Trust Broken After Co-Signing

Stephanie says her dad co-signed a car for her before she started her Baby Steps, and it affected their relationship. She paid off the car, but she wants to know how to heal the relationship with her father.

QUESTION: Stephanie in Texas says her dad co-signed a car for her before she started her Baby Steps. She missed some payments, and it affected their relationship. She paid off the car, but she wants to know how to heal the relationship with her father.

ANSWER: That’s partially up to your dad to be willing to let it heal. If he’s placing too much emphasis on something that happened several years ago when you were a kid, he’s partly culpable because he was stupid enough to co-sign. I think if you haven’t, you apologize for the damage that it did and you want to make sure that anything that you’ve done wrong that you can make that right. I think you’ve done all of that. But say that out loud and, “Dad, I’m getting on this program to learn how to handle money so that I never do that again.” If he cannot accept that apology and move forward given that he was part of the equation, then that’s on him. Other than that, the only thing that heals stuff like this is just time. The more time that elapses, the better his perspective may be.

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