(Closed) How to help parent out of debt

posted 6 years ago in Money
Post # 3
580 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@AnonymousQuestion: As much as it is admirable that you want to help your Mum, I don’t know that there is anything you can do. It sounds like she isn’t ready to accept help.

I’m afraid I don’t have any good advice. Maybe lock the money into a high interest account until she is ready to ask for help so it at least gains interest as her debt gains interest?

Post # 4
10366 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2010

Clearing this debt for her will only pave the way for her to accumulate more debt. You won’t actually be helping her, you’ll just be dragging your own finances into the mess.

You have no way of stopping her from getting more credit cards. She isn’t beholden to you (even though that sounds like it would be in her best interest). Also, parents rarely take kindly to their children taking the reins on issues that parents are supposed to handle. She likely feels that you guys paying her debt for her means that she failed as a mom and as a provider. I don’t think there’s a way to handle this that won’t make her feel that way.

Post # 5
16 posts
  • Wedding: August 2013

I agree with the previous posters that paying off your Mom’s debts won’t fix the bigger issue.  Maybe you and your brother can pursue family counseling with her to help her work on herself first?

Post # 8
2622 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

I dont think you handled it poorly, but she isnt going to change after so many years of her current habits and will end up back where she started. Just like she did last time.

She needs more than a directive, she needs guidance both financial and probably emotional. People often make impulse decisions that are financially unsound because of an emotional response.

If she wants help, she has to show she earned it. She has to get her CC debt down before you help her, she has to establish a budget and stick to it for a while, etc. In short she has a lot of work that you cant do for her. 

Maybe you can pay for a financial counselor, of course she has to be wlling and able to follow the rules.

Post # 9
6892 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: March 2012

Don’t enable her.

I agree that it’s admirable what you two want to do, but she obviously isn’t even appreciative enough to admit she caused the problem and needs to change her spending habits. I think you would just be throwing away money that you and your brother will need, likely to pay off any debts you inherit when something happens to her (not to be morbid, just honest.)

Also, family + loaning or gifting money with strings attached = never a good outcome.

Post # 10
3771 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: December 1999

I think it was a pretty kind thing that you and your brother did. If you mom isn’t open to changing and responded the way she did, I would drop the idea of helping her out of debt. It might worry you, but at this point it doesn’t directly harm you. If you give her money and she isn’t ready to change I worry that you will just be out the money and she will go back to her ways, that would create so many hard feelings in your family.



Post # 11
5956 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2018

She will learn nothing if people continue to fix this problem for her…don’t pay a dime and continue to love and support her without the aid of your pocketbook…offer to pay for debt counseling and financial planning…nothing else

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