Dave Says...

by: 

Dave Ramsey
May 14, 2010

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Dear Dave,

My daughter is 18-years old, a senior in high school, and she got a credit card without my knowledge. She didn’t spend over her limit, but she’s never made the payments and with late fees is looking at a $2,000 bill. Should I help her out with this?

Smitty

Dear Smitty,

I think this is horrible. I also think it’s wonderful, because by the time this kid finishes working her tail off to pay this debt she’ll hate credit cards and will have learned a lesson she’ll remember for the rest of her life.

I understand that a father wants to help his daughter, but it’s her debt - not yours. She’s the one who signed up for the ride, and she should be the one who makes good on the repayment. The fine print on the back of that application reads “if signed,” and if she’s got the card, then she signed and agreed she’d pay it back. It’s all legal.

Use this as a teaching experience, Smitty. Love her and show her how and where she went wrong. You can even help her find a job if she doesn’t have one right now so she can get out of this mess. But leave the payments to her. It’s HER responsibility.

- Dave

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