The pros and cons of paying off your adult children’s debts

The goal of a parent is to raise children who can learn to take care of themselves personally and financially.

Sometimes we don’t succeed.

Over 75% of Americans still pay some or most of their adult children’s debts and bills. And nearly 18% of adults aged 25 to 34 still live at home with their parents.

Children need help and advice. But as adults, they need help and guidance in learning to be independent and not dependent.

Here are the pros and cons of paying adult children’s bills and debts.


They will always be your child, even when they grow up. The term “growing pains” refers to the trials, tribulations, and mistakes that children must endure and which children must learn to mature.

Unfortunately, financial literacy and maturity are not genetically inherited no matter what we want. The tragedy of being a child is that the only way to learn how the world works is to make mistakes.

And some mistakes, like bad credit or bankruptcy, can have consequences for your child that last for decades.

Paying off your adult child’s debts could help them avoid financial problems that they wouldn’t easily get out of on their own – if you keep it within certain limits.

The quickest way to make your child not listen to you is to say “I told you!” when they mess.

If you are used to paying off your child’s debts, you can do so with the caveat that he must learn personal finance practices from you.

You can teach your child to budget, balance a checkbook, and prioritize spending so that they don’t have more financial problems in the future.

Family relationships can be torn apart because of little misunderstandings and arguments. Many are irrevocably torn apart by disputes over money.

The path to financial independence is to pay off debts, make wise investments, generate multiple sources of income, and keep money in the family to strengthen it financially for future generations.

Teach your child that a family is stronger if everyone is financially competent and responsible when you help them pay their bills.


On the other hand, there are many drawbacks to helping pay your adult children’s bills.

Children learn to ride a bike by falling, scraping a knee, getting back up and trying again. You cannot run behind them while holding their seat or leaving the training wheels attached forever,

If you continually pay your adult child’s bills and debts, they may never reach financial maturity. Worse yet, they may simply become more dependent on you and decide that you will always be there to save them.

Almost 3 million older people defaulted on student loans between 2005 and 2015. The scandalous fact about this estimate is that older people mostly defaulted on their children’s school fees. -adult children, and not of themselves.

As a result, millions of retirees are having their social security payment seized to pay off their altruistic debts.

Paying off your adult child’s debts can delay or ruin your own retirement plans. You might end up scrapping them altogether and end up working longer in life.

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