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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?

Tax filing options to consider

What to do if your account is turned over to collections

Celebrating Valentine's Day on a budget

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

Setting New Year's goals that you can keep

The pros and cons of skipping a payment

Strategies for Financially Surviving the Holidays

Creating a fun and memorable holiday on a budget

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

Tax Refund Delays for some in 2017

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

Tips for Back-to-School Shopping

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

Setting New Year's goals that you can keep

Making the holidays memorable for families on a tight budget.

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

Should Consumers Use the New EMV Cards?

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

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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

What to do when a relative asks you for money

Q. My brother is asking me for financial help.  And this is not the first, or even the second, time he has come to me for money. In fact, he still owes me from the last time I helped him out. I hate to see him and his family struggle, yet they don’t seem to be doing anything to improve their situation. What should I do?

A. We can all find ourselves needing help at some point, but if you are frequently loaning your brother money, then you might be doing more him more harm than good and creating more problems than you are solving. Your kindness may be enabling him.

As long as you are willing to give him money, he doesn’t need to change his spending habits or solve his own problems. If he isn’t willing to change, then his situation won’t change, either.  If he wants to improve his life, then he has to be willing to take the necessary steps.  No one, not even concerned and loving siblings, can do this for him. 

What’s more, you need to consider how this situation affects your own family. If your brother didn’t repay you the last time, this will probably happen again. Can you afford to just give him the money?  How will giving him money influence your ability to provide for your own family’s needs? 

If your brother truly needs your help, you don’t necessarily have to give him money. Would providing him with some groceries help? Could you handle a home improvement project or offer to help care for his kids so he could work a few extra hours? 

I would also suggest that you refer your brother to an organization that will give him the tools he needs to help himself.  A non-profit certified credit counselor will review his finances, refer him to assistance programs that fit his needs, and help him develop a plan to address all of his financial issues. This service should be provided at no charge.  With a plan of action, your brother can take the steps he needs to resolve his own financial issues.  

If your brother agrees to seek help from a credit counselor, ask him about his appointment and his plan of action. This way, you can become part of his support system and come alongside to encourage him as he reaches his own financial goals. 

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 acce@acce-online.com.

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.