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Rangie's avatar

Would you go into debt, to buy something for your child?

Asked by Rangie (3656points) April 6th, 2010

Would you purchase your teenager a car if it meant going into debt, when you really can’t afford it. If your credit card is maxed out, would you still purchase something for your child that you couldn’t afford?

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46 Answers

netgrrl's avatar

Not if it wasn’t really needed for their health and well-being. Needs first, wants second. Putting myself further into debt when I was already strapped – for a want – isn’t being a responsible parent, IMO.

rahm_sahriv's avatar

I would not. If the child needed a medical treatment or some sort of device, such as a wheelchair or something, then of course. But not for a car, toy or other luxury item.

lilikoi's avatar

My mom just did this for my 22 yr old brother…... no comment

DominicX's avatar

No, I don’t think I would. I agree with @netgrrl and @rahm_sahriv. If it involved health (such as paying for a surgery or something), then yes. But a car? Forget it. I would never go into debt for something like that.

However, I am not opposed to buying my child a car if I could afford it and they were a responsible kid.

Storms's avatar

Not a car, no. Welcome to reality, kid.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I’d finance a car for them but only if I could afford the payments comfortably or better yet, my kid made the payments from a part time job. Same goes for using a credit card to buy them something rather than cash purchase, I’d do a computer for them but not anything like celly phone, gaming system, spring break trip or stuff like that.

Likeradar's avatar

Nope. Like other people said, I’d spend the rest of my life in debt for a medical issue or other life saving (such as rehab, possibly) issue. A car? No freaking way. The kid can get a job and save up, just like many, many, many other teenagers.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Would I – this is my modus operandi (okay, not on the scale you mention, but still)

rahm_sahriv's avatar

That being said, my mother recently temporarily maxed out her credit card for me so I could get a laptop. The thing is, it was only two weeks until she knew I would be able to pay her back in full. It was just one of those awkwardly timed things. If it were something like that, where payment would be made back to me in full, shortly, then I would consider it, but not for a gift.

WestRiverrat's avatar

If it was something they needed to sustain life, I would sell my soul to help my child. A car, xbox, etc is not a need. If they have to work to get it they will value it more and therefore care for it better.

chamelopotamus's avatar

Hell no, nobody bought me a car, and they were making money

JasonsMom08's avatar

I wouldn’t but I have a lot of friends that do…

rahm_sahriv's avatar

@charmelopotamus Yeah. Both of my cousins had their vehicles bought for them, even to this day my oldest cousin’s mother pays for most of my cousin’s car. I have bought all my own cars, and although I am on my mother’s insurance, I have paid half of it.

Rangie's avatar

When my 2 children had their 1st birthdays, I opened a $1000 money market account. From that point on, it was a need only. Unless I had extra money, and I want to do something special. They learned at Christmas, it was one fun gift and one needed gift. They were perfectly happy with that. After my divorce I kept almost a daily record of where the money was going. I have never been in debt, where I couldn’t pay my monthly payments, which were limited to necessities. They are both grown with children of their own. They each did the same thing for their children. It makes a great down payment on their first car. It did help them learn about choices of where they spend their own money. It is so easy to spend mom’s money, but when it comes to their own money, suddenly they realize that they probably don’t need that.

ftp901's avatar

No way – then they wouldn’t have the motivation to get it themselves

Cruiser's avatar

No…not under those circumstances. If my child is old enough to drive they are old enough to work to help offset those costs. I caddied every summer starting at 14 to earn money for that privilege of that freedom.

Exhausted's avatar

Nope! My job was to teach them how to manage their lives as an adults. Maxing myself out with debt would not be a good lesson in financial management. They both had to work to earn the money to buy their cars and they paid for their own insurance. That is a lot more expensive these days for teenage boys, but they will appreciate it much more if they earn it than if it is given to them.

thriftymaid's avatar

No, I would not go into debt to buy him or her a car. If they are old enough to drive, and I can’t afford a car for them, they would have to find a job and buy their own. I could possibly take care of the insurance.

pearls's avatar

No, I would not. What would you be teaching the child or teenager? I brought my children up the old fashioned way. If you want it, you earn it.

Trillian's avatar

Not for a car. Hell no. but for something that would further the academic akills and advancements? I’d try to get a load. I plan to but my daughter that Brainetics package later this year. I don’t know how much its going to cost, and I’ll probably just save my pennies, btu I feel that with her trouble in math, this will help and will also increase her self confidence and willingness to do better in other academic areas.
It’s all about what is really important.
Life skills and academics – yes. Car – not so much.

aprilsimnel's avatar

No. What’s a good second-hand car going for these days, $3K, $4K? If the child is old enough for a car, then they can earn the money to buy one. School is different. That’s an investment in their future.

tranquilsea's avatar

I wouldn’t go into debt for that…but if my kid was responsible then I would co-sign a loan for him. Actually, he is damn close to driving age and I will offer to co-sign a loan for him.

Rangie's avatar

@tranquilsea I would not co sign either. Your credit is on the line. Even responsible kids can default. They either do it themselves, or not at all. I would say get a bike.

casheroo's avatar

An education? You bet. A car? Not likely. If I were to get them a car, it would be a safe one but not one with a huge loan.

Pandora's avatar

Too late. Already did with their education. :(((

Rangie's avatar

@Pandora But are they still in College? Are they going to benefit from your generosity? Education is an important thing, a car is not. You should pat yourself on the back.

phillis's avatar

Not a chance. If my credit’s maxed out, I’ve been doing something Very, very wrong. If my daughter wants a car she can earn it – without credit cards, just like her parents. We haven’t had credit cards in over a decade now.

Megan64's avatar

Yes, I would spend money I didn’t have on a progressive education for my children.

dutchbrossis's avatar

I would co sign a loan for them

YARNLADY's avatar

Your example doesn’t make sense. If we can’t afford it and credit is maxed out there isn’t really a choice, is there? My credit is very good, and we can afford it, and we did, but not until they were old enough to pay the insurance and had a job.

Rangie's avatar

@YARNLADY I said credit card, not credit in general. Yes, there is a choice, my sister opened another credit card.
My credit is also very good, and I want to keep it that way. We can also afford it, but are you doing the best lesson for your child, just because you can afford it? I bought my first car from my mother, and I went to the bank and got a loan so she would be paid off and I would owe the bank. That was the start of my credit rating. I applaud her for that. It was the start of my purchasing career and I feel it was the best thing she could have done for me.

YARNLADY's avatar

@Rangie Ok, so you are just talking about buying a car for your child? I co-signed for my son’s first car, and then I sold it when he quit making payments on it. I have purchased a house for my younger son, and he is now out of work and having a hard time making the payments. I also have bought several cars over the years and ‘loaned’ to him to drive.

I am currently borrowing on my line of equity credit to help him with his expenses.

Rangie's avatar

@YARNLADY I am so sorry he put you in that position. I would hope he would respect your position enough to make things right. No it isn’t just a car, it is anything somewhat big that would cause you to stick your neck out.
You probably need to find a way to say NO.
Personally, I think you are enabling him to take the easy way out.

YARNLADY's avatar

@Rangie I agree to a certain extent, but when jobs are so hard to find, what other choice do we have? I feel so sorry for families whose parents have abandoned them and they have to live in their car or under the bushes. We are supplying housing for my son, his wife, their two children, her mother and her grandmother. The two elderly ladies get government checks every month and help out with the expenses, plus there is unemployment and food stamps.

How would making an entire family homeless help anybody?

Rangie's avatar

@YARNLADY I would do somewhat the same thing, if my child was out of work. I would move him into my house and feed him. But that is where it would stop. Why does he need to drive if he doesn’t have a job? Who pays for his gas? Who pays for his insurance? I just don’t believe in making it easy to hang out having someone else paying all the bills. It certainly doesn’t help him. listen, I would have every square inch of my house sleeping relatives if that was needed. But, they wouldn’t just sit around. I swear to God, I would go door to door and scrub toilets to make some money to help out. What does he do with his time?

YARNLADY's avatar

@Rangie We had him living in our home with his girlfriend – turned wife, but she is so insufferable, we had to get them out of the house, after the first baby was born. We also had two of our adult grandsons living here. He had a job at that time, but has been let go three times in the last three years, and her mother and grandmother lost their lease, so moved in with them. They had the second child while he was still working and covered by insurance.

He needs a car to look for jobs, I got tired of taking him everywhere for interviews and waiting for hime in the van for several hours at a time.

faye's avatar

I have for schooling for my youngest. She took journalism a couple of years ago just as the job market crashed so I’m helping her now.

Rangie's avatar

@YARNLADY I see, you are a good mom. I think you have done your duty and then some. Hopefully things will break for him so he can become independent.

Rangie's avatar

@faye , There are the exceptions. That was something beyond her control. Good for you, she will not forget it.

Pandora's avatar

@Rangie Sorry, I quickly scanned what you posted and thought you were just giving an example. Yes, the education is necessary. They are done with school, And I’ll be patting myself on the back all the way to the poor house. :(
But I will say that education is working out. :D

Rangie's avatar

@Pandora Now that they have finished their education, perhaps they will think about repaying you for your generosity. I believe, good deeds don’t go unnoticed.

free_fallin's avatar

No. My children will be taught the importance of responsibility and staying far away from evil credit card companies. As was mentioned, actual needs before wants ftw.

toomuchcoffee911's avatar


Is this a real question?

Rangie's avatar

@toomuchcoffee911 You seemed to answer it, so yes I guess it is a real question.

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