Money Moral Dilemma: Should I tell my son I've discovered he's in debt?



  • rta92rta92 Forumite
    3 Posts
    Part of the Furniture First Post Combo Breaker
    MoneySaving Newbie
    Ask them how much more they need for the deposit, lend them the money (on the basis that you won't see any of it back), move them out and then downsize so that there's no room for them to move back in with you and they will have to fend for them selves.  I've got two kidults at home living for free and can I get rid of them....
  • PollycatPollycat Forumite
    31.4K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Savvy Shopper!
    rta92 said:
    Ask them how much more they need for the deposit, lend them the money (on the basis that you won't see any of it back), move them out and then downsize so that there's no room for them to move back in with you and they will have to fend for them selves.  I've got two kidults at home living for free and can I get rid of them....

    You could take your own advice... ;)
  • VivevaViveva Forumite
    1 Post
    First Post
    MoneySaving Newbie
    Taking the above dilemma at face value and not commenting on where it was left or how the mum saw it. The son left the letter out,  so I think he wants help.
    This couple are staying in the house to save for a mortgage, as a parent I would expect them to be keeping to their end of the ‘agreement’, not getting themselves in a position that could prevent them achieving that goal … and stop me getting my house back! 
    Speak to them both now.
  • AfourteenAfourteen Forumite
    48 Posts
    Third Anniversary 10 Posts
    To be honest - "the cat is out of the bag" now. So what is the best thing to do? In my opinion they have had the hardest discussion with you when they started sleeping together in your home (even after wife and I were married we both felt awkward sharing a bed at either parents) so talking about money shouldn't be that difficult. Sit them down somewhere quiet, no radio, no telly and 'phones off. Explain that you 'inadvertently' found the letter regarding the debt and you are very sorry. Ask why they felt they couldn't ask you for a loan(s). Tell them that you appreciate them trying to stand on their own feet but sometimes they do need family around them to help. What ever you do - do not get angry with them (even if really want to) but remain calm and offer to help but a condition of that help is that they tell you more (everything) about their present financial state.
    It may be that they feel uncomfortable in your home and spend more time in hotels/B&B's for privacy, it may be that they have bought something expensive telling interested parties (you) that it was much cheaper than it really was. If they do need 'space' maybe you could re-arrange your present home to give them a more privacy (a mate let his single daughter have the granny flat in their home - their relationship improved tremendously).
    If it's trouble or drugs then the conversation is going to be really difficult but even so it is needed.

    I had many a long conversation with my parents over money - I couldn't keep my father out of my looking at my bank & building society accounts and he was always on to me about saving. I only had 3 loans - 2 mortgages and 1 shop loan for a TV (which he promptly claimed). Even after I left the family home he would always 'show' an interest in my finances. We had many arguments over his 'interest' but in the end I haven't ended up with debt and not had had agencies chasing me.

    I do think you will have to at least offer to resolve the debt issue (you know about); you may have to set more or new ground rules whilst they are living with you.

    Be pleased it's not a back street 'loan shark'!
  • melvynjsmelvynjs Forumite
    3 Posts
    First Post
    MoneySaving Newbie
    You need to address the situation. They are using your address. I had all sorts of problems from someone who stayed with
    me whilst going through a divorce, using my address. If they cant stay in the black whilst paying minimum rent, what chance
    do they have in the real world? If they get poor credit ratings they might have to stay with you for years.
    Dont put off the day of reckoning.
  • AstonSimonAstonSimon Forumite
    9 Posts
    Fifth Anniversary Combo Breaker First Post
    How did you see this letter?

    When I lived at home (into my 20s,) Mum would periodically come into my room when I was out to clean it, despite me repeatedly making it perfectly clear that I would rather do my own cleaning. On several occasions she managed to read confidential documents which were well out of sight, eg. in a drawer. Always accidentally... She also opened my mail on several occasions, ostensibly because she hadn't realised that it was addressed to me. I know that this can be an issue if there is a Simon senior & a Simon junior, or even a Simon & a Samuel, but in our family, everybody has different initials, so it was impossible to not realise who a letter was addressed to, assuming that one bothers to read the address label. The ensuing conversations caused a lot of resentment, particularly as Mum maintained (and still does) that her behaviour wasn't the slightest bit unreasonable in any way, shape or form.

    On another note, where did your son learn his overspending (if that is what it is.) Dad was forever telling me to keep out of debt; this advice alternated with him constantly nagging at me to go on foreign holidays which he knew perfectly well that I couldn't afford. He gave my brother exactly the same advice on both counts, and then gave me earache when my brother kept getting into debt. Apparently my brother never learned. He did learn. He learned that Mum & Dad would go on bailing him out indefinitely. They were the ones who never learned. Are you reaping what you have sown?
  • Lover_of_LycraLover_of_Lycra Forumite
    3.3K Posts
    1,000 Posts Fourth Anniversary Photogenic Name Dropper
    @AstonSimon, sounds like your mum went to the same school of snooping as mine and then wondered why I left home at 19. 
  • crmismcrmism Forumite
    251 Posts
    Fifth Anniversary 100 Posts
    By the sound of things, your son and his girlfriend are old enough to understand and deal with their own finances, and there's no reason why you should saddle yourself by sorting out their debt. The best you can offer is to sit them down, make them realize the consequences of their spending habits (something they might not have considered before) and get them to plan and budget from now on in such a way that they can clear their borrowing over time and all the while lending rates are at an all-time low. It's exactly what any common-sense bank manager would have done. Lending your son money from your own pocket merely transfers the debt from one creditor to another, and doesn't address the root cause of the problem.
  • Scorpio33Scorpio33 Forumite
    568 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts
    Have a conversation with them.

    Say that you've seen the letter and ask why its happened - it may just be a misunderstanding. However, if it is clear that is just debt from not being frugal enough, tell them obvious to you that they can't manage their own money properly, so you'll therefore be charging them rent form now onwards (cheaper than market rate). If they don't like that, they are welcome to move out and pay more in the real world. If they complain, you can offer to help look at the finances with them, but tell them that they either pay rent or they move out.

    Then if they do stay and pay rent (rather than move out), keep that rent in savings for a deposit for them without them knowing. Once they are managing better you can then give them their own money back as a deposit.
  • Mark_StephensMark_Stephens Forumite
    3 Posts
    First Post First Anniversary
    MoneySaving Newbie
    I feel very strongly about this One of the major factors involving suicide is money problems and debt You must urgently bring up the subject with your son and discuss possible solutions You must at the very least show your full support and that you will do everything you can to help  
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