You said your parents were making significant salaries — how can they be so broke?  Are they spending extravagantly?  Is there leakage going on somewhere, like a gambling habit? 

Whatever is happening, good for you for breaking away from their bad habits!
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: I'm a red panda on September 02, 2015, 01:08:06 PM
He does pay on time, but as time has gone on, it has gone from being the full payment to a partial payment, as the balances have gotten bigger. He always pays the interest charges as well when they are accrued, but it is a hassle for me every month to figure out what's owed, and now what's been carried over and not paid.

As for the card, it is silly, but this is my favorite credit card to have, my Chase sapphire card. I don't plan on canceling it, just removing him as an authorized user. I don't put much on it, and have about 10 other cards that I can use that all have 0 balances at all times (I did credit card churning for a while), but I'd prefer for him to just stop using this card, as I'd like to keep it my primary. If it came down to it though, of course I would cancel it completely, but don't think it needs to come to that.

He actually does have his own card as well, but has told me that the limit is very low, so he uses my card for the larger purchases he needs to make. Yes, I recognize this is a problem. Yes, it irritates me that this encourages spending above his means. For now, I think that lowering the limit may be a good solution, to get him to stop relying on it so much, before I remove him completely.

I really think you need to remove him completely, and now.  Don't cancel the card if that's not how you want to handle it- but do not let him use it. 

The part in bold is just NOT OKAY.  It is not okay to let him use YOUR credit like this. 
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: K-ice on September 02, 2015, 01:09:06 PM
Sorry! A partial payment is not paying on time.

Does he have no idea how CC interest works?

I learnt the hard way. I "always" pay on time from 2 different accounts. One month on a bill of about $3000 I added wrong and was short $200.

I caught the error 2 days after the due date, but befor the next statement, and threw $400 just to be sure.

I expected a few dollars. $200*20%/y  /365days * 2 days late = less than $1.


But the interest on those $200 for two days was almost $50.. 

That is because interest is on the full balance from the day the purchases were made. In my case, about a month ago.


So roughly $3000x20%/y / 12months/year = $50.


I honestly had no idea how it worked! Look at an old bill, verify the math on the interest.  I had paid in full for 12y so I had never been dinged before.

By not paying in full, your Dad is actually paying interest on your purchases as well.

Figure out how you want to do it, but you need to quit sharing a card with him.


BTW I calculated a $50 return on $200 in 2 days is a 4562% annual return.


Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: Interest Compound on September 02, 2015, 01:16:09 PM
He keeps insisting that he'll stop using it, but that I shouldn't cancel the card.

And you know that means he WILL use the card again, as long as it's available.  If he really intends to stop using it, he wouldn't care if you cancelled it.

Not to defend the parents, because I do agree 100% with the advice of everyone here, but I imagine the reason he wants to stay on the card, even if he doesn't use it, is to re-build his credit post-bankruptcy.  I don't know how hard it would be for him to get a CC on his own that would have zero fees and the normal 30-day grace period, making it worth it.

This is true, but not necessarily the OP's problem.

OP, if the father doesn't want to use the card, the answer is simple. Have him physically give you the card. If he refuses, I'd simply take him off as an authorized user.
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: lemanfan on September 02, 2015, 01:19:38 PM
As a foreigner I do now know that specific card.  What makes you attached to that one instead of the others you have?

Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: cashstasherat23 on September 02, 2015, 01:42:06 PM
As a foreigner I do now know that specific card.  What makes you attached to that one instead of the others you have?

I like the ways to earn and redeem points that card has, and find that they accumulate quickly, and it's a metal card, so superficially it's cool to have, but again, wouldn't have any problem canceling it if need be.

As for the other cards I have, all or most are no fee, and the ones that do have a fee either haven't come due yet and I plan to cancel them before that happens, or I have gotten the fee waived. Most of them are hotel or airline specific cards because I travel quite a bit for work and personal travel, so I keep them around for the free bags checked or the hotel perks, and find it worth it for me to keep them, but they don't accrue as many points for the things I buy, so don't use them all too much. 
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: GizmoTX on September 02, 2015, 02:01:45 PM
He actually does have his own card as well, but has told me that the limit is very low, so he uses my card for the larger purchases he needs to make. Yes, I recognize this is a problem. Yes, it irritates me that this encourages spending above his means. For now, I think that lowering the limit may be a good solution, to get him to stop relying on it so much, before I remove him completely.

Problem solved! He already has a card with a low limit, so he's covered in case of emergency. His "larger purchases" can be paid by check, debit card, or online bill pay with his bank. If he doesn't have enough money for them, he's using your credit for a loan plus paying a wasteful premium for the interest.

Get him off your card today!!! It may end badly if you don't. Plus you will not have to bother with collecting his payments any more or worrying if they will happen in the future. Can he see what you are purchasing?
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: NumberJohnny5 on September 02, 2015, 04:20:10 PM
Ok OP, for some reason your dad convinced you that he "NEEDS" that card to build his credit.

Please answer us this. Is it a joint account or is it solely in your name, with him as an authorized user? If you don't know, seriously, you need to find out. This is basic information you should know.

If he's an authorized user, there is a very simple solution. Extremely simple. In fact, I think I mentioned it way back in the thread, but regardless. Call up the credit card company. Report both cards as being lost. Have both replacements sent to you. Cut up his card into tiny pieces, perhaps an industrial shredder? Then burn it. Then bury it (or dispose of properly according to your local regulations blah blah blah). Tell him you had the company replace the card, you're keeping it, and this will keep him on the account to rebuild his credit.

This will actually help both of your credit scores. The more he charges, the higher the utilization on the card. That does not look good.

Do this BEFORE you talk to him. Before, not after.

Now.

Not later.

NOW!!!

Why? He's given you a reason to keep the card open, to "help" his credit. He doesn't need it for emergencies, just to rebuild credit. This way, he's still on your card, just as before. His credit will still be "helped". He has his own card to manage for emergencies.

Jump NOW!!!!! at this golden opportunity. If you talk to him first about this plan, then there will be another reason given. Any plan you come up with will be countered. Simply cancel the card number (not the account, just that particular card number). Tell him after the fact. He'll then give you the "but you should really..." spiel. Tell him you were going by what he told you. You thought of a perfect solution to make everyone happy. If he keeps it up, just say this:

"You know, I'm beginning to really resent this credit card and the stress it's putting on our relationship. I'm just going to cancel the whole thing! I'm so angry at them for doing this to us!!!"

Yeah, it's not the card company's fault. But (mis)placing the blame on them might make your dad feel like this isn't an attack on him. If you're lucky, the reaction you'll get from him will be "No no, don't cancel it. We'll talk about this later." Then he can have a "win" by letting you do what you already did (cancel the current card number, get new cards issued that you keep, he's still an authorized user, his credit is not impacted).
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: LeRainDrop on September 02, 2015, 08:00:21 PM
Sorry! A partial payment is not paying on time.

Agreed!

By not paying in full, your Dad is actually paying interest on your purchases as well.

That is an excellent point.

Problem solved! He already has a card with a low limit, so he's covered in case of emergency. His "larger purchases" can be paid by check, debit card, or online bill pay with his bank. If he doesn't have enough money for them, he's using your credit for a loan plus paying a wasteful premium for the interest.

Get him off your card today!!! It may end badly if you don't. Plus you will not have to bother with collecting his payments any more or worrying if they will happen in the future.

Spot on.  If you don't remove your dad as an authorized user, there will come a time when you're left holding the bag.  It's pretty much guaranteed.
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: Kaikou on September 02, 2015, 08:13:31 PM
At least you are able to have a dialog with your parents. It proves you have a strong bond and maybe you have to do things a little bit different than suggested (although there is a wide variety on how to get the end result) but at the end of the day still do them.

Be happy you have open parents even if they are afraid or angry. It will make your relationship stronger.
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: Argyle on September 02, 2015, 10:38:35 PM
The way I interpret it, it's not really that the dad wants to rebuild his credit, though i'm sure that's a bonus for him.  The dad still wants to be able to charge expensive things on a card, and wants to piggyback on the OP's good credit to use a credit card.

But there's a very good reason the credit card companies will only give the dad a card with a low credit limit.  Because he is not reliable for higher amounts.  The fact that he's started carrying a balance is showing that he's beginning to overextend himself.  And just as happened before (which I imagine is the reason he has been denied higher-limit cards), at some point he will be unable to keep up with his obligations to pay.  Then the OP really will have a lot of forgiving to do to maintain a harmonious relationship.  It is actually better for the future of the relationship to prevent that from happening by discontinuing the dad on the card.

But I really don't believe it's a matter of credit limits and all that. It's a matter of emotions, on both sides.  The sooner the emotions get separated from the spending, the better.
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: zolotiyeruki on September 03, 2015, 07:31:27 AM
What if you called up the CC company, and asked them to lower the limit to the amount Dad can pay at one time?  If he normally charges $2k/mo, but can only pay $1k at a time, drop the limit to $1k.
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: I'm a red panda on September 03, 2015, 07:36:43 AM
What if you called up the CC company, and asked them to lower the limit to the amount Dad can pay at one time?  If he normally charges $2k/mo, but can only pay $1k at a time, drop the limit to $1k.

But then OP can't use the card that she most prefers to use.


Dad needs to be OFF the card. (Especially since Dad seems to be disillusionally thinking he is helping the OP build credit by using the card! If the OP wants to help build her Dad's credit, then taking the card away is key- but chances are Dad has the number memorized and could still use it online. OP needs a new card issued with a new number; and Dad needs to be removed or not given the new card.)


Edit to fix pronoun
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: cashstasherat23 on September 03, 2015, 10:51:38 AM
Ok OP, for some reason your dad convinced you that he "NEEDS" that card to build his credit.

Please answer us this. Is it a joint account or is it solely in your name, with him as an authorized user? If you don't know, seriously, you need to find out. This is basic information you should know.

"You know, I'm beginning to really resent this credit card and the stress it's putting on our relationship. I'm just going to cancel the whole thing! I'm so angry at them for doing this to us!!!"


Woah, ok! I think I've answered a few times, but yes, this is my account with him as an authorized user, not a joint account. No, he can't see the charges that I am putting on there, but I do see all his charges. Each month I tally everything up and send him the amount he owes. Yes, I realize that he is paying interest on mine+his charges, and he does too. Definitely like the way you've phrased things above RE the stress it's putting on our relationship, and have mentioned that to him and will do so again.

At least you are able to have a dialog with your parents. It proves you have a strong bond and maybe you have to do things a little bit different than suggested (although there is a wide variety on how to get the end result) but at the end of the day still do them.

Be happy you have open parents even if they are afraid or angry. It will make your relationship stronger.


Yeah, I'm glad that we have an open relationship, but it also makes this situation difficult to navigate. I think we'll all come out of it just fine, but it's just been tricky to figure out so far!


But I really don't believe it's a matter of credit limits and all that. It's a matter of emotions, on both sides.  The sooner the emotions get separated from the spending, the better.

This is spot on. It bothers me because I feel like I was pushed into this situation and I don't want to keep doing it, and I feel like I'm being guilted into continuing to do so. I could go back and forth all day with lower credit limits, just not using the card, etc, but the truth of the matter is that it's the principle of the matter that bothers me the most.


But then OP can't use the card that he most prefers to use.


I'm a woman! Had to point that out :) Not all of us mustachians are men!
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: Retire-Canada on September 03, 2015, 11:01:38 AM
Time to cancel that card. Pay off the balance and get on with your life. Hopefully he pays off his share or trade him what he owes you for some $$ you owe him for putting you through school.

Just tell your dad you don't want that card any more and you are going to a cash only lifestyle. If you have to go without a card for a few months.

Eventually you can get a new one without him on it. He doesn't have to know.
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: I'm a red panda on September 03, 2015, 11:07:15 AM

I'm a woman! Had to point that out :) Not all of us mustachians are men!

Me too. And that drives me crazy. I usually type (s)he but didn't this time.  Sorry.
I actually used OP multiple times in the next part of the post to avoid "their" when I didn't know if you were a he or a she; but I missed it in the first sentence.
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: Faraday on September 03, 2015, 11:09:38 AM

I'm a woman! Had to point that out :) Not all of us mustachians are men!

Me too. And that drives me crazy. I usually type (s)he but didn't this time.  Sorry.

And BTW: it's super-cool that we have female mustachians in the forums. The Marketing Brainwashing is targeted heavier at women than men (I'm thinking shoes, purses, clothes) and so to see past it, IMHO, is a great accomplishment.
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: Argyle on September 03, 2015, 11:11:28 AM
You want your dad off your card.

Your dad wants to stay on the card.

Therefore he will use guilt to try to keep you from taking him off.  That's all it is.   He's using guilt to get what he wants.

What you, OP, are trying to do is to try to stop him from guilting you.  The situation is still under his control.  Your card, but his control.

How can you put an end to this scenario where he controls your actions?  Don't feel guilty.  That's all there is to it.  He's inviting you to feel guilty, but you don't have to accept his invitation.  He's trying to retain control by getting all upset about the situation and suggesting that you should feel responsible for that.  But it's his choice.  (And a silly choice.)

Just take him off the card.  Don't wait for him to be not upset or not to impose guilt on you.  Because then he's got you.  All he has to do to control you is to hint that he's getting upset.  Then you back down.   Rinse, repeat.  It can and will go on for years.

Pull the Band-Aid off and make the call.  Wait for him to get over the attempts at manipulation.  Then proceed as usual.
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: GizmoTX on September 03, 2015, 11:18:42 AM
You want your dad off your card.

Your dad wants to stay on the card.

Therefore he will use guilt to try to keep you from taking him off.  That's all it is.   He's using guilt to get what he wants.

What you, OP, are trying to do is to try to stop him from guilting you.  The situation is still under his control.  Your card, but his control.

How can you put an end to this scenario where he controls your actions?  Don't feel guilty.  That's all there is to it.  He's inviting you to feel guilty, but you don't have to accept his invitation.  He's trying to retain control by getting all upset about the situation and suggesting that you should feel responsible for that.  But it's his choice.  (And a silly choice.)

Just take him off the card.  Don't wait for him to be not upset or not to impose guilt on you.  Because then he's got you.  All he has to do to control you is to hint that he's getting upset.  Then you back down.   Rinse, repeat.  It can and will go on for years.

Pull the Band-Aid off and make the call.  Wait for him to get over the attempts at manipulation.  Then proceed as usual.
+1

OP, a few more facts about authorized users:

Authorized users never "build credit" for the primary cardholder, only themselves. Your dad's purchases aren't helping your credit history.

Banks want to see the credit history of a person as a primary cardholder, not an authorized user, so after some time, his status as an authorized user isn't going to help him raise his own card limit.

More charges & carrying a balance are not better -- combined usage of a card can push utilization too high, negatively affecting your score. Or prevent you from using it.

Authorized users are never liable for what is charged on the card. This puts you in the enforcer role. Never good for "family is forever".
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: bsmith on September 03, 2015, 11:50:38 AM
Do this:

Quote
If he's an authorized user, there is a very simple solution. Extremely simple. In fact, I think I mentioned it way back in the thread, but regardless. Call up the credit card company. Report both cards as being lost. Have both replacements sent to you. Cut up his card into tiny pieces, perhaps an industrial shredder? Then burn it. Then bury it (or dispose of properly according to your local regulations blah blah blah). Tell him you had the company replace the card, you're keeping it, and this will keep him on the account to rebuild his credit.

It's brilliant. Everyone wins. Win-win. Do it TODAY!

Also, create a security code for talking to the credit card company so that he can't call them up and get the number, and then go wild on Amazon.
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: mm1970 on September 03, 2015, 02:16:37 PM

I'm a woman! Had to point that out :) Not all of us mustachians are men!

Me too. And that drives me crazy. I usually type (s)he but didn't this time.  Sorry.

And BTW: it's super-cool that we have female mustachians in the forums. The Marketing Brainwashing is targeted heavier at women than men (I'm thinking shoes, purses, clothes) and so to see past it, IMHO, is a great accomplishment.
I'm a woman too, and always assumed the OP was a man, because I just cannot imagine a father putting that kind of guilt and pressure on a daughter.  Huh.
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: cashstasherat23 on September 03, 2015, 02:21:52 PM

I'm a woman! Had to point that out :) Not all of us mustachians are men!

Me too. And that drives me crazy. I usually type (s)he but didn't this time.  Sorry.

And BTW: it's super-cool that we have female mustachians in the forums. The Marketing Brainwashing is targeted heavier at women than men (I'm thinking shoes, purses, clothes) and so to see past it, IMHO, is a great accomplishment.
I'm a woman too, and always assumed the OP was a man, because I just cannot imagine a father putting that kind of guilt and pressure on a daughter.  Huh.

Yup, I'm the oldest, and also the best with money in my family. I have two younger brothers, but one just graduated and the other is the f*ck-up, so they have always kind of turned to me to help, whether I had a choice in the matter or not. It's compounded by the fact that I've always been a "daddy's girl"...my dad and I are very close, so it sucks to have this guilt trip from him, but I know what I have to do. I'm dragging my feet about doing it, but I do plan on removing him completely from the card.
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: Zamboni on September 03, 2015, 03:37:33 PM
Great! Glad you are planning to remove him. Remove him now. Like right now. Today.

He has said he won't use it, so he won't even need to know. If he then gets on your case about it, just say "you said you weren't going to use it!!! So now you've tried to use it and you broke your word to me."

One thing that I keep having in the back of my mind is how my own Dad ran up his own cards paying for my brother's college (after he lost his scholarship). Your Dad could easily one day decide to charge an entire tuition bill to your card right up to the tippity top of your limit. And at that point there wouldn't be anything you could do about it. You think he wouldn't do that to you? I hope you are right, but I've been major league burned by loved ones before when it comes to money.
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: DeepEllumStache on September 03, 2015, 03:41:26 PM
Your Dad is talking out of both sides of his mouth.  If your Dad truly isn't going to use the credit card, there is no reason for him to be on the account.   

This x 1000.

It's hard to redefine the roles between you and your family. If you let them guilt you into being the "backup bank" then you'll never be able to build those adult relationships with them. Your family will continue to use you, thinking that it's okay to do because they love you.

There was a family member that only called to talk to me to borrow money. I finally cut that person off stating that I wasn't a bank. That conversation sucked. I hate conflict, the guilt trip was miserable, and family is family. I didn't hear from that person for a year and that hurt. But I don't regret it. That person did a complete 180 and turned their life around financially, eventually paying back every dollar of the $2k borrowed from me within a few years.

People can change but they won't realize that there is something to change until you stop enabling them.
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: Jack on September 03, 2015, 04:54:19 PM
I hesitate to mention this because it's a terrible idea compared with just ripping the band-aid off completely... but if you really wanted to keep letting your dad use a card it doesn't mean you'd have to keep letting him use that card. In other words, you could switch him to being an authorized user of one of the other cards you don't use yourself, preferably one with a limit low enough he couldn't get himself into trouble.

Still, it's a terrible idea, only a tiny bit better than the status-quo. Do what everybody else has been telling you and cut him off completely.
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: Mrs. PoP on September 03, 2015, 07:01:53 PM
Please someone correct me if I'm wrong on this... but what's sticking out to me are the suggestions to lower the credit limit on the card.  Wouldn't that just bump up the credit utilization on the card, having a likely negative effect on both your and your fathers' credit scores?  And since he's presumably on the card as a way to help his credit, it might have the opposite effect. 
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: Zamboni on September 03, 2015, 07:15:33 PM
I've been rolling this around in my mind. It has occurred to me that taking your Dad off as an authorized user probably won't stop him from using it a many places anyway. It might stop online purchases, but in person purchases I bet will still go through if he has a physical card since the account is active. The only real solution is to call Chase, tell them you need to remove him as a user, and ask for them to reissue the card with a new number. Problem solved.

Just for the record, I've had a couple of cards reissued with new numbers at the company's discretion due to attempts at fraud that triggered their computer (so the charges didn't go through). I didn't even ask them to change the number, they just did it.

Also, another poster already hit on this, but your comments about being a Daddy's girl and him being a hothead make me realize that this is more about him controlling you than it is about the money or the use of the card. Yes, the money could become a real problem for you in the future if he gets in a situation where he can't pay or decides not to pay. But really I think the core of this is that he wants to control you and what you do. And you are a nice person so you don't rebel against this (which is what your brother has done; he's a fuck up at least partially as a way to say "you can't control me" to your parents.) But the time has come for you to be completely independent of his control, and that comes with taking these steps to protect yourself and become financially completely independent and separate from him.

This is a giant forum of financially responsible adults, and everyone seems unanimous that he should not be able to use your card. Get the card number changed and remove him, and then if worse comes to worse in a discussion, keep repeating to him:

"This just isn't working for me."
"This just isn't working for me."
"This just isn't working for me."

That's all the reason you need to give him. Please stop trying to explain yourself to him.
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: babysnowbyrd on September 03, 2015, 07:41:59 PM

Right now it sure doesn't feel that way. I just got back a heart-breaking email from him, and am doing my best not to cry at work. He said that money is ok to seek, but family is forever, and is upset that I said wouldn't lend my brother the money, because we should be there to support each other. He is also taking this as me "losing faith in him", and says that he won't bother me again.

It's been very hard lately because my parents recently moved a few states away, and I've already felt far away from them. I am afraid that they will stop speaking to me, which is not what I intended.

Ugh, such awful, awful emotional manipulation.  Please realize that they are TRYING to make you feel bad and GUILTY because that is what manipulators do.  If they really thought that family was there to support each other, then they would not be using you and trying to get you to damage your own future for your brother's sake or for their own.  They are not looking out for your best interests.  They are being selfish.  You deserve much better.

This is so true. If your parents were "there to support you", they wouldn't be asking you to lend your brother money when they know he's so unlikely to pay you back. Family members don't support each other by letting themselves be doormats. Supporting someone who's just taking advantage of you doesn't make any sense.

Good luck.
+1

This is manipulation, not disappointment.

Perhaps you can turn it around by expressing YOUR disappointment that they are NOT willing to support you and instead want to compromise you financially.

Someone else up thread mentioned NOT letting them know from this point on about any saved money or investments, and I'd like to second that as well.
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: GizmoTX on September 03, 2015, 08:09:10 PM
I completely agree about getting your CC bank to issue you a new number at the time that you call to drop your dad as an authorized user! Some CCs are now issuing different numbers to authorized users for this very reason, but most still are not. Whether they do or not, they certainly understand about changing the number to prevent further charges from either former users or fraudulent ones. They won't charge you anything. Worst case, you'll have to wait a week or two for your replacement card to arrive.

In my opinion, the only authorized users should be spouses or 16-20 year olds living in the same household. Being eyeball to eyeball makes a big difference in accountability.

FWIW, I'm the oldest of my 4 siblings, still the best with money, & was a daddy's girl. Then at 21, Daddy started trying to guilt manipulate me, so I do understand some of what you must be going through. It was tough to see what he was trying to do but it made me angry & sad enough to keep saying no. Distance helps. Daddy eventually came to regard me as an adult but only after I waited on any contact until he stopped the ugly "conversations".

My husband & I now have a senior son who lives away at his university & is 100% responsible for managing his expenses & 2 credit cards in his own name. We're very close but know he has to fly on his own.
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: Kaikou on September 03, 2015, 09:29:19 PM
yeah being a daddy's girl changes the dynamic and most people wouldn't even assume parents do this to female offspring even in today's world.

But yeah you need to get him off. Weird why doesn't your mom want to be on your card?
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: LeRainDrop on September 03, 2015, 09:40:37 PM

I'm a woman! Had to point that out :) Not all of us mustachians are men!

Me too. And that drives me crazy. I usually type (s)he but didn't this time.  Sorry.

And BTW: it's super-cool that we have female mustachians in the forums. The Marketing Brainwashing is targeted heavier at women than men (I'm thinking shoes, purses, clothes) and so to see past it, IMHO, is a great accomplishment.
I'm a woman too, and always assumed the OP was a man, because I just cannot imagine a father putting that kind of guilt and pressure on a daughter.  Huh.

Yup, I'm the oldest, and also the best with money in my family. I have two younger brothers, but one just graduated and the other is the f*ck-up, so they have always kind of turned to me to help, whether I had a choice in the matter or not. It's compounded by the fact that I've always been a "daddy's girl"...my dad and I are very close, so it sucks to have this guilt trip from him, but I know what I have to do. I'm dragging my feet about doing it, but I do plan on removing him completely from the card.

OMG, I've thought we've had similar stories all along, and now I find out that I actually might be you!  JK, but we really have so many parallels, so I understand your pain VERY much.
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: Jack on September 04, 2015, 06:22:59 AM
Please someone correct me if I'm wrong on this... but what's sticking out to me are the suggestions to lower the credit limit on the card.  Wouldn't that just bump up the credit utilization on the card, having a likely negative effect on both your and your fathers' credit scores?  And since he's presumably on the card as a way to help his credit, it might have the opposite effect.

High credit utilization may be bad, but paying usurious interest or defaulting because you stupidly spend more than you can afford is worse.

Also, let's all be clear about this: he's on the card so he can overspend and continue to pretend it isn't a problem. "A way to help his credit" is just his excuse.
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: charis on September 04, 2015, 08:32:21 AM
You can have someone on your credit card as an authorized user who does not have a card issued to them to help them build credit.  If the OP's father was serious about building his credit and not using the card, he would be fine with that arrangement.  I suspect he won't be - he wants to able to use the card if he "needs" to. 

If it were me, I would call Chase and cancel the Dad's card as lost/stolen (kind of true since he won't return it at the OP's request) and do not reissue a card to him.   That way you get to keep your preferred card, Dad can't use it, and if he gives you crap about it, you are doing exactly what he asked you to do, helping him build credit. 
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: Embok on September 04, 2015, 10:43:41 AM
Just saw this thread for the first time, and an writing to support your decision to both say no to co-signing for your brother and to cut off your dad's access to your credit.  Here's why your decision is probably right, for long term family harmony and your brother's well being too, in my humble opinion.

Had a similar situation in my family:  brother with two Ivy League degrees decided he did not want to work.  Had some relatively minor mental issues and decided he was better off not getting effective help, so he could play the parents for money, support, etc.  I did not give him money but let him live with DH and me for 9 months to get his act together; but he would not work or get therapy.  It would have been much better to say no up front than to help for a while, but have to throw him out, which we ultimately did.  (It was him or my marriage.)  Much family drama ensued. 

Parents supported him til they died, without requiring any improvement;  at last parent's funeral, brother asked where his inheritance was.  There was none:  they'd spent their money on him (mom could not let him face consequences).  I told him he could live with us for a short period of time, but only if he got effective therapy, got a job and pitched in with housework.  He did not like that, and has cut himself off, disappearing and cutting all contact.  It still hurts, but I will not enable his behavior.  I think he might have got his act together had he been allowed to fail earlier, but it's much harder to change those poor habits when you are over 50, as he is. 

So kudos for not enabling a bad system, and stick to your (metaphorical) guns.
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: supomglol on September 04, 2015, 12:31:57 PM
I've been following this thread from the beginning.  While your approach is certainly noble; I think a white-lie would have saved you untold amounts of effort and grief. 
IT Guys might to relate to a "FAKE VIRUS ATTACK!!!"
Basically, you could have just locked your credit with the reporting agencies; removed your father from associated cards; and pretended youre identity had been stolen and that there all kinds of consequences to your credit worthiness.  Maybe you're simply never allowed to have authorized users again, you cannot co-sign for anyone's loans because of these special rules they put you under.  Whatever, you get the idea. 

It's the same way I never have a dollar to spare when someone is asking around for the purpose of feeding it to a vending machine.  Your reality is what you make it. 

Underhanded?  Perhaps.  I put a pretty high value on my sanity and emotional stability. 
Title: Re: UPDATE: Parents ask me to make worst financial decision imaginable...
Post by: TomTX on September 04, 2015, 04:50:52 PM
Thanks for the support, all! Yesterday afternoon was pretty awful, but I ended up talking to my parents later in the evening, and things are a bit better, if still not resolved.

My father explained that he felt like he was being treated like a child by being told that the cards were just going to be cut off, and felt hurt that he thought that I was saying I didn't trust him to make payments. I understand where he's coming from, but he still doesn't seem to be understanding that I don't want him using the card anymore. He keeps insisting that he'll stop using it, but that I shouldn't cancel the card.

Problem solved. He insisted he won't use it. Take him up on it.

Do what the others suggested: Have the card reissued to you only with a new number. DON'T TELL HIM!

His card is dead, but unless he lied to you he won't ever find out. Because he swore he won't use it.

If he DOES try to use it and asks you what's going on - tell him you took him at his word he wouldn't use it, so when Chase issued you a new card you didn't send him one. You can leave out that you told Chase to do so.

No conflict, problem solved.

Probably a good idea.  Hopefully your parents are not so crazy as to steal your identity and taking precaution is overkill.  But you DO NOT want to risk the consequences of finding out the hard way that they ARE crazy enough to do it. 

My MIL is that crazy. She's done this repeatedly to my wife, starting on the fraudulent cards before she was even a teen.