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Asked a question last year

My parents don't handle their finances very well. I'm really worried about all of the debt they have and would like to help them make a plan to pay it off. But I don't know how to bring up this topic with them. Any suggestions?

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Cameron Huddleston
Carefull Family Finance Expert

I applaud you for wanting to help your parents tackle their debt. However, you need to go about it carefully. Your parents might be embarrassed about their situation,so they might become defensive if you approach this the wrong way.

You might have success (and avoid putting them on the spot) by talking about your own success in paying off debt. You could talk about a strategy you used and how there's less stress in your life without debt -- and more money in your budget to do things you enjoy. If you have debt yourself, you could mention to your parents that you're trying to tackle it and have found some good articles on how to pay off debt. You could casually say, "I just thought I'd share these with you in case you find them helpful." Leave the articles sitting out where they can see them and don't make a big deal about it. Later, you could ask whether they had a chance to read the articles and if they found them useful.

If they're really buried in debt, you could point them to the National Foundation for Credit Counseling -- nfcc.org77. The NFCC has counselors who provide free and low-cost credit counseling and can help with debt repayment plans. This way, you're letting an unbiased third-party get involved.

Good luck!