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this is a little loaded but it is a sincere question. okay, person X has a very poor credit history. They want to buy a house. They have some serious cc debt they want to pay off. they have student loans.

okay. In your holy opinion is this person "ready" for a home? I mean, they have a poor payment record, bad credit, etc... If they come to this board they are obviously looking for a way OUT OF debt but a house payment is a sure way to be locked INTO debt, and they have a poor history with handling this said debt. Now, I know we are making "jugements" about other people's situation if we type that they are not ready, so I know IT IS better to just give them advice about credit reports and mortgages and send them on their way. But, does anyone else just have the urge to "get serious" with some of these people and ask them if they are in a financially responsible position to be taking on this new burden? Or am I just a judgemental meanie?

I don't think you're a judgemental meanie. True friends are there to offer advice when asked. The key is, you must be asked your opinion (not just blurt it out), and if you are asked, give it honestly and factually. Don't tell them they can't handle it... they'll try to prove you wrong and likely prove you right.

Outline the cost differences between renting and buying. Has your friend tried getting preapproved for a mortgage? If not, they should... they may not be able to qualify for a mortgage. How much could they qualify for? Do they have the required savings for a down payment? (No, you can't take a cash advance against a credit card for this!) Is the house they desire in that price range? What about property taxes, PMI, water and sewage bills -- often hidden costs in monthly rent charges? Will they feel tempted to fill their (maybe) larger house with more stuff, leading to more credit card debt?

I think if you give your friend questions like these, they may realize that they are not ready for owning a home (or find out they don't yet have the resources the financial community demands before approving funds for a home). And you won't come across as judgemental.

Hope this helps.

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