A prodigal daughter
My daughter used to live an irresponsible lifestyle and was bad with money, too. While she was in college she also took on $20,000 in student loan debt. Since that time she experienced a serious illness. She’s recovering now, and it has really changed her behavior and her outlook on life, spiritual matters and money for the better. I could pay off the loans for her, but I’m wondering if there’s a better way to help.
If I were in your shoes, and I had the means to pay off her student loan debt without putting myself at risk financially, that’s exactly what I’d do.
Sometimes the best gift you can give a person is to let them wallow around for a while in the mess they made. Being forced to work your way out of bad decisions and irresponsible behaviors is a great remedy in lots of cases. But in this situation, with what you’ve told me about her previous health issue, and the fact that she’s now being responsible with money, behaving and making better life choices, I’d want her to be as free as possible as she takes up this new walk.
My advice is to try and be a huge blessing to your daughter. Right now, she’s a lot like the prodigal son. She’s come around in her thinking and realizes what’s right and what really matters. Give her the biggest hug she’s ever had, Eddie. Then, throw a party and write a check to knock out that student loan debt!
Dave Ramsey is America's trusted voice on money and business. He's authored four New York Times best-selling books: Financial Peace, More Than Enough, The Total Money Makeover and EntreLeadership. The Dave Ramsey Show is heard by more than 6 million listeners each week on more than 500 radio stations. Follow Dave on Twitter at @DaveRamsey and on the web at daveramsey.com.