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Author: Booa Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 310322  
Subject: Re: Me vs. My Parents $40K Debt (Long) Date: 9/6/2004 3:41 AM
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IslandFoolin, I think it's incredibly kind of you to want to help your parents out, and to put so much effort into it.

I would be very leery of paying off a large chunk of their debt *before* they learn to control their credit card spending. I realize you're not going to be around to help them with that in person, but hopefully you could provide emotional support long distance. I would be concerned that the $30K would go towards the debt, and that they would then run the cards back up again, or if those cards were closed, they might open new ones or just add to the ones that still have space on them.

Can you help them put a budget together, a payment plan, something like that? Get them a membership on the Fool? (I have faith in exposure to the Fool boards like I have faith in very few other things, I realize, but I truly think it helps a lot a lot a lot.) Have them run the snowball calculator, see how much they're going to be paying these cards. Have them figure out what something they charged two years ago has cost them, plus interest. Other people will come in with great suggestions, I know, I just really think you need to be careful about "doing away" with a big chunk of the debt at one time, before they're learned to LBTM and are both really committed to paying off the CC debt and saving for retirement.

Good luck!

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