A parent’s job is never quite finished, even when the kid has grown up and moved out of the house. Today’s crop of young adults carry a significant amount of debt – an average of $35,000 for people between the ages of 25-29 according to a recent PNC Financial Services study.
CNNMoney offers a few suggestion for parents who want to give their kids a hand with their debt without taking on the burden for themselves.
As a parent, your most valuable asset to your kids is your wisdom, not your cash. While your first instinct may be to pay down the debt yourself, resist the urge and take the opportunity to teach a valuable lesson. Offer to take a look at your kid’s finances to look for areas to budget so that payments get made.
In cases where the kids are less than thrilled about letting their parents snoop around in their finances, suggest to them using a financial planning site such as youneedabudget.com.
Go after the cards.
People in their 20’s often pay rates of 22% or higher on their credit card debt due to their credit history and low credit scores. Young people are advised to call their card issuer to request a lower rate if their payment history is good. If the card company doesn’t bite, parents should steer their children to sites like Bankrate.com or CreditCards.com to look for a card with a lower rate. Also, taking out a peer-to-peer loan at lower rate to pay off the debt is viable option. A young adult could get a loan for a rate as low as 12.5% from investors on sites like Lendingclub.com.
Address student loans.
In the PNC Financial Services study, 40% of respondents reported that student loans represented a significant portion of their financial burden. Parents should make their children aware of their repayment options. Many young people would benefit from income-based repayment plans that caps payments at 10-15% of discretionary income.
Young people working in public service jobs may be eligible for loan forgiveness after 10 years with no taxes due. Visit studentaid.ed.gov. to learn more about how to qualify.
To read more tips, check out the original article at CNNMoney.