Desperate for advice

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robertw477 said:   bullcity said:   JaxFL said:   Everybody is so callus, esp toward your family. What and who were you at 23? (Ill add: of your own making, without help!)
OP, Just make sure he learns not to live beyond means. That is his only real fault.


At 16-18, I was working at Barnes & Noble as a cashier in the music section.
At 18-22, I got health insurance, car insurance, and a family plan cell phone from my parents. I had a full scholarship to school that covered living expenses, but I got some help on my rent in the summers since I was doing full-time professional (unpaid) internships.
At 22-23, I had a full-time job. I didn't make much, but it paid the bills, and I had my own apartment. The only thing I got from my parents was getting to stay on their health insurance.
At 23-26, I went to grad school. All the loans are in my own name, and I paid all my own bills. My parents helped out with my wedding, which was kind of them.
At 26, I gave my parents back the car I'd gotten in high school from them so they could use it for my little brother (who is still in college, and using it to drive drunk college kids around on the weekend for cash). Before my job started, my parents gave me a loan to purchase a new (used) car. I paid them monthly payments at a market interest rate, and then paid everything off within a year. I'd rather owe anyone else money than my parents.

You don't have to cut your kids off completely at 18, but they need to be progressively becoming financially independent, and they need to be interpreting any help from their parents as unexpected generosity, not a parental duty. I know my parents would always be there for me to help me out financially as long as they are able. But what you need is to get your kid to the maturity level where they have enough respect for either you or themselves that before they'd call on you for help, they'd have a reason a whole hell of a lot better than laziness, overspending, and inability to hold down a minimum wage job. Like, I'd mayyyybe move back in with my parents or ask them for money if I was literally dying.


Bullcity- You sir know what the word responsibility means. Too many people out there feel they are entitled. Its clear to see you are going places with that kind of attitude. I dont want to get political but I wish more people in america would have that sort of thinking.
Everyone that applies for a job at my small business tells me they are a hard worker. Usually the phrase hard worker is their own definition of hard worker.
Rob
Yes indeed. Though... I do see almost full support till 22, including full scholarship, living expense. Its nice to have a detailed post. What is missing in the responses in this thread is empathy, as it is more than likely the debt accumulated by this 23 year old (OPs) was a result to cover expenses while being in school. Having multiple jobs during this time may also be anticipated. I understand we all have are own prejudices and perspectives; but be open, understanding, and be thankful if you've had it better.

These lenders are nuts granting $19,000 in consumer debt (on top of student loans) to a guy making minimum wage. Absolutely insane.

As others have said, the two of you should go to creditboards.com and learn how to settle his debts for as little as possible. Make him work and pay you rent until he is on his feet again. It is very important that you make him pay you rent as long as he lives with you, because this will give him a realistic view of how grownup finances work. Make him write a budget for all his expenses. Do not under any circumstances cosign any debt for him. In fact, he should probably avoid all debt for the foreseeable future.

Depending on the value of the car, you may want to sell the car to pay off the loan and buy a $3000 Honda or Toyota. The value of his car should not be any more than $3000 to a maximum of $5000.

Kanosh said:   OP, please get some counselling. For yourself.
Please do NOT try to "help" your son further. You are enabling him. This will only get worse.
In fact, it will engender resentment from your son himself and other family members if you intervene further.


Too many Reds for this comment IMHO. I think Kanosh did not mean kick the son to the curb literally. But I have seen it over and over again - bailing someone out with money will breed resentment, spoken or unspoken. They either start to feel "entitled" or "less than". Rarely does it truly help someone. The person receiving has to be in the right frame of mind and in the right place where it serves to give them a boost up.

This is a fine line to walk.

Why is he a college dropout anyway? That doesn't speak well for his character. Sign him up for a Vocational Technical School and get him a skilled trade in your area.

Or the Military. I voted Green for "Be All That You Can Be".

Too many kids today no longer know the value of not working for a living. It's all the "Instant Gratification" thing. They want it now. And the parents are failing in raising the children with the values they should teach them. They enable them instead of parenting them.

My daughter wanted more money than I had to give her when she was a teenager at age 14. One day when we were visiting the Vet she asked if she could get a job there and they said no, she was too young. She persisted and as they were desperate for someone just to walk the dogs and clean cages, they finally relented and hired her for weekends when no one else wanted to work. That turned quickly into more hours as she was very mature and reliable. By age 16 she had enough money to buy her first car. She is still working today at a Vet as a Vet Tech and has never lost the love and passion of the job.

cwtrooper what is your son doing now that he's back home? Is he out pounding the pavement looking for a job? Is he sleeping until noon and eating cheetos, watching TV all day, out with friends all night and you paying for the gas? Does he clean house and have supper cooked when you get home from work? This kind of determines the "help" you want to give him.

bullcity said:   JaxFL said:   Everybody is so callus, esp toward your family. What and who were you at 23? (Ill add: of your own making, without help!)
OP, Just make sure he learns not to live beyond means. That is his only real fault.


At 16-18, I was working at Barnes & Noble as a cashier in the music section.
At 18-22, I got health insurance, car insurance, and a family plan cell phone from my parents. I had a full scholarship to school that covered living expenses, but I got some help on my rent in the summers since I was doing full-time professional (unpaid) internships.
At 22-23, I had a full-time job. I didn't make much, but it paid the bills, and I had my own apartment. The only thing I got from my parents was getting to stay on their health insurance.
At 23-26, I went to grad school. All the loans are in my own name, and I paid all my own bills. My parents helped out with my wedding, which was kind of them.
At 26, I gave my parents back the car I'd gotten in high school from them so they could use it for my little brother (who is still in college, and using it to drive drunk college kids around on the weekend for cash). Before my job started, my parents gave me a loan to purchase a new (used) car. I paid them monthly payments at a market interest rate, and then paid everything off within a year. I'd rather owe anyone else money than my parents.

You don't have to cut your kids off completely at 18, but they need to be progressively becoming financially independent, and they need to be interpreting any help from their parents as unexpected generosity, not a parental duty. I know my parents would always be there for me to help me out financially as long as they are able. But what you need is to get your kid to the maturity level where they have enough respect for either you or themselves that before they'd call on you for help, they'd have a reason a whole hell of a lot better than laziness, overspending, and inability to hold down a minimum wage job. Like, I'd mayyyybe move back in with my parents or ask them for money if I was literally dying.


this is almost to the word my story as well. i think there's a blueprint for success here somewhere.

allowingtoo said:   Kanosh said:   OP, please get some counselling. For yourself.
Please do NOT try to "help" your son further. You are enabling him. This will only get worse.
In fact, it will engender resentment from your son himself and other family members if you intervene further.


Too many Reds for this comment IMHO. I think Kanosh did not mean kick the son to the curb literally. But I have seen it over and over again - bailing someone out with money will breed resentment, spoken or unspoken. They either start to feel "entitled" or "less than". Rarely does it truly help someone. The person receiving has to be in the right frame of mind and in the right place where it serves to give them a boost up.

This is a fine line to walk.

Why is he a college dropout anyway? That doesn't speak well for his character. Sign him up for a Vocational Technical School and get him a skilled trade in your area.

Or the Military. I voted Green for "Be All That You Can Be".

Too many kids today no longer know the value of not working for a living. It's all the "Instant Gratification" thing. They want it now. And the parents are failing in raising the children with the values they should teach them. They enable them instead of parenting them.

My daughter wanted more money than I had to give her when she was a teenager at age 14. One day when we were visiting the Vet she asked if she could get a job there and they said no, she was too young. She persisted and as they were desperate for someone just to walk the dogs and clean cages, they finally relented and hired her for weekends when no one else wanted to work. That turned quickly into more hours as she was very mature and reliable. By age 16 she had enough money to buy her first car. She is still working today at a Vet as a Vet Tech and has never lost the love and passion of the job.


I think too many of you are out of touch with reality. This happens all the time. I have friends with $20-30k in CC debt they're trying to pay off with debt consolidation. Other friends have $70-150k in student loans.

OP's kid is barely in debt. $24k? That's nothing. He could get a management position at a fast food join and make $36-44k and pay that entire thing down over 5 years at ~$500/month.

How are people suggesting "sit downs", "counselling", and "all hope is lost with this one, ship him to the military"??

If he wants to go to the military, he should...but he shouldn't be forced to do so as a last ditch effort...it's barely any debt and he's only 23.

Out of touch with reality?

The one out of touch with reality is someone who feels entitled to run up $15,000.00 in CC debt, drops out of college while owing $10,000.00 in student loans and then runs home to Mommy to make it all better.

Counseling is for debt management and for the Mother, in order to get her to realize that she should not enable him.

The military is a great place to start a career.

You think the 23 year old felt "entitled"? Like he deserved to run up the CC debt? I'm sure he felt more hopeless with no income stream and a looming debt over his head.

This isn't some habitual problem. He's not a drug user and the mother is enabling him. This often happens to college kids who are on their own for the first time. Their attitude is they'll pay it off when they land their first real job, and $15k of CC debt is pretty conservative for 4 years.

I think the military is an excellent place to start a career, but it shouldn't be forced as if there are no other options. It should merely be an option.

cwtrooper said:   My 23 year old son just lost his job and moved home. He is a college dropout and has gone from one minimum wage job to another and is probably not eligible for unemployment (fired from pizza delivery following an at fault MVA). Current job prospects where we live are limited.

He also has student loans of $10,000 and a car loan of $4,000 and I am making those payments as I co-signed the loans.

I hope this is his bottom and he is now asking for advice.



Everything except the "gone from one minimum wage job to another" is not a big deal. Lets face facts here, not all kids should attend college, maybe your kid just does not have what it takes. The debt can be paid with a minimum wage job if he lives at home, but he can't hold a minimum wage job. Even if he had a degree, he would still need work experience and credibility to add to a resume for a "real", aka "career" job in this economy, but HE CAN"T HOLD A REGULAR JOB.

Find out why. Fix that problem 1st (if the military is the solution, then so be it). Then he can get a minimum wage job - hold it. He has resume experience and pay off debt while living at home. Go back to school if he thinks he can handle it or build on his real experience and get a better job. If he wants something better, he need to prove he can do the bare minimum 1st, hold a job.

I greened the "Be all you can be", if he wants a short cut, that is his best option it would seem.

exoticimagekk23 said:   ...once your too proud to learn you need to give it up. don't expect an 18 yr old to have every answer and always do the right thing because he is no longer 17. we make mistakes and learn from them. as long as it's made clear we are also held accountable for them.

I totally agree and you're keeping us all in check that we're all human... but I'm very happy to see your closing line about accountability, because in principle, I think that is the most important part and in practice/execution it's the most difficult.

Take care of your boy.. cause he is family. But do hold him accountable and guide him in making better decisions and support him... but make certain he takes the opportunity to pick himself back up with your love and support.

Pretty cool to see FW crowd invest as much as it has in this thread... clearly I need to look outside the "hot deals" section a bit more often .

Happy Holidays everyone.
JAG

Well we don't know how long it took him to run up the $15,000.00 debt either now do we?

I'd be going over those CC statements with a fine tooth comb.

jason745 said:   I forgot FWF was the land of everyone start saving @ 18, graduate college in 3.5 years, have perfect credit, never make mistakes financially, and shame all that are in debt.

I have a hard time believing every person replying did everything perfect since becoming an adult.


I wish. For me it was 17.

Learning that ones decisions have consequences is the essential ingredient in growing up and standing on your own. Until you allow your son to learn that bad choices have bad consequences he isn't going to be able to move forward. The longer you delay only slows the process. There are a lock of thickheaded young men (I was once one of them) who have to learn things the hard way.

He still needs your love but what he does not need if for you to insulate him from the consequences of his poor choices. Lay down the ground rules, what are his obligations and then list what you are prepared to do based upon him keeping his end of the bargain.

The one thing that parents (and schools) do not teach the kids is that anything worthwhile requires hard work. Either he will learn that he has to work for what he wants or he will be a freeloader, the choice will be his.

exoticimagekk23 said:   beanie4me said:   jason745 said:   I forgot FWF was the land of everyone start saving @ 18, graduate college in 3.5 years, have perfect credit, never make mistakes financially, and shame all that are in debt.

I have a hard time believing every person replying did everything perfect since becoming an adult.


We all make mistakes. The true test is what you learn from them, and making better choices later.

One of my bigger mistakes was dating a materialistic alcoholic. The girl guilted me if I failed to buy her a Loius Vuitton handbag every holiday. She'd routinely down 6+ top shelf drinks at dinner. Lesson learned... dumped her and never looked back.

Another dumb decision was buying a house at market prices in '09 when my fiancé-now-wife would have preferred an apartment. Even with the first time homebuyers tax credit, we've lost money compared to renting, after you include upkeep costs and high TX property taxes.

Jason 745....you rock!!!!! it's about time someone told it like it is. It amazes me how one day your baby is 17 years old, got drunk, stole the car for a quick spin, kicked his brothers butt, tried to stand up to you like he was invincible ( like any typical child) and then he turns 18..... all of the sudden he is an adult, can not make a mistake, god forbid he loses a job, because he had oh so much experience in the work force.
we are grown adults and we learn daily. once your too proud to learn you need to give it up. don't expect an 18 yr old to have every answer and always do the right thing because he is no longer 17. we make mistakes and learn from them. as long as it's made clear we are also held accountable for them.


For what it's worth, I'm only 5 years older than OP's son. You'll also note that I've been a FW member since 2007, when I was younger than OP's son.

I've made plenty of mistakes between 22 and now, and I continue to make mistakes. But I've learned to get myself out of my mistakes by.... getting myself out of mistakes. Insulating someone from the consequences of their poor choices doesn't really provide the disincentive to refrain from making poor choices (or at least that particular poor choice) in the future.

Parents too often try to make up for under-parenting in the child's developmental phases by over-parenting in adulthood. It's not an effective solution to the problem.

SUCKISSTAPLES said:   shihkang said:   Attorney here - I do credit card/debt defense here in Texas (and I also represent companies in collecting debts, suits on sworn accounts, etc). Not sure what state you are located in.

Before my clients see me, many have tried the credit counseling/debt consolidation companies. Those companies really do nothing that you (your son) couldn't do on your own.

As someone mentioned, your son is likely "judgment proof", however, even though he is judgment proof, judgments do show up on the credit file and it is easy for me to do a writ of garnishment and take the money out of any bank accounts your son may have in the future. Judgments usually do not expire and your son is only 23. It will be hard to live through life without a bank account.

That said, the best bet is for your son to try to settle with the creditors. I don't know how past due he is on his bills, but all credit card companies will not negotiate until you are in default for six months. Most companies prefer a lump sum now versus payments for a year. Also, make sure your son gets whatever agreement he has in writing.

Oh, and tell your son not to register to vote, that's how the creditors find you.

Attorney here too.
It is not correct that c.c companies will not negotiate a settlement until after six months default . Ive negotiated settlements with discover chase bofa usbank bbva and others in the 3-6 month late period. In fact six months is the charge off point , so you want to make sure to start negotiations before The six month mark , unless you are hoping to settle for less with the collection companies vs in house with the creditor .

Chase usbank and Bofa will do a three or four payment. Settlement rather than lump sum


Yes SIS you are correct, not "all" credit card companies.

allowingtoo said:   Out of touch with reality?

The one out of touch with reality is someone who feels entitled to run up $15,000.00 in CC debt, drops out of college while owing $10,000.00 in student loans and then runs home to Mommy to make it all better.

Counseling is for debt management and for the Mother, in order to get her to realize that she should not enable him.

The military is a great place to start a career.


Lots of friends in/out/served/loved etc the military. I would hardly say its a great place to start a career. Friends who enlisted for 4 and out who DIDNT use the chance to go to college have no idea what to do unless its being shoved down their throat. Most of them sit around working part time smoking a lot of weed talking about how great it was but not wanting to go back. Friends who enlisted, went to college, and served or are still in service have generally good careers and an idea of where they are heading. Friends who have careers and do Guard or other part time military option are already established and just using it as supplement. For the average grunt who's not promoted and leaves as a grunt there isn't much benefit. Without the education piece its just another low skill job.

hebron1427 said:   bullcity said:   JaxFL said:   Everybody is so callus, esp toward your family. What and who were you at 23? (Ill add: of your own making, without help!)
OP, Just make sure he learns not to live beyond means. That is his only real fault.


this is almost to the word my story as well. i think there's a blueprint for success here somewhere.


It does help when you have well off parents.

Let's compare. With info available.

At 16-18, I was working at Barnes & Noble as a cashier in the music section - Working for spending money.
At 18-22, I got health insurance, car insurance, and a family plan cell phone from my parents. I had a full scholarship to school that covered living expenses, but I got some help on my rent in the summers since I was doing full-time professional (unpaid) internships. - Parents + scholarship paid for these 4 years. Doesn't have to work a min. wage job. Has connections.
At 22-23, I had a full-time job. I didn't make much, but it paid the bills, and I had my own apartment. The only thing I got from my parents was getting to stay on their health insurance. - Was the job from connections, and something you were interested in? Health insurance is a big expense.
At 23-26, I went to grad school. All the loans are in my own name, and I paid all my own bills. My parents helped out with my wedding, which was kind of them. - Parents were well off enough to pay for a wedding.
At 26, I gave my parents back the car I'd gotten in high school from them so they could use it for my little brother (who is still in college, and using it to drive drunk college kids around on the weekend for cash). Before my job started, my parents gave me a loan to purchase a new (used) car. I paid them monthly payments at a market interest rate, and then paid everything off within a year. I'd rather owe anyone else money than my parents. - Parents are well off enough to loan cash for a new car.

Compared to OP's son - 23 year old who doesn't have parents as well off. Probably has worked min. wage jobs all his life.
18-22 - Min wage job while in school, while trying to pay for living expenses. Rent, car loan, etc...
23 - Burnt out and hit rock bottom.
OP your son needs a reality check, hopefully this was it. It is a good step that he has taken asking for advice.

Now I am not judging, I just think it is quite a bit easier to be put on the road to success when you have college paid for, don't have to worry about living expenses while at college, and are able to actually go to school, party, study, and enjoy it. Work when you want to, not when you have to, and not worry about how you are going to pay for the next bill.

Wow. You make a lot of assumptions in that about my life. I would never argue that I haven't benefited from my parents, and I appreciate the fact that my parents have helped me out.

But despite my good fortune in the parenting department, I got a scholarship because I got good grades, good SATs, and kicked butt at my extracurriculars. I sold books door-to-door in the midwest for a summer sleeping on an air mattress and eating peanut butter sandwiches (EVERY FREAKING DAY) to have enough money to study abroad the next summer. All the connections I've made were ones I made for myself through internships and volunteer work. In fact, I actually used connections I forged for myself and worked for months to help my dad get a higher paying job. (Long story.) I got my first full-time job based on my resume from having worked professional internships. I got into a top graduate school based on the work that I did in undergrad. I worked every summer in grad school, earning $30-40k per summer. I paid for the majority of my own wedding; I just noted that my parents kindly gifted me some cash to "help out" with my wedding. To avoid being screwed on financing (since my job started in November after I received results from a professional examination) while buying a used car, my parents borrowed money on a HELOC, and I repaid them at a market interest rate and completely paid off within a year.

The point of my post was about progressive independence and appreciation of the support of parents as unexpected rather than deserved. There's a reason my brother, my sister, and I all work hard, and it has much more to do with parenting than my parents' money. There's also a reason that my second cousins are 32 and 28 and still live at home. (Hint: Their parents made about as much as mine did, so am pretty sure it's not money.)

And, hell, the fact that a kid's parents have no money should be even MORE of an incentive to get their butt out of the house and become financially independent rather than an excuse for dependence and mooching. OP's son is even more despicable if OP is not financially secure, not less.

Also, learn how to use the quote feature.

Also, don't you think it says something that it's OP on the forum saying, "How do I get my kid out of this mess?" rather than OP's kid on the forum asking, "How do I get myself out of the mess?"

bullcity said:   Wow. You make a lot of assumptions in that about my life.

That was the point.

Everyone here has made alot of assumptions about the OP's kid as well.

I am not saying the OP's son is a complete loser, nor am I saying he is going to be the next CEO of GE. However there are a few life choices he has made that has put him where he is, and there are a few he can make now to get him on a different path. The OP's son might learn more from this experience than any other, he might not though. That's part of life and the choices we all make. The path you took to get to where you are worked out for you, but it doesn't necessarily make it right or wrong. Or even better or worse than OP's kid. Just different.

And no I don't think it says anything about anything that it is the OP's parent and not himself posting.

ETA: Actually I think it says alot about OP's son that he asked his Parents for advice.

bullcity said:   Also, don't you think it says something that it's OP on the forum saying, "How do I get my kid out of this mess?" rather than OP's kid on the forum asking, "How do I get myself out of the mess?"
It may very well "say something" that OP is posting here and not his son. The problem is that we don't know what it says just as we don't really know what's going on with OP's son that really caused his financial difficulties. It's quite possible that the financial difficulties and inability to hold a job are merely symptoms of an underlying problem, such as severe depression. It sounds great to state or imply that OP's adult son should be left to face the consequences or that the root cause of the son's problems lies in parenting issues. If only life were that simple.

One thing we do know is that OP's son has finally asked for help. I suggest that help attempts to address the immediate financial issues as well as investigating possible non-finance related ones. Perhaps some heart-to-heart conversations will suffice, perhaps therapy for the son might be appropriate; I don't know. What I understand is that parenting and assisting one's children in times of need don't necessarily stop when the children become adults or reach some magic age. Naturally, parents must distinguish between helping and enabling. I'm just saying that the line between the two isn't subject to a pat answer. It depends both on the circumstances and the individuals.

To those who have made their lives their own through determination and minimal parental financial support, I commend you, but I also ask you to recognize that the path to financial success, independence, and happiness isn't the same for all. Although I think it's fair to say we all struggle through life to some degree and try to overcome adversity, it's unfair to imply that just because you "made it", everyone should be able to "make it" in the same or similar manner.

Best of luck to you and your son, OP.

The government would be happy to give him a job.

Unfortunately, many of those jobs are overseas.

SUCKISSTAPLES said:   exoticimagekk23 said:   

, as you teach him the reproductions of bad choices. .

Hopefully there was no reproduction
That would have definitely been a bad choice

reproduction would not be wise.lol

bullcity said:   jason745 said:   I forgot FWF was the land of everyone start saving @ 18, graduate college in 3.5 years, have perfect credit, never make mistakes financially, and shame all that are in debt.

I have a hard time believing every person replying did everything perfect since becoming an adult.


My idiotic financial mistake was going to law school to the tune of $206k in student loan debt. But that's my problem to pay off, and I have no intention of making it my parents' problem.


Are you cute? If so, go after MD specialists. They tend to do well.

cr3s said:   bullcity said:   jason745 said:   I forgot FWF was the land of everyone start saving @ 18, graduate college in 3.5 years, have perfect credit, never make mistakes financially, and shame all that are in debt.

I have a hard time believing every person replying did everything perfect since becoming an adult.


My idiotic financial mistake was going to law school to the tune of $206k in student loan debt. But that's my problem to pay off, and I have no intention of making it my parents' problem.


Are you cute? If so, go after MD specialists. They tend to do well.


My husband wouldn't like that much, and the only MD specialist I know is marrying my gay best friend.

However, I'll have it all paid off after 4 years in my job. I came and whined about it a few years ago and FW told me to suck it up and quit being a crybaby, so I did. (OK, I still whine about it.... but I DID stay at my crappy-but-highpaying job.)

glxpass said:   bullcity said:   Also, don't you think it says something that it's OP on the forum saying, "How do I get my kid out of this mess?" rather than OP's kid on the forum asking, "How do I get myself out of the mess?"
It may very well "say something" that OP is posting here and not his son. The problem is that we don't know what it says just as we don't really know what's going on with OP's son that really caused his financial difficulties. It's quite possible that the financial difficulties and inability to hold a job are merely symptoms of an underlying problem, such as severe depression. It sounds great to state or imply that OP's adult son should be left to face the consequences or that the root cause of the son's problems lies in parenting issues. If only life were that simple.

One thing we do know is that OP's son has finally asked for help. I suggest that help attempts to address the immediate financial issues as well as investigating possible non-finance related ones. Perhaps some heart-to-heart conversations will suffice, perhaps therapy for the son might be appropriate; I don't know. What I understand is that parenting and assisting one's children in times of need don't necessarily stop when the children become adults or reach some magic age. Naturally, parents must distinguish between helping and enabling. I'm just saying that the line between the two isn't subject to a pat answer. It depends both on the circumstances and the individuals.

To those who have made their lives their own through determination and minimal parental financial support, I commend you, but I also ask you to recognize that the path to financial success, independence, and happiness isn't the same for all. Although I think it's fair to say we all struggle through life to some degree and try to overcome adversity, it's unfair to imply that just because you "made it", everyone should be able to "make it" in the same or similar manner.

Best of luck to you and your son, OP.

+1 Very well said.

for every 1 bullcity, there are thousands of MDfive21s who dropped out of college 4 times, finally completed something at the age of 24 (culinary school) then still had 12 jobs before finally, at the age of 30, stumbling into a 'real' job (energy derivatives broker). when my big opportunity came, i was ready to take advantage of it and worked my ass off to move up within the company, and now i'm doing just fine. along the way there was always my parents house to go back to if the sh!t hit the fan. i will be first to admit that they were enablers and maybe some tough love would have been better for me at times, but i also could have turned out a lot worse without that fallback plan.

congrats to all you guys and girls who did it right the first time, but please know that for every one of you, there are a lot more of me. not everyone is in the top 10%.

i don't have anything to add to what has already been said to the OP, except what will get me a lot of red on this forum. you and your family are perfect candidates for the dave ramsey plan. he takes calls from people in your situation all the time and his advice is aimed mainly at getting people out of debt, but also how to deal with family members and their household finances.

if your son won't listen to the show, then you should. there is a podcast and an online forum if his show isn't broadcast at a time you can tune in.

You son has a huge leg up by having a place to stay.

As a mental health nurse (*community college degree made a major improvement to my world - 1 full time job instead of 2) I would definitely suggest taking him in for an evaluation. That sort of erratic behavior is common with Bipolar Disease and Major Depression. Many communities have a sliding scale option if he's no longer covered under insurance. Many of these clinics will set you up with samples and there are programs with the pharmaceutical companies where they will cover your meds & you pick them up at your appointments.

I would set some house rules off the bat - ensure household chores, doing productive things instead of internet/video games all day. The Unemployment office also has job available.

UPS hires seasonal package handlers too (no driving involved).

For the credit issues, definitely follow up with the credit boards. READ their FAQ & threads and follow advise. Post a question if it hasn't been covered.

bullcity said:   

However, I'll have it all paid off after 4 years in my job. I came and whined about it a few years ago and FW told me to suck it up and quit being a crybaby, so I did. (OK, I still whine about it.... but I DID stay at my crappy-but-highpaying job.)


If you are in BIGLAW you have nothing to complain about. BIGLAW is sort of the point. Why else would you go to law school?

mewhojen said:   As a mental health nurse (*community college degree made a major improvement to my world - 1 full time job instead of 2) I would definitely suggest taking him in for an evaluation. That sort of erratic behavior is common with Bipolar Disease and Major Depression.

Have you lost it? You think he might have bipolar disease and major depression because he was in college and ran up $15k of credit card debt?

If my parents accused me of psychological disorders because I wanted to go to the bars with my friends and needed to buy food when I was in college, I'd probably send THEM to counselling.

jason745 said:   I forgot FWF was the land of everyone start saving @ 18, graduate college in 3.5 years, have perfect credit, never make mistakes financially, and shame all that are in debt.

I have a hard time believing every person replying did everything perfect since becoming an adult.


I've only got 4 out of 5 if that makes you feel better.

Sounds like your kid just needs a plain-old kick in the ass. I'm not saying to throw him outta the house, but he needs to be held accountable by YOU, his parents, for his actions or inactions. Sounds like a lot of the guys I've had in the military who worked for me. Hell, he may like it and make a career of it. But like someone else posted, it's fine to come in as a grunt, but don't be content with staying there. Lots of opportunities to learn skills, attain college degrees, and do something meaningful. A good ASVAB score could be the ticket to being an air traffic controller. A bad score, and you'll be chipping paint. Like life itself, it's what you make of it.

Seems like OP has dropped off this thread...

FreddyPharkas said:   bullcity said:   

However, I'll have it all paid off after 4 years in my job. I came and whined about it a few years ago and FW told me to suck it up and quit being a crybaby, so I did. (OK, I still whine about it.... but I DID stay at my crappy-but-highpaying job.)


If you are in BIGLAW you have nothing to complain about. BIGLAW is sort of the point. Why else would you go to law school?


I don't know, something about helping people and stuff. I'd have to check my admissions essay.

And if biglawyers had nothing to complain about Above the Law would be out of business, and this would not be massively popular: http://lifeinbiglaw.tumblr.com/

Al3xK said:   mewhojen said:   As a mental health nurse (*community college degree made a major improvement to my world - 1 full time job instead of 2) I would definitely suggest taking him in for an evaluation. That sort of erratic behavior is common with Bipolar Disease and Major Depression.

Have you lost it? You think he might have bipolar disease and major depression because he was in college and ran up $15k of credit card debt?

If my parents accused me of psychological disorders because I wanted to go to the bars with my friends and needed to buy food when I was in college, I'd probably send THEM to counselling.
inability to keep a job was my thought, not the student loan/debt aspect.

So if you lose your job, you should be taking drugs?

Al3xK said:   mewhojen said:   As a mental health nurse (*community college degree made a major improvement to my world - 1 full time job instead of 2) I would definitely suggest taking him in for an evaluation. That sort of erratic behavior is common with Bipolar Disease and Major Depression.

Have you lost it? You think he might have bipolar disease and major depression because he was in college and ran up $15k of credit card debt?

If my parents accused me of psychological disorders because I wanted to go to the bars with my friends and needed to buy food when I was in college, I'd probably send THEM to counselling.

Perhaps you didn't read the OP completely. The son:

1. Dropped out of college
2. Has gone from minimum wage job-to-job
3. Was fired at his pizza delivery job due to an at-fault MVA
4. Accrued $15K credit card debt that he can't pay for
5. Asked his father (OP) for advice.

I'm sure at least in part you're attempting to be humorous, but no one here knows what's going on with the son and neither do you. It's true that one can't infer mental illness from the above, but one can't eliminate that possibility, either. There's nothing wrong with encouraging the son to at least consult with a psychologist or therapist, especially since the son is asking for advice.

As stated before, there's both the immediate finance problem to deal with and there's also the issue of why the son has had these setbacks. The cause or causes of these symptoms likely go well beyond the ability of a finance forum to address.

glxpass said:   Al3xK said:   mewhojen said:   As a mental health nurse (*community college degree made a major improvement to my world - 1 full time job instead of 2) I would definitely suggest taking him in for an evaluation. That sort of erratic behavior is common with Bipolar Disease and Major Depression.

Have you lost it? You think he might have bipolar disease and major depression because he was in college and ran up $15k of credit card debt?

If my parents accused me of psychological disorders because I wanted to go to the bars with my friends and needed to buy food when I was in college, I'd probably send THEM to counselling.

Perhaps you didn't read the OP completely. The son:

1. Dropped out of college
2. Has gone from minimum wage job-to-job
3. Was fired at his pizza delivery job due to an at-fault MVA
4. Accrued $15K credit card debt that he can't pay for
5. Asked his father (OP) for advice.

I'm sure at least in part you're attempting to be humorous, but no one here knows what's going on with the son and neither do you. It's true that one can't infer mental illness from the above, but one can't eliminate that possibility, either. There's nothing wrong with encouraging the son to at least consult with a psychologist or therapist, especially since the son is asking for advice.

As stated before, there's both the immediate finance problem to deal with and there's also the issue of why the son has had these setbacks. The cause or causes of these symptoms likely go well beyond the ability of a finance forum to address.


"You can't infer that he's a serial killer from above, but you can't eliminate that possibility either."

My point by that statement comparison is that you are making a giant leap from the details given by the OP to even relate mental illness...or in my example a serial killer.

HawkeyeNFO said:   So if you lose your job, you should be taking drugs? not saying that. I am saying that on the stress scale, this kid is up there, based on life events. Psych admissions are up with people who have gotten overwhelmed with what he has going on & IF he does have some depression, it's best to get treatment.

As for drugs, there are studies that prove that getting out of your house and getting exercise has better long-term effects in battling depression.

Al3xK said:   glxpass said:   Al3xK said:   mewhojen said:   As a mental health nurse (*community college degree made a major improvement to my world - 1 full time job instead of 2) I would definitely suggest taking him in for an evaluation. That sort of erratic behavior is common with Bipolar Disease and Major Depression.

Have you lost it? You think he might have bipolar disease and major depression because he was in college and ran up $15k of credit card debt?

If my parents accused me of psychological disorders because I wanted to go to the bars with my friends and needed to buy food when I was in college, I'd probably send THEM to counselling.

Perhaps you didn't read the OP completely. The son:

1. Dropped out of college
2. Has gone from minimum wage job-to-job
3. Was fired at his pizza delivery job due to an at-fault MVA
4. Accrued $15K credit card debt that he can't pay for
5. Asked his father (OP) for advice.

I'm sure at least in part you're attempting to be humorous, but no one here knows what's going on with the son and neither do you. It's true that one can't infer mental illness from the above, but one can't eliminate that possibility, either. There's nothing wrong with encouraging the son to at least consult with a psychologist or therapist, especially since the son is asking for advice.

As stated before, there's both the immediate finance problem to deal with and there's also the issue of why the son has had these setbacks. The cause or causes of these symptoms likely go well beyond the ability of a finance forum to address.


"You can't infer that he's a serial killer from above, but you can't eliminate that possibility either."

My point by that statement comparison is that you are making a giant leap from the details given by the OP to even relate mental illness...or in my example a serial killer.

To put it simply, I'm not making any kind of leap, but rather suggesting the 5 points mentioned above (a number of which you ignored in your post) *might* indicate a deeper problem, as they are classic warning signs of such. Conclusive? No. Suggestive? Yes.

Even if OP's son were diagnosed with a mental illness or disorder, it is generally treatable and doesn't deserve the stigma that's often associated with it. Think of mental illness is analogous to physical illness; some forms of it are more serious than others.

See http://www.nami.org/template.cfm?section=about_mental_illness for a more balanced perspective on the subject.

I guess that's just the disagreement. I don't think those points are suggestive of mental illness. #1 & #5 don't suggest mental illness, and #4 is related to #1.

#3 Delivering pizzas is a fast paced driving job and any sort of accident and you're fired. That wouldn't suggest mental illness. #2 Minimum wage job-to-job from a college drop out probably means he thinks the job is beneath him and/or wants unemployment.

I'd guess he failed out and didn't drop out. I see it all the time. These kids aren't bi-polar, they probably just coasted through high school and didn't have the study skills and time management to cut it in college.



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