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Ask Dave

Make sure it's a gift

Isaac's parents have offered to help him financially. Dave doesn't have a problem with this, as long as a couple of conditions are met.

QUESTION: Isaac wants to go back to school. He can pay for everything with cash, but it would postpone his plans for buying a home. His parents have offered to help out financially. What does Dave think he should do?

ANSWER: I don’t have a problem with this, if they’re doing well enough financially to afford it, and the help comes in the form of a gift. A loan between family members, or even friends, isn’t help—it’s a trap for both parties.

So, if they’re in good enough shape to gift you some money without going into debt to help with school or a home, that would be an incredibly generous thing to do. It sounds like you’re in a really good place, Isaac.