The Gift Of Debt Freedom

Sandra's daughter just turned 21 and has a $2,500 credit card balance. Sandra wants to give her the gift of being debt-free for her 21st birthday. Can Sandra negotiate the balance down?

QUESTION: Sandra in Houston is a single mom and has always been debt-free. Her daughter just turned 21 and is running into financial problems already. Sandra wants to give her the gift of being debt-free again for her 21st birthday. She has a $2,500 credit card balance. Can Sandra negotiate that down?

ANSWER: They’ll accept a settlement of some kind. You can just make them an offer. The trick is this: Why isn’t this kid able to pay her bills? I think she’s still out of control but not as bad as she was. I don’t think she’s organized with her money, and I don’t think she’s earning enough to live on. You’ve got to fix that. Otherwise, you’re just giving a drunk a drink. You’ve got to teach her to fish, not just give her fish. That needs to be part of your helping her. It’s not just a birthday gift. Otherwise, you’re encouraging bad behavior. You don’t want to do that. “I’ll pay some of this if you pay some of it and get on a plan using Dave Ramsey’s book.”