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Sad Situation

July 19th, 2017 at 02:07 pm

We got some sad news last week.

My husband's best friend is too nice. His family is lazy, has a lot of kids, and is dirt poor. They have always struggled badly. As the older brother he has always felt the need to help them out, and they take advantage of him. He moved back in with them to help. For some more back story they live in a shed they fixed up in someone's back yard. He shares a very small room with his two younger brothers...

He pays the bills, keeps the heat on, feeds the kids, loans them money, etc. He can not/will not say no. They have opened personal loans in his name and credit cards. He is naive and let them on their word of they will pay him back. They even convinced him to buy a house in his name for them this year. Thankfully it fell through.

He is not good with money, but he isn't bad. He works hard, and pays his bills. But he doesn't really understand interest rates, saving, etc. He is going to school full time, does an unpaid internship full time, and works full time. He is pulling 16 hour days. His mom has never worked, and his dad is a part time "handy man." (eye roll)

Well last week out of the blue he told us that his parents have so much debt in his name that he is drowning and can no longer keep up with the bills. His only option would be to drop out of school and the internship so he could pick up a second job which he doesn't want to do. I think he wants a quick fix. So he came up with his great idea that he would join the military and use the sign on bonus to pay off his debt, and they would pay for his school.

This guy is not cut out for the military. He is sensitive, quiet, and way too meek and kind. I think it would ruin him. He isn't excited about it or wants to do it but in his head it is the only way to get out of the mess.

He only has $20-$30k debt. We told him we would help him budget and if he got a better job he could pay it off. He says he will never get anywhere unless he gets away from his parents. Which I agree, but he has been unsuccessful finding a roommate and can't afford to live on his own. Husband's parents offered to let him live with them. (He is like family and has lived with them when he was younger.) But he refuses to pause school to pay down the debt.

He sprung this on us last week and said he was going to meet with a recruiter. Husband advised him to not sign up for anything and think about it for a while. We invited him over for the weekend so we could sit down and work out a solution for him. Well the next day he called back and said he signed up. Husband is ticked and says he has made up his mind and refuses to try and reason with him anymore. But I think he is making a horrible split second decision and is going to regret it.

I am so mad and sick about this. How DARE his parents use him, and take advantage, and feel no remorse about him having to join the military to pay for them. Oh BTW his mom is on vacation in Florida right now...

It is sad that he is making a life changing decision over $20k in debt. His parents are toxic, and once he gets out he is just going to get into the same mess again if he can't learn to tell them no and budget better.

Ugh. Just needed to rant. He has signed up but not sworn in yet. So I'm not sure if it is too late now. But I am still hoping he comes to his senses. Husband is being mad about it right now and doesn't want to talk about it, but I know he is upset and hurt. His friend stays at our house several times a month and even has a toothbrush here. Friend lived at his parents house during their teenage years (family couldn't afford their kids), so they are like brothers. I think he feels betrayed that his friend signed up without even talking to him about it first.

Pray that he makes the right decision. Frown

9 Responses to “Sad Situation”

  1. Carol Says:

    One thing he could do is freeze his credit so no more credit cards in his name. So sorry to hear this sad story about someone who sounds like a good soul.

  2. Laura S. Says:

    I agree with Carol. He definitely needs to freeze his cards. What a mess. I hope it all wrks out for the best. It is sad he can't/won't get out of the toxic family situation.

  3. Out of the Dark Says:

    I am very sad for this young man. As a military veteran, I have known many men and women who have volunteered to serve for a variety of reasons. The ones who seem to have the most difficult time are those who are trying to "escape" from something. That "something" always follows them unless they face it head on and find the courage, strength, determination and plan to combat it.

    I would suggest, as Carol and Laura have, to freeze his credit/cards. I would also suggest he speak with a current service man/woman about the way of life and expectations the military places upon its members. Your friend might gain some insight into "real ville" and decide a conversation with his recruiter is prudent before moving forward. I wish you and your family and friend the very best.

  4. creditcardfree Says:

    Military can be harsh, although I've seen a lot of people get some fantastic self esteem during military training. They break you and build you back up so to speak. It may actually be the best thing for him. While you don't like the parents influencing his life, please don't think you can 'save' this person. We all have our own journeys and ways to make it in the world. You have given him options and things to think about, but he has to decide for himself with his own life. Prayers he heads in the path that is right for him.

  5. klarose Says:

    Thanks guys. I want to be clear that I am totally for joining the military if it is something you feel led to do. But I don't want him to feel like he is forced into it and has no other option.

    HE is willingly opening the cards for them, and letting them use them. They aren't just using his information. He is letting them because he can't say no. He can't stand to see the lights shut off, or no food on the table for his siblings. While I don't understand how he can let them trample all over him, that is how he is.

    And yes, perhaps the military will be good for him, and give him a back bone. One can only hope he will come out with a better head on his shoulders and a more strength to say no.

  6. My English Castle Says:

    It's so hard to see someone you love struggle like that. I wish him the best.

  7. patientsaver Says:

    Wow, this is a tough one. I predict you'll get a lot of comments back on it. I can't blame him for wanting to help his family. But it sounds like his own ignorance about money matters is half the problem. Maybe you can get him a very readable but knowledgeable book about personal finance basics or credit and hope that some of it sinks in. Maybe he will flunk boot camp?

  8. Debt-free by Thir-ty Says:

    Is he from some culture with strong roots in 'providing for the family'? I definitely understand his situation because I'm in it too. I hope that one day he realizes that the only way to improve the situation is to extricate himself from it.

    As for the military side, I never knew my husband in his high school/early 20s years, but looking at old pictures of him, I wouldn't have pegged him to thrive in the military. Yet, as CCF said, it gave him a new sense of confidence, completely changed his body, and led him to a career path. It's ultimately his choice, and the best you and DH can do is support him through it. He'll really need his close friends through training, especially if it is as difficult for him as you are predicting it will be.

  9. rob62521 Says:

    This is so sad. Back when Suze Orman had a weekly program, she would have callers with equally sad stories on how parents and family used them. You are good friends to try and help him even if he doesn't listen to your advice. I agree with so many who already posted, he needs to freeze those accounts.

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