Money Moral Dilemma: Should retired parents pay off their daughter's debts?



  • nheath
    nheath Posts: 4 Newbie
    The solution isn't to throw more money at her, in fact they shouldn't have done that in the first place. I was in a tight spot once and my parents sorted me out - not by throwing money at me but by giving me a kick up the behind.
  • toshkininny
    toshkininny Posts: 1,189 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    I would refer her to this very helpful website ! :D
  • Suelynn
    Suelynn Posts: 10 Forumite
    If they've already 'bailed her out' a couple of times, then she ought to know better by now and not expect (or need) to be 'bailed out' again. The parents should refuse to do it. Let her sort herself out, it might just teach her a lesson not to get into that state in the first place. :angry:
  • It's a difficult situation, and one which my parents went through not long ago. They were desparate to help me out of the financial mess my partner and I were in, and having just sold their house and renting whilst looking for a new property, they were in an ideal situation to help, but I wouldn't let them. Why should I take away the money that they had worked so hard for just because we'd had a run of bad luck?

    In this case, I don't think they would be right to bail her out by writing off their own money. Instead, maybe they could loan her the money and set up a repayment scheme so that their money is returned to them eventually.

    They would be able to help her more by assisting her to work out a budget, and educating her on how to manage her finances properly.
  • Henwen
    Henwen Posts: 66 Forumite
    I agree with most of the comments below. The parents can offer practical help eg accommodation if she gets repossessed and advice on budgetting and financial management. They should not give more money as obviously the lesson was not learned last time . The parents seem to have a good attitude to saving etc but the daughter has not benefitted from this. Such a shame that so many people have been misled by easy credit.

    Feeling the pinch but trying to bring down that mortgage - thank heavens for!
  • Sarahcat
    Sarahcat Posts: 39 Forumite
    luxor4t wrote: »
    Why blame the parents? the daughter has run up big debts THREE times, and has been bailed out twice!

    Do you really think starting on the house ladder was easy when the parents set out? Yes, prices were cheaper BUT salaries were lower, mortgages harder to get and you had to have a 10% deposit. I know - I have been there and wished I could have afforded the T-shirt, but the [strike]house[/strike] sorry, flat (houses were too expensive) came first.

    The parents would have struggled through the 80s when mortgage interest shot up and up, new buyers went into negative equity etc etc. I know about this too, OH's job moved and we had to sell at a loss.

    Why do you think the parents have saved so hard for their retirement? They have learned the hard way that money does not grow on trees and that they need to prepare for their future, which may well include medical needs that the state will not meet. This is what happened to my parents.

    Their daughter is 30+ not 13, and needs to take responsibility for her own life. What will she do when she has bled her parents dry? What are her own kids learning about money - that they should expect her to rescue them?

    I so agree with everything you write.
    Back in the 80s when we were first able to get the deposit SAVED for a mortgage our interest rate was 15%!
    We only bought what we could afford because the mortgage payments and all the other bills needed to be paid first. My first washing machine and fridge were second hand.
    A trip to the cinema or the bowling alley was a BIG treat.
    I blame the problem on the buy now/pay later (or not!) ethos that our society now has.
    I personally don't believe either that children should assume they will inherit from their parents-particularly with NHS as it is!
    Having saved and paid for everything we now have we expect to enjoy ourselves in our older years with our money!
  • JayD
    JayD Posts: 698 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker First Post
    There has to be a compromise. Maybe a legal agreement requiring the daughter paid back a long term loan. I don't know - some ground where the grandparents aren't left with half their savings gone forever. Obviously some proper financial advice is seriously needed here and maybe some money might be needed to be thrown at that too - it might be a worthwhile investment.

    BUT, I don't think any grandparent would allow their grandchildren to be left homeless or even badly fed etc. Parents can be tough with their adult offspring but children and their needs always have to take priority.

    A sad reality and I accept it probably teaches their daughter nothing but parents are allowed to keep some hope that 'this time' lessons will be learnt.
  • fenrow1
    fenrow1 Posts: 7 Forumite
    what kind of example is she setting her children - run up debts and someone else pays for them? Learn to live withing your means (or get more means!). Accept help if offered - ie babysitting whilst working etc, but not charity as in paying off debts, she should be ashamed of taking the money previously if she has not learnt by it.
  • esthomizzy
    esthomizzy Posts: 492 Forumite
    I agree with most posters that there is going to be little positive benefit for her or the grandchildren in being bailed out again. It would merely perpetuate the dependence situation she's got herself in and there would be a very high negative impact on her parents retirement options which can never be right. They should offer practical assistance and where appropriate things for the grandchildren. If the situation got to an eviction stage (which could hopefully be avoided by dealing with the situation head on) then they could probably all stay with them but they should try and get her agreement to a debt plan and assist with budgetting etc.
    MFi3 member 105 - MFW date Oct 2023 - 12 years 9 months more
  • littleange
    littleange Posts: 1,431 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Wow, I don't envy any of your kids if they need your help! :eek:

    I would lend her the money interest free at least.
This discussion has been closed.
Meet your Ambassadors


  • All Categories
  • 343.1K Banking & Borrowing
  • 250.1K Reduce Debt & Boost Income
  • 449.7K Spending & Discounts
  • 235.2K Work, Benefits & Business
  • 607.9K Mortgages, Homes & Bills
  • 173K Life & Family
  • 247.8K Travel & Transport
  • 1.5M Hobbies & Leisure
  • 15.9K Discuss & Feedback
  • 15.1K Coronavirus Support Boards