Credit card debt

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by in a daze, Feb 20, 2016.

  1. in a daze

    in a daze Well-Known Member

    We thought Difficult Child was doing so well. Goes to work consistently. Feeling better on the new medication. Goes to therapy. Goes to improv class and group therapy for his social anxiety. Saving money, has 1000.00 in the bank.

    Until tonight, when we asked him to take over paying his bus card, which is about over 100.00 bucks a month, and he told us he couldn't possibly do that, because he's in credit card debt to the tune of 3000.00 or something.

    He will be getting an income tax refund, which will go straight to the credit card debt.

    Full disclosure of all finances will have to be a condition if we are to continue to support him.

    Now here is a complication. He has a loving, but enabling grandmother. Grandfather was killed in an accident last year, and there is a large cash settlement ensuing. Three of Difficult Child's cousins have been given large amounts of money by the grandparents. One cousin is very close to Difficult Child AND this cousin told him to expect a large cash infusion from Grandma. This cousin has been "loaned" over 30,000 and stopped paying on the loan months ago. My husband, the executor of the estate, told our son to expect no such payment. Husband has been considering legal action against his nephew and did call department on aging but has not filed a complaint yet (Grandma is alert and oriented x 3)

    Difficult Child claims that he is not using the credit card anymore and is making a little more than the minimum payment. He was given a talk on the evils of credit cards and the necessity of paying this off and getting another job, now that he is feeling a little better.

    We've been too soft on Difficult Child financially. That is true. But we have no control if he goes out and gets approved for a credit card.

    I plan to hold the Ventra card over his head and cancel it if he doesn't do what we tell him to do.
  2. JMom

    JMom Active Member


    How old is he?
  3. in a daze

    in a daze Well-Known Member

    Turned 29 two weeks ago.
  4. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

    I would precede as you are doing. Explaining the evils of CC debt. Making him disclose and prove his financial standing if you are going to continue to support him in any way, shape or form (which will have to end!)

    Perhaps offer to pay half of his bus card for the next few months, but somehow pay it with him by your side. Collect $50 and you add your $50 and then m mediately pay.

    Consider offering him a little incentive...a dinner out when he zero balances his card. However, be careful he doesn't simply open another card.

    Also, you can make good use of his upcoming 30th birthday. Without being threatening or negative in any way, you can happily and excitingly say that it's a wonderful thing that he is turning thirty and this means he is a man and you know that he is ready and will want to take care of his responsibilities like paying for his bus card in full.

    (I don't know his abilities or situation...maybe at age thirty hopefully he can assume his responsibilities in full or just do much more than he is doing currently...but he likely can step up further and this would be a great thing for both of you)
  5. in a daze

    in a daze Well-Known Member

    Definitely. He is going to the bank tomorrow to switch Chase liquid account to checking account as he can't do anything on line with present account, then is filing his tax return. I told him I want screenshots of payments to the credit card debt. Told him he has to work with us if he wants us to help him turn this ship around.

  6. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Well, at 3K debt, the minimum payment is around 25-35 dollars per month,assuming he doesn't have one of those "starter" cards with extremely high interest, annual fees, etc.

    So, lets say he pays 30-40 dollars per month on the card. I agree that he should be able to handle half the cost of the transit pass.

    The other thing to consider is him re-financing the CC debt into a lower interest loan. That would pay off the CC debt, leave him paying on what he owes at a lower interest rate, hence able to pay it off sooner.

    However, ONLY do this if the lending co. doesn't require you to co-sign.

    Unfortunately, it is VERY easy to get a credit card nowadays.

    I have excellent credit and carry cards with single digit interest. I still get mail and email solicitations constantly for high interest/high fee cards and personal loans that I'm "pre-approved" for.

    I know that it would be nothing for me to borrow 25K at a high interest rate...except that I can't make the payments. Even if I borrowed at a sane rate of interest from my credit union, I still can't make the payments, LOL.

    There is NO way you can stop him from opening new credit accounts. He is legally an adult, and he's not in a place where you could get guardianship over him.

    Also, short of somehow pulling full credit reports on him from all three agencies, you really don't know what his finances actually look like. All you know is what he's told/shown you in order to get your continuing support.

    Honestly, I think at his age, it might be time to teach him how to handle as much of this on his own as possible. And if it hurts a bit, that'll teach him a lesson that no amount of motherly warnings will.

    (Sez the person who's husband finally succeeded in teaching her to balance a checkbook when she was in her late 20s. Dyscalculia bites.)
  7. nlj

    nlj Well-Known Member

    I think credit card debt is a widespread problem and agree with GN above. I know of friends with professional jobs who are up to their necks with credit card debt. What I'm trying to say is that I don't think this is about your son's other issues necessarily, it's a scurge of life nowadays. My easy child stepson has run up thousands in debt. It's a steep learning curve. He has to deal with it himself. I've dealt with credit card debt myself in the past, so has H. I would give your son basic advice and hope that he destroys the cards. I wouldn't give him any more money. At the age he is, he really doesn't need his mom balancing his books for him.
  8. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    In A Daze is son still at sober living? I read an older post where you said he wanted to get an apartment but not sure if that happened. I see based on your older post you are also in the Windy City. I am in the burbs.
  9. in a daze

    in a daze Well-Known Member

    Yes. We have no control. We are really getting on his case about this. So contrary to the way he was raised. We paid our credit cards off every month, and if we couldn't afford it, we didn't charge it. We worked hard and saved and invested our money (all those double shifts at the hospital and coupon clipping, etc.) We drove secondhand cars and were the last ones in the neighborhood to get cable TV, didn't have call waiting, etc. His sister did notice and she's very good at managing her money, but not him.

    He told me he put 500.00 on the CC balance and changed the Chase liquid account to a free checking account (didn't realize he could do this months ago).

    Told him to destroy the card, although I think he's going to keep it for emergencies. He said he hasn't used it in months. We haven't given him any cash except for Christmas gift, but we are still helping him with rent, which really makes us upset because we are helping paying his rent while he was being irresponsible.
  10. in a daze

    in a daze Well-Known Member

    Hi RN. He is still in the sober living. He's been there for two years. He talked about moving out but it was all talk. It's convenient to work and the Red Line. He is on the North side and we are on the South Side (inner ring suburb) :)