It can be very worrying for a parent when they are informed that one of their children is in debt. They often want to find an instant solution but can be unsure of where to go to seek help. In this article I give advice on what in my opinion is the best way of helping this child, who of course is likely to be an adult themselves. I hope that the article can be of help and benefit to many people.
There are a number of solutions to different problems that we come across in life and the advice I give in this article may not be suitable in every debt situation but is the way I would deal with my own childs debt problem.
One of the first people to contact would be one of the national organisations which deal with debt such as the national debt line. When your child had the courage to admit to their debt problem it would probably have come as a bit of a shock. The people at these organisations hear these same stories everyday and will have a great deal of information and advice to help you.
One solution that many parents think of is to basically pay off all of their childs debt straight away. They may contact each company that the child has a debt with and then make a payment to clear the debt. This is what I am sure the child would love to happen and may well work in the long run. I believe that this solution is however wrong as it does not really teach the child a lesson and why should the parents have to bail them out. Who is to say that in five years time the child will not be in the same situation again. A lot of them no doubt would not be and will be bright enough to stay out of debt in the future and will also be very grateful to their parents for being so generous. I have however heard of many cases where the child does not learn and then continues to perhaps over spend and soon becomes in debt again.
My advice would be to start the child on a debt management plan. This can be organised via the national debt line and is a free service. The beauty of this plan is that the interest from the debt is frozen and it is the interest that is normally what makes the debt become so large. The child then agrees an amount to pay each month, an amount that they have worked out that they can afford and then the debt slowly but surely starts to reduce. The amount that they have agreed to pay is normally far lower than the minimum monthly payment that they had been paying towards the debt which was likely to have only covered the interest anyway.
The child can see that within a certain period their debt will be cleared, should be happy that the interest is frozen and will also learn about debt management for the future. The advice the specialist who is assigned to their case will provide will be invaluable. The parents could help out financially on any month when their child is struggling to make the agreed payment as it is important to keep up with the repayments.