My 19 Year Old Daughter Owes $5,000 on a TD Bank Credit Card. Does She Have to Pay?- Marion


“Dear Steve,

My daughter was is 19 years old was offered a credit card at TD Bank, when she went in to take some money out of her savings account. She was told that it was a great time to get a card, and that they get commission/points for how many people they can sign up for a credit card. My daughter Liana was also asked if she had a job, and she specifically told them “no”, that she was a full time student. She was approved for the card anyway, with a $6000 limit, and now tells me that she owes more than $5,000 on the card, with no way to pay for it. What can we do??

What are her rights since I believe that this card was pushed on her, and approved through irresponsible and unethical practices. How can someone be approved for a credit card who has no viable way of paying for the card?


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Dear Marion,

Liana was 18 or older when she legally entered into the contract for the credit card, that makes it binding. Additionally, the lender is not required to qualify new cardholders to see if they can actually afford to make the payments. Being approved for a credit card does not mean you can afford it. It means that the lender is willing to trap you on the card.

Credit card companies and lenders go for young people because they know that once they hook them with a card, the person is going to hold onto it for a long time. One reason is that the young person has no means to pay it off.

Liana was not screened for the card, by her own admission she accepted the card in order to help a bank employee to meet a sales quota or target. That bank employee has now saddled your daughter with either bankruptcy, debt settlement, bad credit or years of debt repayment. Nothing good will happen from this point except that hopefully Liana has learned an early and painful lesson about the realities of credit and debt. Truly, this is the opportunity for the teachable moment.

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If you are unable or unwilling to make her payment or pay off the card for her then you might want to make an investment in bankruptcy for her. That will cost around $1,800. And while she does not have a lot of debt compared to others, it’s more than she can handle. Other option is to drop out of school and force her to work to pay this off.

If you doubt anything I’m saying to you here, ask a local attorney for specific legal advice.

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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.
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