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Ask Dave

Mom Screwed Up And So Did You

Gino has a problem with his last credit card. It's a credit card his mother put his name on. His mom is making the minimum payments. Dave advises Gino to just pay it off.

QUESTION: Gino and Crystal in Las Vegas have a problem with their last credit card. It’s a credit card his mother put Gino’s name on. He’s asked the credit card company to take his name off the card, but they won’t. His mom is making the minimum payments. Dave advises Gino to just pay it off.

ANSWER: Pay it off. You signed it. You were 18 years old and stupid. Your mother inadvertently was stupid. She didn’t set out to harm you. She didn’t steal your identity. It’s sad, but 18-year-olds are legally liable for their actions. You signed up for this card. You didn’t understand the implications when you did that, but ignorance doesn’t help. Just because I don’t know the speed limit doesn’t mean they won’t give me a ticket. You’re going to end up paying this. She can’t. It’s just a gift to Mom. Put it in your debt snowball and knock it out as quickly as you can. You make good money. You can knock it out. She can’t. She isn’t going to pay it off this lifetime, and it’s not going away. They’re not going to take your name off the card. They don’t have any reason to take your name off. Why would they let you go? They legally have you. You make $90,000; she makes nothing. If you’re them, do you let you go? I don’t.

It’s an unfortunate thing, and thus is the problem with playing with credit cards. It’s a barrel of snakes, and if you stick your hand in there, you’re going to come out bit. That is basically what has happened here. I’m sorry you’re facing this, especially with you guys getting married.

Crystal, you can’t really hold this against his mom. She was as dumb as he was. Neither one of them knew what they were doing. It would be easy for you to kind of be angry with her, looking in from the outside. And if I heard anything in this story that made me think she did this with malice or she stole Gino’s identity or something like that, I’d have a different spirit about this. But this is a lady who just had no idea. And Gino had no idea. She thought she was helping, like a lot of parents do when they’re stupid and they sign their kids up for cards. There are people doing that everywhere all over America right now. This is the result 10 or 20 years later.

You’re going to have to pay it. I wish you didn’t, but if I’m in your shoes, I’m putting it in my debt snowball and knocking it out.