Most of us have heard a story about a mother, father, or family members stepping forward and paying someone’s debt. When it comes down to it, reading things like “mom pays son’s debt” is pretty disheartening. Why not give your child the tools to better their finances on their own, something that will undoubtedly help them for years to come.
“Mom Pays Son’s Debt”
Some would argue that if you have the ability to do so, why wouldn’t you pay off your child’s debt and help them start their life off on the right foot? While that is a valid argument, there is a good chance they’ll land themselves back in debt without the proper financial education.
This is increasingly a problem for millennials. In fact, 1 in 4 parents of millennial children pays their child’s bills (even though they work full time). Half of the millennial children are still on their parent’s cell phone plan. One-third relies on their parents to pay their car insurance, car payment, utilities, and even rent. Additionally, they are making payments on their children’s student loans, taking the bulk of the $1.4 trillion student loan debt.
And those are the kids that are working full time. When you take into account those who are working part-time or are without work, parents are footing a lot of the bill for their grown children.
Should You Consider Doing This?
Many parents risk absolute financial ruin if they help their children in this way. You’ll put off your own retirement, your own financial goals, and even go into debt yourself helping your child.
When it comes to whether your not you should consider settling up your child’s debt for them, the answer isn’t yes or no. Of course, you wouldn’t ever tell a parent to not help their children. However, rules need to exist. If your child needs financial assistance from you, they should be able to explain why.
Then, you should take steps to better educate your child about financial planning. Have open discussions about saving, debt freedom, buying a home, and other important topics. Making a comfortable environment for your child to talk about their financial concerns can help you help them and inspire them to take better care of their money in the future.
Readers, are there any instances where you would pay off your child’s debt?