No. of Recommendations: 5
AJ has given good advice about him finding out exactly what his lease obligations and utility obligations are. Until he has that information, he is in no position to know what his obligations are. If you haven't done so, you might also inquire if he has any written agreement with his roommates (probably not, but would still ask).

If he does, in fact, have an obligation under the lease, he may want to pay his share on a monthly basis rather than paying a lump sum now. The problem with settling off with his roommates for a lump sum now is that if they subsequently default on the lease the landlord may come after him and won't really care that he paid the roommates already.

As far as where to begin paying off the credit card debt, I have a few comments.

One - Does your son want your help on this and will he accept any advice from you? I have 3 young adult kids. One of them will take no advice from me whatsoever. In fact, trying to give it is counter-productive.

Two - Even if the answer to the above is yes, it will be much better for your son in the long run if he mostly works to solve this problem himself. So, the ideal would be for him to be asking these questions, rather than you. That doesn't mean you can't give advice, but it would still be better for him to be posting here.

Three - The basics of how to pay off credit card debt are not that difficult. Make a budget. Make at least minimum payments on all credit cards. Throw extra money to the highest rate card. When it is paid off, take whatever was being paid on it and snowball it to make payments on the next highest rate card.

In making a budget, I would suggest that you charge him room and board. You can certainly give him a little bit of a deal on this. You might even privately decide to give back some of it to him to get him started when he ultimately moves out. But, it sets up entirely the wrong dynamic to let him come home and live rent free. It may be you have already thought of this, but I did want to mention that this should be part of the budget.

Obviously the above general stuff could be changed depending on the details of how much he owes.
Print the post  


UGC Disclosure Notice Regarding Credit Card Posts
Community board discussions about credit cards are not provided or commissioned by banks who may have advertising relationships with The Motley Fool. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.
TMF Credit Center
The Motley Fool Credit Center arms you with real tools and simple messages, that will help you in every credit situation.
When Life Gives You Lemons
We all have had hardships and made poor decisions. The important thing is how we respond and grow. Read the story of a Fool who started from nothing, and looks to gain everything.
Contact Us
Contact Customer Service and other Fool departments here.
Work for Fools?
Winner of the Washingtonian great places to work, and Glassdoor #1 Company to Work For 2015! Have access to all of TMF's online and email products for FREE, and be paid for your contributions to TMF! Click the link and start your Fool career.