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Love and Debt: Why you need to talk about money

How to Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck

Where to go for mortgage and debt help

What You Should Know About Debt Settlement

Create a plan to deal with medical debt

Options for Higher Education

Will Changes in Credit Reporting Affect You?

What to do if your medical bills are turned over to collections

What to do if your spouse can't pay his or her bills

What to do when a family member ruins your credit

Homeownership is possible

What you need to know about the IRS and collection agencies

Will being turned down for a store credit card hurt my credit?

Beware of credit repair

Debt Management versus Debt Settlement

How to get ahead of late fees

Is There a Service That Helps You Not Pay Bills

Is a Debt Owed

Patience is the key to furnishing a new home

How to split expenses with your partner

Will my boyfriend's bad credit affect me?

What to do if your account is turned over to collections

Personal Credit and Starting a Business

Finding Money to Reduce Your Debt and Improve Your Credit

Simple Keys to Personal Finance

Be vigilant to avoid telephone and internet scams

Debt Settlement

Understanding credit utilization

The pros and cons of skipping a payment

Keep an open line of communication with parents about their finances.

Make a Choice to Get Ahead Financially

What to do when a relative asks you for money

Should You Buy a Home Now or Wait?

The difference between debt settlement and debt management

The negative impact of paying a payment 30 days late

Stressed by Finances

How to navigate two significant financial decisions: starting a family and buying a home

How to advise someone close to you who is coming into a significant amount of money

Make a Conscious Decision on How to Spend Your Money

How do you know if you have a good credit score?

Americans spend more money eating out than on groceries

Having Good Credit Saves You Money

Developing good money habits with your first job

How to save for a home

How to Know if you are Ready for Home Ownership

When is the right time to buy a home?

You can improve your credit to buy a home

Plan a Memorable Vacation Without Incurring Debt

The Hidden Costs of Payday Loans

Be Wary of Credit Repair Services

Use Caution when playing the credit card game

What does it mean to say bankruptcy gives you a clean slate?

How your credit is affected by various debt options

Be wary of predatory small business loans

What to do if you fall behind on mortgage payments

Financing a College Education

Money, Credit and Relationships

Should you be concerned with your date's credit scores?

Best options for a small, short-term loan

How to help a relative who is always borrowing money from you

Skipping a Payment over the Holidays

What to do if you are overwhelmed by medical bills

Make your financial intention a financial goal you can achieve

What to do when a collector calls you

The difference between paying bills and managing your money

My wife and I have gone through some tough financial times, which eventually led us to file for bankruptcy.  Following this experience, I don’t ever want to use credit again, but my wife

What do I need to know to pay ahead on my mortgage?

What to do if you get an unsolicited credit card in the mail

What to do when moving in to share expenses doesn't work out

How to help a relative who is always borrowing money from you

Q. My brother is always running short on cash and asking to borrow money.  I’ve decided I can’t lend him any more money, but I still want to help him.  Any suggestions?

A. As you’ve already learned, lending your brother money isn’t helping him.  Instead, it allows him to avoid dealing with the real financial issues he has. Your brother needs to find his own solutions, but as long as you give or loan him money, he has no reason to get to the root of his own problems.

Under the circumstances, I’d recommend two things.  First, you should suggest that he contact a non-profit accredited credit counseling agency. An appointment should be free of charge. The counselor will review his monthly income and expenses and will be able to offer your brother advice to help him take control of his finances.  It could be that your brother just needs some suggestions on how to make his money go further, or it could be that he has an addictive behavior that he needs to address.  A trained, certified credit counselor will be able to help uncover the real issue and provide him with the steps he needs to move forward.

Second, I’d suggest that you encourage your brother to enroll in a financial education program.  While most people think they know how to manage money, many do not.  It’s not surprising that so many people lack the financial skills they need since so few have ever taken a course on personal finance, money management or credit.  A financial education program can help your brother understand ways to manage his money more effectively.

We want to help those we love, but you should avoid coming up with solutions for your brother, including co-signing on loans for him. If he takes out a loan that you’ve cosigned on and he can’t repay it, your credit will suffer, too.  What’s more, if you try to find other solutions for your brother and they don’t work out, you might be blamed for his situation getting worse.  If he ends up with a high-interest payday loan, he may get caught in a vicious cycle that perpetuates his problems.  If he pawns something of value and loses it, he may try to hold you responsible for his loss. 

Your brother’s credit history will play a role in creating solutions that will help him in the long term.  Again, a certified credit counselor can objectively advise your brother on his best options. Your brother needs to get to the root of his problems and address them to create lasting solutions.  Until then, your best move is to refer him for help. 

Bonnie Spain is the executive director of the American Center for Credit Education and Consumer Credit Counseling Service of the Black Hills. For more information, email

The material in this transmission is provided for personal, non-commercial, educational, and informational purposes only. ACCE makes no representations or warranties with respect to the accuracy or completeness of the contents of this transmission and assumes no responsibility for errors, inaccuracies, omissions, or any inconsistency herein. You should consult a professional where appropriate.