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No. of Recommendations: 16
Sorry for your problems. Family money issues suck.

My brother has 4 kids. He has asked me to co-sign a loan for so far two of his kids college tuition, explaining that it would be no problem since he could always cover it if needed - from his retirement I think. He can't co-sign himself after having gone through financial trouble in the past with a divorce and bankruptcy. But I could not do it. These are very expensive private colleges that are hard for me to get behind. Also, it would be emotionally hard for me especially considering I have had very little debt in my life. It bothers me that my brother doesn't really see it that way.

Your brother's financial decisions so far have put him in a position where he can't co-sign for his kids, so do you really think he would be in a position to pay the loan off if his kid didn't? Probably not - so you would really be signing up to be liable for the loan. If you need validation that you made the right decision - you have done so. You need to stick to your financial plan, not sign up to pay for an unaffordable school.

These are not my decisions, I can only sit and watch.

I think you said it all right there. The decisions that your relatives have been made in the past have brought them to where they are at. It's not your role to resolve their issues - they need to resolve them for themselves. You can recommend TMF, or credit counseling from a CCCS accredited counselor, or doing something like Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University.

But those are all actions your brother will have to take. You can provide advice, but if it's not asked for (and maybe even if it is asked for), it probably won't help. And when your relatives try to guilt you into paying or co-signing for things, you will need to stick to your guns, and not endanger your own financial plan.

As far as watching your father provide his money to your brother, you can only be there to help catch him if you manage to keep your money - so that's another reason to not help your brother and his kids. Again, you can offer advice, like "Dad - you really don't have the money to spend on that" but it's his money, and he's probably not going to listen. If you are unwilling to try to catch him if things go terribly wrong, you should let him know that up front.

AJ
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