No Deal Broken

Patty's son is about to graduate from law school. He has a student loan for $76,000, but they paid for two years. They could pay it off for him, but her husband is hesitant.

QUESTION: Patty in Winston-Salem says her son is about to graduate from law school. She and her husband allowed him to get a student loan, but they paid for two years. The loan is about $76,000. They could pay it off for him, but her husband is hesitant. Dave says it depends on how hardcore they want to be.

ANSWER: I would want some concessions were I to do this at this stage of the game. Number one, I think it’s perfectly okay for a young lawyer to go and earn a living and pay off his lawyer debt. There’s nothing wrong with that whatsoever. There’s no deal broken here. It’s not going to kill him. He can roll up his sleeves and clean up the mess that he participated in making.

If you choose to pay it off, I don’t think that’s a bad thing either. But I don’t want you to think you’re obligated to do that. You’re not. This should be a gift. It should be accompanied by two things on his part. One is a signed letter of agreement that he will never borrow money again the rest of his life, thereby you have changed his life. You can decide how hardcore to be.

Never borrow money again. You called Dave Ramsey, remember that? That’s the number you dialed.

In other words, I want some permanent commitment that I changed my family tree. I want his kids to be affected by this decision and this gift. That’s the first thing I want from him. The second thing I want from him is unbelievable levels of gratitude—worshipful levels of gratitude.

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