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



  • suzikenobisuzikenobi Forumite
    2 Posts
    Part of the Furniture First Post Combo Breaker
    MoneySaving Newbie
    I don’t think the debt is any of your business. However, I think you can ask them how the saving is going/ when they will be in a position to move out. You could seek to alter the basis of the arrangement as others have suggested, e.g. charge more but put in an ISA, however I thing they have more pressing issues
  • k_k_k_katyk_k_k_katy Forumite
    11 Posts
    10 Posts First Anniversary
    I think you could all have behaved more appropriately.  You should not have read their mail, someone leaving their mail around their home is not an imvitation for others to read it.  Why couldn't you help reading it?  Why did you read it?  There isn't an excuse.  You should confess to them that you have read it, and apologize, but, having seen it, now wonder what it means, and whether they are keeping to the agreement of saving for a home of their own whilst living cheaply with you.  They are adults, I suggest that you expect them to behave responsibly, and that means not doing anything to enable them to live beyond their means, or interfering in their business.    
    1 Post
    Third Anniversary First Post
    MoneySaving Newbie
    There's more to this than meets the eye.   I think you should mind your own business, and stop snooping.   Sounds to me you're trying to dig up dirt on your son's partner.   Is it that you think she's not 'right' for your precious boy?   
  • Mrl_oaMrl_oa Forumite
    2 Posts
    First Post
    MoneySaving Newbie
    Having watched quite a bit of “can’t pay, we’ll take it away”, I know that  if the bailiffs arrive, then you would have to prove ownership of anything in your house. 
    As they live in your house, this is your problem too. 
  • J_FJ_F Forumite
    1 Post
    First Post
    MoneySaving Newbie

    I’d be concerned how they’ve managed to get in debt while their costs are so low.  If they can’t manage now, I’m not sure how they’d do so with a mortgage.

    Unfortunately the only way they’ll learn to be responsible in the future is by having to sort the issue out & deal with the consequences themselves.  There are organisations that can help them plan how they’ll do it, & it'll probably be a valuable lesson for them to learn they have to take responsibility for themselves.

    As others have suggested, I’d be inclined to charge a more realistic rent (so you’re not just enabling their continued money-mismanagement), & then if you want to do so you can perhaps save the ‘extra’ without them knowing to ensure they still get it but don't just 'throw it away'.

  • shehen23shehen23 Forumite
    28 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    He should mind his own business. Totally. If they are bad tenants & he thinks they're abusing his hospitality that's one thing but otherwise he should keep his nose out. And there is no excuse for reading a private letter even if it was left out. I am a 30yr married woman in my 50's & a mortgage free home owner, we're certainly not wealthy but we manage perfectly well. One time we had a dispute with a company who tried to claim money from us. We were in the process of sorting the situation out when my elderly father 'accidentally' read one of our letters. Since then he has held it against us & constantly makes comments which make us feel ashamed & embarrassed. We feel like we're having to make excuses all the time. If we buy anything or go out for a meal we're made to feel guilty as if we've done something wrong. Once someone is associated with debt there is a huge stigma even if it's not true. Even if it is, unless someone specifically asks for help then chances are they are sorting it out & certainly don't need someone else wading in & interfering. Beyond letting them know that he is there for them if they have any problems he should stay out of it
  • b22b22 Forumite
    3 Posts
    Seventh Anniversary First Post Combo Breaker
    MoneySaving Newbie
    If be more interested on any defaults on your address, I would speak to both, they may be relieved 
  • REJPREJP Forumite
    255 Posts
    Fourth Anniversary 100 Posts Name Dropper
    Ask them together what the debts are for.   Gambling perhaps?  Non payment of car finance to buy a car?  Credit cards?
    It is worrying that both your son and girlfriend are in debt.  Don’t pay any off, that opens the door to more requests for assistance.   I think the advice to get help from a non judgemental organisation such as Citizens Advice Bureau if you have an office nearby is excellent.  If there is no local CAB tell them to contact the debt counselling services suggested in a previous post.
    I am not an expert on credit scores, but I suspect mortgage companies might not look favourably on people already in debt that suggests  they might be unable to pay for the mortgage.   Speed in dealing with the problems is important in order to start resolving the debts.   Personally I would feel quiet upset by their behaviour given that they have been living with a subsidised rent in your home.

    If they are not happy that you are telling them to face up to their problems they can always try finding somewhere else to live.
  • keithyno.1keithyno.1 Forumite
    34 Posts
    Sixth Anniversary 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    I'd tell them to sling their hook! Or putting it more precisely, tell them that they'll have to pay a market-going rental/house share rate moving forward, and if they're not happy with that then find their own place to live (whether owned, rented or whatever - that's not YOUR problem).

    Harsh you might think, but paying you a minimal rent whilst then running up debts suggests to me that they've no serious intention of saving up for a deposit for a mortgage. They see staying at yours simply as a cheap way to live whilst indulging their lifestyle (on borrowed money at that, it would appear), they're taking advantage of your generosity and family loyalty, and they always will as long as you allow them to. They could still be there in 5 or even 10 years time because they're on to a good thing financially and they know it. It's time they grew up and stood on their own four feet.

  • [Deleted User][Deleted User]
    0 Posts
    1,000 Posts Fourth Anniversary Photogenic Name Dropper
    MoneySaving Newbie
    MDE said:
    Carrot007 said:
    MDE said:
    Assuming they are registered at your address (which they must be to receive the letters there), your financial/ credit accounts are linked with theirs.
    Therefore it's in your interest as their defaults could reflect badly on you.

    That's not how it works.

    Credit is not linked on reports by address.

    Now yes any individual company is free to blacklist a property forever for any reason and could.

    Only having a joint account of some kind links credit records. (getting married does not even do it).

    They're family members living at the same address. There will be some sort of link.

    Even if there's nothing formal, the lady with the original query will be implicated pretty quickly once the bailiffs start knocking on the door and asking for proof of ownership of goods to prevent removal in order to service the debt.
    No there won’t. Credit files are attached to people not front doors. Financial associations are only made on credit files by those who have joint financial products such as a joint mortgage. It’s perfectly possible for a married couple living under the same roof to have no financial association to each other on their credit files. 
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