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My Parents Put Me On Their Credit Cards When I Was 15. Now They Use My Credit. – Emma

When I was 15, my parent’s started building my credit by placing me on their cards. Today, I have excellent credit.

However, about maybe two years ago, my parent’s lost our home to foreclosure, and their credit was ruined. They now use my credit when they need it. They take care of all those debts. So my credit has obviously increased over these two years.

However, last year or so, I started using my Macy’s Visa Card. They gave me 3,000 credit. I am now 1,700 in debt. I personally owe 800 on there, but I let my friend borrow my credit to buy a computer he needed badly for school. He is going to get fired soon, and might not be able to continue making payments. I’m unemployed myself.

I’ve always helped in the family business, and just about a year ago, my mom became ill. They are still able to make the payments for what they owe with my credit, but me, myself, can’t.

I can’t go to school or get a job because I have to be home 24/7 to help my mom. I keep making the minimum payments on Macy’s, but it seems like I’ll never be done. What can I do? What’s the solution? I just need to get rid of that debt without affecting my credit and without a job it’s very hard. I don’t know what to do… I don’t want to lose my credit. That specific card has a high interest rate, and my minimum payment is around 56. I can’t even afford to make that payment, asking my parent’s I think would be abuse. They cannot afford to pay me now that they’ve lost so much business.

Emma

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My Parents Put Me On Their Credit Cards When I Was 15. Now They Use My Credit.   Emma
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Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
  • Momlindax3

    You don’t say how old you are now, but (rants aside) the advice given here is good.
    1. Your mom is ill, but your dad is not. He or another relative should be able to care for mom for a “shift” while you pick up a part-time job.
    2. Use your time at home to sell anything you can for any price you can on Craigslist or eBay or through yard sales. Most of us have junk we are not using.
    3. Ask relatives and neighbors for help in small quantities. Ask the church for a meal a week.
    4. Go to cash only – cut up the cards. Shop for groceries to the local deals – if it’s hamburger and spaghetti sauce on sale that’s what you eat. Shop clothing at resale. Park the car and save on gas. Make your world as small as you can walk around.
    5. Your parents and your friends need to stop using your credit. NOW! You and your dad need to work up a budget and live in it. If medical bills are the issue, research and contact local agencies for help with the medical issues.
    6. Tell your friend he needs to settle the debt for the computer while he is still employed and has income. If necessary he can sell the computer for what he owes you.
    Sounds harsh but make it a game – how cheaply can you eat? Can you eat pasta twice a week for $1 a meal? Can you make sandwiches for $1? Can you find something everyday to post for sale? Can you babysit at home for a neighbor’s after school kid? Can you get three shifts a week evenings at the corner gas station, nearby diner? Can you push a lawn mower for an elderly neighbor once a week (or land a snow shovelling job or two?) It’s like a real life scavenger hunt. Good luck and hustle hustle hustle.

  • Momlindax3

    You don’t say how old you are now, but (rants aside) the advice given here is good.
    1. Your mom is ill, but your dad is not. He or another relative should be able to care for mom for a “shift” while you pick up a part-time job.
    2. Use your time at home to sell anything you can for any price you can on Craigslist or eBay or through yard sales. Most of us have junk we are not using.
    3. Ask relatives and neighbors for help in small quantities. Ask the church for a meal a week.
    4. Go to cash only – cut up the cards. Shop for groceries to the local deals – if it’s hamburger and spaghetti sauce on sale that’s what you eat. Shop clothing at resale. Park the car and save on gas. Make your world as small as you can walk around.
    5. Your parents and your friends need to stop using your credit. NOW! You and your dad need to work up a budget and live in it. If medical bills are the issue, research and contact local agencies for help with the medical issues.
    6. Tell your friend he needs to settle the debt for the computer while he is still employed and has income. If necessary he can sell the computer for what he owes you.
    Sounds harsh but make it a game – how cheaply can you eat? Can you eat pasta twice a week for $1 a meal? Can you make sandwiches for $1? Can you find something everyday to post for sale? Can you babysit at home for a neighbor’s after school kid? Can you get three shifts a week evenings at the corner gas station, nearby diner? Can you push a lawn mower for an elderly neighbor once a week (or land a snow shovelling job or two?) It’s like a real life scavenger hunt. Good luck and hustle hustle hustle.

  • Activedebt

    Getting on a specific payment plan to lower your principle and to pay off that debt as soon as possible so you can number 1 have good credit and number 2 get back on your feet!

  • http://www.active-debt.com Activedebt

    Getting on a specific payment plan to lower your principle and to pay off that debt as soon as possible so you can number 1 have good credit and number 2 get back on your feet!

  • Babsie

    Good Suggestions ! She also needs to get assistance for her Mother and there are caregivers through many church programs and other agencies that could sit with her Mother thru the late night while she takes a night job to make money to pay this off.

    -She could contact the local churches for those programs.
    -The national number for assistance for agencies that might help is 211 and she can call that to see if there is some help for her Mother so she can work to help pay the bill.
    -Her friend that is going to be unemployed needs to contact his family and get a payment program for her to receive payments.
    -Her family needs together of her Mom, Aunts, Uncles, Neices, Nephews, Cousins and ask if they could help out with any amount or donate items for her to to have Yard Sale to raise money. When A mom is Ill, everyone needs to pull together to assist her. She seems really nice and wants to help others but giving others money you need is not helping, this is coming from someone who at 58, is dealing with this. I have helped others all my life and I am now disabled from a car accident, my husband has a brain tumor and where are ALL those friends to include a person who stayed in my home FREEi ( supposed to be three weeks) so she could complete teaching program and destroyed my furniture, my car and doesn’t even visit me as ill as I am but will go and sit in the Church pew every Sunday and I cannot even make it there.
    My church has not visited me and the only time I was called was for a donation for the building fund.
    -I will continue to help people but not give them my money I earned. This girl needs to learn this NOW to avoid mistake. I wish her good luck and Robert and I have the same ideas but this girl needs be forceful about this so she is not left owing this.
    -She needs to write Macy’s a letter about her situation or talk to them and state you are going to continue to make payments but please make a note in their records what she is dealing with and is there any assistance in helping her since she has been a good customer ?

    Good Luck and keep focused.

  • Robertplattbell

    Those are some helpful suggestions, but I think you are placing too much emphasis on credit and debt. The best thing is to be DEBT-FREE not a perpetual debtor. And one way to do this is to stop spending. If you don’t have the money, don’t spend it. And never, ever, “loan” a credit card to a friend or family member.

    You made a huge mistake “lending” your credit card to your friend to buy a computer. They didn’t “need” it for school – most schools have computers, and you can buy a secondhand one for a couple hundred dollars.

    Let your friends fend for themselves and take care of yourself first. Does that sound harsh? Yes, but look at your friend – is he helping YOU in your hour of need? Heck no. So stop being a patsy.

    A Macey’s Visa Card no doubt has a high interest rate – probably 15% or more. See if you can find a lower rate card and roll over the debt. I use CaptialOne, which has a rate of 7.55% and offered a 0% rollover for 12 months. There is a 4% rollover fee, however. But it gave me some “breathing room” to pay down the balance.

    I also sold off a lot of stuff I owned on eBay, Craigslist, and also in garage sales. If you are home helping Mom 24/7, maybe this is something you can do, if you still have some of that junk you charged on the VISA card. $25 here, $50 there, and you are talking about a serious dent in your debt load.

    But long-term, you have to break free of the debt mentality – the idea that you should charge things to buy them, and the idea that you are “lucky” to have a credit card and that the almighty Credit Score is an indicia of your self-worth.

    Becoming debt-free isn’t easy, and STAYING debt-free is harder. You have to spend less than you make, period. If it ain’t in your wallet, don’t spend it, PERIOD.

    CUT UP THE CREDIT CARD first. Stop using it entirely and live on a cash basis. Using credit cards as spending crutches is a sure way to end up in trouble. And you’ll have to tell your folks to do the same thing, and that you can’t “lend” them your credit card anymore.

    It is hard to do, as most of our society is brainwashed into thinking that debt it good and having a wallet full of credit cards means you are “rich”. And most of learn this from our parents – as you did and as I did. Your parents thought they were doing you a favor by setting you up with a credit card at age 15 – but in reality they were teaching you bad habits at an early age.

    $1700 in debt is not a lot, unless you are, of course, unemployed. But it is an amount that can be whittled down over time.

    CALL THE CREDIT CARD COMPANY and work out a payment scheme. They may be willing to lower the interest rate if you agree to regular monthly payments.

    But NEVER co-sign a loan, and NEVER “loan” someone your credit card, even your parents!

    And stop thinking that having credit is the end all to life. You are not your credit score!

    And credit scores are irrelevant, once you become and stay debt-free….

    Good Luck!

  • Robertplattbell

    Those are some helpful suggestions, but I think you are placing too much emphasis on credit and debt. The best thing is to be DEBT-FREE not a perpetual debtor. And one way to do this is to stop spending. If you don’t have the money, don’t spend it. And never, ever, “loan” a credit card to a friend or family member.

    You made a huge mistake “lending” your credit card to your friend to buy a computer. They didn’t “need” it for school – most schools have computers, and you can buy a secondhand one for a couple hundred dollars.

    Let your friends fend for themselves and take care of yourself first. Does that sound harsh? Yes, but look at your friend – is he helping YOU in your hour of need? Heck no. So stop being a patsy.

    A Macey’s Visa Card no doubt has a high interest rate – probably 15% or more. See if you can find a lower rate card and roll over the debt. I use CaptialOne, which has a rate of 7.55% and offered a 0% rollover for 12 months. There is a 4% rollover fee, however. But it gave me some “breathing room” to pay down the balance.

    I also sold off a lot of stuff I owned on eBay, Craigslist, and also in garage sales. If you are home helping Mom 24/7, maybe this is something you can do, if you still have some of that junk you charged on the VISA card. $25 here, $50 there, and you are talking about a serious dent in your debt load.

    But long-term, you have to break free of the debt mentality – the idea that you should charge things to buy them, and the idea that you are “lucky” to have a credit card and that the almighty Credit Score is an indicia of your self-worth.

    Becoming debt-free isn’t easy, and STAYING debt-free is harder. You have to spend less than you make, period. If it ain’t in your wallet, don’t spend it, PERIOD.

    CUT UP THE CREDIT CARD first. Stop using it entirely and live on a cash basis. Using credit cards as spending crutches is a sure way to end up in trouble. And you’ll have to tell your folks to do the same thing, and that you can’t “lend” them your credit card anymore.

    It is hard to do, as most of our society is brainwashed into thinking that debt it good and having a wallet full of credit cards means you are “rich”. And most of learn this from our parents – as you did and as I did. Your parents thought they were doing you a favor by setting you up with a credit card at age 15 – but in reality they were teaching you bad habits at an early age.

    $1700 in debt is not a lot, unless you are, of course, unemployed. But it is an amount that can be whittled down over time.

    CALL THE CREDIT CARD COMPANY and work out a payment scheme. They may be willing to lower the interest rate if you agree to regular monthly payments.

    But NEVER co-sign a loan, and NEVER “loan” someone your credit card, even your parents!

    And stop thinking that having credit is the end all to life. You are not your credit score!

    And credit scores are irrelevant, once you become and stay debt-free….

    Good Luck!

    • Babsie

      Good Suggestions ! She also needs to get assistance for her Mother and there are caregivers through many church programs and other agencies that could sit with her Mother thru the late night while she takes a night job to make money to pay this off.

      -She could contact the local churches for those programs.
      -The national number for assistance for agencies that might help is 211 and she can call that to see if there is some help for her Mother so she can work to help pay the bill.
      -Her friend that is going to be unemployed needs to contact his family and get a payment program for her to receive payments.
      -Her family needs together of her Mom, Aunts, Uncles, Neices, Nephews, Cousins and ask if they could help out with any amount or donate items for her to to have Yard Sale to raise money. When A mom is Ill, everyone needs to pull together to assist her. She seems really nice and wants to help others but giving others money you need is not helping, this is coming from someone who at 58, is dealing with this. I have helped others all my life and I am now disabled from a car accident, my husband has a brain tumor and where are ALL those friends to include a person who stayed in my home FREEi ( supposed to be three weeks) so she could complete teaching program and destroyed my furniture, my car and doesn’t even visit me as ill as I am but will go and sit in the Church pew every Sunday and I cannot even make it there.
      My church has not visited me and the only time I was called was for a donation for the building fund.
      -I will continue to help people but not give them my money I earned. This girl needs to learn this NOW to avoid mistake. I wish her good luck and Robert and I have the same ideas but this girl needs be forceful about this so she is not left owing this.
      -She needs to write Macy’s a letter about her situation or talk to them and state you are going to continue to make payments but please make a note in their records what she is dealing with and is there any assistance in helping her since she has been a good customer ?

      Good Luck and keep focused.

  • Walexus2000

    With your parents building your credit at the age of 15. They obviously know the importance of credit. You need to let them the situation but be clear that you don’t expect any help from them. Just recommendations like a garage sale or something or borrowing from friends to pay it off (friends won’t charge you late fees or interest rates), but don’t leave your parents out of the loop. They obviously rely on your credit score too so it affects them as well.
    Your credit score is very important but don’t forget that it’s main purpose is to allow you to borrow more. It can also be rebuilt so if you can’t save it, then damage control to minimize the time it take to build it back up.

  • Walexus2000

    With your parents building your credit at the age of 15. They obviously know the importance of credit. You need to let them the situation but be clear that you don’t expect any help from them. Just recommendations like a garage sale or something or borrowing from friends to pay it off (friends won’t charge you late fees or interest rates), but don’t leave your parents out of the loop. They obviously rely on your credit score too so it affects them as well.
    Your credit score is very important but don’t forget that it’s main purpose is to allow you to borrow more. It can also be rebuilt so if you can’t save it, then damage control to minimize the time it take to build it back up.

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