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

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  • zeegomandadrinzeegomandadrin Forumite
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    You have to look to protect your own financial interests and debt defaulters at the same address will affect you. You also have a problem with them essentially taking you for a ride. You can't unsee the letter and assuming that you did accidentally see its contents, you are entitled to ask what is going on and set the rules for your further support. 
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User]
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    You have to look to protect your own financial interests and debt defaulters at the same address will affect you. You also have a problem with them essentially taking you for a ride. You can't unsee the letter and assuming that you did accidentally see its contents, you are entitled to ask what is going on and set the rules for your further support. 
    No they won’t. People aren’t financially linked just because they live at the same address. 
  • SpendlessSpendless Forumite
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    To those saying you shouldn't have read, that might be to do with the way MSE has worded it 'couldn't help but see'. Years ago my then baby son (an early walker) knocked something off a low coffee table as he toddled around it  at a relatives house when only me and him were in the room. On picking it up I saw how much the householder was earning. I didn't read it, look through it, snoop or anything else and as I was unaware it was a wage slip that had fallen, it had been on the coffee table folded over, didn't think to avert my eyes as I picked it off the floor. A few years back another MMD was about a camera ( can't remember whole story) but the problem seemed to lie that they didn't have insurance so that's what most of the responses were. Then someone joined MSE who was the person behind the story and could give more detail and an explanation of why it hadn't been able to be insured (it slightly twisted the story that had initially been put on the boards).

    Anyway I'm another one wondering how they've got into debt when they're both working f-time plus having subsidised living. It might not be the debt itself that's the issue but rather that they are being chased for it, so have they defaulted on payments? My son a year ago was being chased for a debt of around £100, but he'd been scammed online when purchasing something and he was disputing it. It was sorted eventually but not until he'd received several letters about it.  Me just coming across these letters without knowing the story behind it, would have jumped to a different conclusion than what it was actually about. 

    I would agree with the others to talk to them both together explaining how you've found out and once it's established what the situation is, offer to help them sort it and by that I don't mean paying it off for them.
  • pollypennypollypenny Forumite
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    Was the letter left deliberately for you to 'accidentally' see it?  However this happened, the issue will have to be addressed and it's likely to be a difficult conversation. 

    It's unlikely that they're spending on socialising at the moment, so it's a worry where they money is going. 
    Member #14 of SKI-ers club

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  • DontBringBertieDontBringBertie Forumite
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    Pretty funny those saying "how DARE you read his mail" while doing him and his girlfriend a huge favour by allowing them to live for a hugely reduced rent.

    If he didn't want others reading his mail then maybe he should get his own place rather than racking up debt on a full time salary with minimal rent.
  • edited 9 June at 1:31PM
    [Deleted User][Deleted User]
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    edited 9 June at 1:31PM
    Was the letter left deliberately for you to 'accidentally' see it?  However this happened, the issue will have to be addressed and it's likely to be a difficult conversation. 

    It's unlikely that they're spending on socialising at the moment, so it's a worry where they money is going. 
    I did wonder if the letter had been left out accidentally-on-purpose too. 

    If has got to the stage of using guarantor loans then at least one of them’s finances must be in a terrible state. I’d sit down with the pair of them and have a frank conversation about it. 

    If they are in debt I wouldn’t bail them out either but would direct one or both of them to National Debtline or Step Change. 
  • Purpleruby50Purpleruby50 Forumite
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    Sit down and talk to them both. Put them onto agencies that can help but do not get entangled in there financial problems.  Remember to listen, do not raise your voice that wont help. There are so many tools on Martins website that can help. Do not mind your own business this is your son. I have heard of a couple who wished there son would have asked them for help, sadly it did not end well.
    I wish I would have had better advice and guidance from my parents (I am not blaming you or them) but money management needs to be learnt young. When it was explained to me at 40 years old that every month the interest was calculated on the whole amount, I saw stars. I corrected that immediately.
    Help them be better at money with money and explain all the credit pit falls. 
  • edited 9 June at 4:31PM
    bradavonbradavon Forumite
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    edited 9 June at 4:31PM
    If you discovered your son was gay then No!

    I say this because it's proper to let your child come out when they're ready, but for financial help it's appropriate to bring it up.

    I agree speak to them together but you don't need to be heavy by saying you're aware and if there's anything you can do to help you're there. As others have said suggest ways to practically help. They may think loans are the answer, which they rarely aware.

    Debt leads to stress, stress leads to depression, depression leads to suicide. People have committed suicide over debt. 2/3 of suicides nationally are male. To many people suffer mentally or commit suicide because we don't approach difficult subjects.

    Men also in the main fin find it much harder to ask for help. We feel shame of not being a man, not being able to provide. This isn't 1950, it's 2021.

    Yes absolutely broach the subject. The fact you're asking shows you're concerned.

    Given the statistics it's not alarmist to say imagine if you didn't say anything, it got spiralled out of control and something terrible happened. Talk.
  • bradavonbradavon Forumite
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    Well I’d be seriously narked off, they are supposed to be taking advantage of nominal rent and saving a deposit yet instead accruing debts. I’d ask them to explain and also advise rent is increasing....I’d select a figure that they should be saving in addition to any nominal fee you are charging... open an ISA and put the savings amount away for them each month..they can have it when they move out.
    Encourage them to each write out a budget and plan to pay off any debts as part of their budget
    Hmm your comment is so problematic and full of assumptions. You're assuming they're in debt because they're spending over the means but maybe they just aren't coping.
    So as  parent your plan is to put them more in debt? Glad I'm not related.
  • edited 9 June at 4:26PM
    bradavonbradavon Forumite
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    edited 9 June at 4:26PM
    Sit down and talk to them both. Put them onto agencies that can help but do not get entangled in there financial problems.  Remember to listen, do not raise your voice that wont help. There are so many tools on Martins website that can help. Do not mind your own business this is your son. I have heard of a couple who wished there son would have asked them for help, sadly it did not end well.
    I wish I would have had better advice and guidance from my parents (I am not blaming you or them) but money management needs to be learnt young. When it was explained to me at 40 years old that every month the interest was calculated on the whole amount, I saw stars. I corrected that immediately.
    Help them be better at money with money and explain all the credit pit falls. 
    Exactly. Me too. I've never got myself in debt but my parents never spoke to me about managing money either.
    Young people, men especially, can be proud. Ultimately the import thing is to get out of debt. You don't do that by doing nothing.
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