I was a fool to believe..what would you do

I was a fool to believe that my daughter would follow through on her promise to take over the car payments as soon as her job was underway and that was three yrs ago. She has had short term jobs off and on in between going to college and should finish the one hr lacking to get her assoc degree this semester. She has moved to another state for a better paying job and has made her first payment for the last two months. She quit that job for a less stable job. This is a pattern and needs to stop. Do I just go and physically take the car from her and leave her without transportation? I wouldn’t hesitate if not for my grandson of which was the reason on the first place for helping her out. Anybody out there in the same situation?

I am a parent too of an adult son. I gave him a car that was already paid off. I am spending his inheritance and I don’t plan to leave him any money if at the time of close to my death someone else is there for me will get the balance of my money. He is an ungrateful son and is rude and disrespectful of me.

I think you should go ahead and let her keep the car BUT… don’t help her out anymore. Consider that car her inheritance from you and leave it at that. Leave a will that your grand-child will inherit your money when he is 26yrs old because by that time he will be on his own and be able to spend your money without sharing it with his mother. You need to use tough love.
But … I must tell you that young people today can’t really make it on their own financially. It looks like she is making some foolish mistakes in her life. Stay friendly for the sake of your grand-child.

Lots of parents have adult children who don’t pay them back when they ask for loans to buy a car, a condo, a vacation, etc.

It is time for us parents to stop worrying about our adult kids and start having fun with our money.

I have a feeling you are just angry that she didn’t keep her promise and you could take the car away from her but then she would suffer having to take the bus everywhere which is a very hard life for a young gal with a child. I would let her keep the car based on the information you have given us.
If she has been taking from you and taking from you… this car problem could be the final thing that you can’t take anymore and are totally angry with her not keeping her promise.

When I was a young gal my parents had to help me out sometimes with money. I never paid them back until now that I am an old lady… I have been doing a good job of taking care of them with my time and money.

I hope that things go well between you and your daughter.
I think that other people here will have their own advise.

Has she made other promises to you that she broke?

Whilst I definatley dont agree with the inheritance thing, I would say it completely depends on how old she is if she is under 25 it is to be expected - my dad pays y car payments abdhas done since I was 17 and I am on car number 3. Lots of parents buy cars for their kids when they are under 25 and seem surprised when the kid cant pay them back??? I would say you need to talk to you daughter about a system of payment that she can affrd EVERY month if that is what you want, but if she has a son she really shouldnt be relying on you at the moment?? I suggest Judge Judy??

I got burned once with my son and a car. NO WAY would I ever do that again. I don’t care WHAT the circumstances were.

To bunnynessuk: you make it sound as if the parent OWES the child. Helping a child is one thing…being a doormat is quite another


To a certain point a parent does owe a child whatever it can provide for it - my parents offered me a choice they would pay for a car or they would pay for a room at uni to me their was no contest I would far prefer to drive to and from uni and have the freedom that the car provided than have ever lived in dorms, now that I am working my parents are still providing the car whilst I get on my feet and save for my first home. (In the UK it is very difficult to get on the housing ladder at the moment and it is a very important step to make) my parents have done the same for my brother and all of my friends that can drive have had the luxury of a car - we are by no means spoiled kids and we are not from upperclass families all happily middle f the road families. I suspect this is a culture difference between the US and the UK - our transport system is horrific and expense - without a car it would be a 2hour train journey (plus a 15 minute car ride from my dad) or a 3 hour bus journey just to get to work. The area I live in has the luxury of one bus every 2 hours and i am an hours walk from town. Also have the responsibility of a car for me made the decision for me not to drink very easy so when I go out i always drive and I give a ride to my friends so I know they are home - safe.

D/ifferent cultures I guess!

I am not telling you what to do, I am telling you what I would do, and have done. I would go down to the county, transfer the title to her name, inform the company that holds the note on the car, and the insurance company of the new owner, send her the paperwork by certified mail, so she knows when the next payment on the car and insurance are due, and let her learn responsibility by experience–something I should have done years ago.

As a former bank officer, I used to see this all the time. Loving parent would co-sign on a car loan for their immature kid. Based on what I have seen, I would never do this. If I wanted to help and if I had the money, I’d just give it to the kid, because in most cases that’s what ends up happening anyway. Difference is, you’re not wrecking your own credit by having your name on a shaky loan.

Regarding the solution offered in the above post (assuming the bank holds the title and assuming the parent is a co-signer), the bank will probably not just let the parent off the hook. The reason the parent had to co-sign in the first place is because the bank didn’t have confidence in the kid’s ability or willingness to pay the loan.

To the OP I would say, “expensive lesson learned.” Your kid has shown her true colors. Reference this knowledge if she ever wants “help” in the future.

**How many more payments are there? ****Would you be okay looking at it as her college graduation present if it would be paid off by then? AND NEVER GIVING HER SUCH AN ITEM OR LOAN AGAIN. There’s a saying that one should never loan money they aren’t willing to give away.:wink: **

Otherwise, I would either do as Puzzleannie suggests AND DO NOT BAIL HER OUT IF SHE DOESN’T MAKE THE PAYMENTS AND LOSES THE CAR!


I’d tell her that if she misses a payment, you will go get YOUR car and sell it to recoup YOUR losses.

And no, I don’t think any parent ever owes their kid a car.

No. Remind her that you still holding her to her promise to pay you back and pray she sees the justness of honoring that.

I wouldn’t hesitate if not for my grandson of which was the reason on the first place for helping her out. Anybody out there in the same situation?

I’m on the receiving end actually. We owe our parents and have every intention of paying it back, but it is admittedly in fits and starts. Fortunately, they have been very gracious in this regard.

My rule has become: never give money to friends of family that you would expect to see again (or at least anytime soon.)

Wow… My parents could well afford to buy each of us kids a car… but they didn’t. They wanted us to learn responsibility.

The only way my son ended up with my car was because he chipped in $100 when I couldn’t come up with all the money for it… and then he paid for all repairs… so naturally, he got it when I got another car. I will not buy my kids a car! That is something I think kids have to learn about on their own… how to take care of one, how to budget for gas, how high insurance is… all of that is like a right of passsage to me…

I paid more for insurance than I did for my first car!!! Bought it for $200, put $150 in repairs right away… then paid $400 a year for insurance!!! But then… gas was like 50 cents a gallon back then…:smiley:

My mom’s used car (that she had won in a raffle) had been passed down to me by the time I started driving (it was about 3-4 years old by then and she wanted to buy a new car for herself). I didn’t pay insurance on it until I got a job in my last year of high school. By the end of my first year in college I wanted to buy my own car but needed my mom to co-sign. She was willing to because, by that time, I had already loaned and given her money when she needed financial help, so I had proven myself. However, my mom is the type to be walked over, I just didn’t take advantage of that fact.


**Problem is, in most cases that I have seen, the car is in the name of the child and the loan is in the name of the child and the parent. So, the car belongs only to the child. The obligation on the loan, however, belongs to both. :frowning: **


I’d call my kid up and say that if I am making the payment, then she needs to transfer the title to me. If she refuses to transfer the title, then I won’t make another payment. My credit can take the hit and I don’t need the car - she does. If she keeps making payments then by all means she can keep the title.

Now I’ll be fair here and say that many parents really push their kids to get a loan on a car and are more than willing to co-sign at least the first 1 or 2 cars the child drives. If this is the case here, then the parents need to simply accept this as their mistake and deal with it.

My in-laws did that with my dh and they shouldn’t have. He couldn’t afford it and knew he couldn’t afford it and was happy having a little moped piece of junk, but THEY wanted him to have a safe car with no mechanical worries and THEY traded in the moped he had for a little car and then THEY said, oh and this is the payment amount and we co-signed but you have to make the payments all that aren’t you lucky to have us for parents and please sign here.

**Well he signed because he was 18, but sure enough he shouldn’t have and they were ticked off at him.:shrug: Yeah he could have refused to sign and so forth, but really now how many 18 year olds would do that?:rolleyes: He figured they knew better and he liked the car, so he signed and did put his best effort into making the payments for nearly a year. Then we got married and traded it in for a cheaper car, but that left an unpaid balance on the loan his parents cosigned and for them to pay off.:blush: **

I’ve heard a LOT of parents say they NEEDED to do this to get their child a car and to get their child started with a credit history and so forth.

I beg to differ. If they can’t manage their funds without credit/loans, it’s a HUGE mistake to think they can manage a loan, imho.

I’m not in your situation, but I have seen several friends go through similar situations. One simply paid for the car, but added a codicil to her will deducting that amount from the portion of the inheritance that child would get when she passes on. Another made a couple of payments and told the kid that this was their birthday and Christmas present for the year. My brother bought older-but-reliable used cars for the kids to use, but he retained the title in his name, and once the kids were on their own, they had the choice of buying the car from him or taking out a loan and buying something newer, but he would never cosign for them. I wouldn’t leave your daughter without transportation on account of your grandson, but I would do what I had to in order to preserve my credit rating. Good luck with this, and God bless.

IMHO, if the parents decide to give a kid a car, it sould be a reliable USED car that is paid for in cash. No loans, no payments, no “issues”. I’ve seen tooo many parents paying notes on cars that have been wrecked by kids to go down that road.

We are pay cash for cars people.

Lots of good advice already. I have seen this scenario on Judge Judy waaay too many times. You certainly aren’t alone!

The bottom line is that she needs to pay for the car. If she cannot pay for it, she shouldn’t have it. I know that is harsh, especially because of the grandchild, but it’s not your responsibility and you shouldn’t have the financial burden or stress. Prayers for you.

How old is she and how much was the car?

When I was 17, my parents bought an old car (ex-company car with at on of miles, but still nice looking). They paid cash for it. The agreement was, it was their car and they owned it, but if I paid insurance, gas and repairs, I could use it as mine.

At 18, I bought my own car.

If the loan is in your name, or co-signed, there’s really nothing you can do.

Yes, I have been in your shoes.

I co-tenanted for not one, but two apartments. The first was a townhouse because I was tired of her living with us, sitting on her fanny watching the Sci-Fi channel all day. We (DH and I) were hoping to give her the stability she needed to raise her children as a divorcee. She trashed it, and I have photos of it, all the while neglecting the kids. We ended up paying over $5000 to repair it. I co-tenanted the second one for six months, an efficiency, because she had no place to live, as a “boost” to make her see what she needed to do. We refused to sign another one after we ended up paying $300 in damages on that. She drifted from roommate to roommate to Single Room Only to living in a “trio” with a couple. Our adoption on our grandchildren became final this year.

We sponsored not one, but three cars. We did not finance them, as we don’t finance our own cars, but bought them with the object being that she paid us back, as we held the titles in our names. These were used, but reliable cars. It took having to stand there as she got her paycheck to get the money. She landed one on a lawn near a school, almost wiping out a slew of school kids, burned out the engine. The other two, she never bothered to do silly little things like put in coolant and oil.

We sponsored 3 years of college after her divorce (she had a year and a half), poking her in the ribs to get her moving. We sponsored counseling and a divorce lawyer, then a child support organization, then a doctor and a therpaist, then a custody lawyer with experts, “dress for success” wardrobes, and alleged entrance requirements for each of the armed services.

Yep. You were a fool to believe. But you aren’t alone. Not by a long shot.

I can’t tell you what to do, but I can tell you what we did.

My DH was recently very ill, almost died. He is still on the road to recovery. The ICU had me call my daughter. Instead of concentrating on what needed to be done and being a help, she made it all about her and her relationship with her dad. I gave her a time to visit, and she trashed me on some web site for sci-fi people because I was keeping her from her dad. I wrote her a letter, telling her whatever she owed is her inheritance, and God speed. She published it on the web site. My DH said I did the right thing, when he woke up and had cognitive ability back.

Not a happy solution, but actually quite a peaceful one.

Here is something productive you could do–and this will help her, and you in the process.

Let’s say for example the car payment is $300 monthly, let’s just say. Maybe come up with an agreement to pay the next car payment in full, then the next month 3/4 of it, and she pays the rest…the third month, yo’ll pay 50%…and so on, until about in 6 months, she takes over the entire loan–and hopefully, by then, she’s able to.

The reality is, that once a ‘child’ hits 21, he/she should be ready to take on the responsibilities of being an adult–if he/she wants to perks of being an adult. (car payments are perks? what am I saying?:eek: :smiley: ) That being said–the payment schedule above will help her get on her feet. As long as you keep paying the bills, she will never really learn, and she’ll find it all too easy to keep jumping from job to job. Which can happen, but in this way, you’re not cutting her off completely in one foul swoop–you are weaning her off of you making the payments in a systematic way.

Just my two cents–think she will be able to do this, and you will feel better, too. Good luck–keep us posted!:slight_smile:

In Los Angeles, California… we all have to have cars to get around. The buses are terrible. I made sure my son had a car when he became old enough to drive. I didn’t ask for any money because finishing high school and going to college was more important to me than money. Every time I would get a new car I would give him my old car. I never asked for money. I wanted my son to be safe at night when he would get home from working after school. He was and is a hard worker. He has the work ethic.

When my grand-daughter became old enough to drive I gave her my car and I bought me a new car. She is working and going to college. My hope is that she finishes college so she will be able to support herself. I didn’t ask for any money. She needed a car to keep her safe from walking the streets of Los Angeles while taking a bus in the night after leaving her job.
I am happy she is safe by driving a car instead of taking a bus in the rain and cold weather and hot weather.

God has been good to me financially. I worked hard all of my life but it helped me a lot to attend college to find a great career.
My adult son is prosperous and doesn’t need my financial help anymore. That is why I am spending his inheritance. He doesn’t spend any time with me either because he is busy with his own family and volunteer work. He teaches high school kids Cathichism in the evenings.

The original poster has not responded yet… but I have a feeling the car is already paid up. The poster did say that the daughter was attending college. The poster doesn’t really understand what his daughter is going through in her jobs. Sometimes a job can be paying great but the working conditions are abusive. I once had a great paying job but the boss was very abusive. I just had to quit and found a better job.
His daughter has not found a good job yet that will make it possible for her to pay for the car monthly.

Cost of living is really high presently. If my adult son had a financial emergency I would give him some money in a NEW YORK MINUTE. I don’t want to see my son suffer.

I have always been generous with my time and money for my family members and neighbors.
God has provided well for me and I in return help others.

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