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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

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

Q. My parents are in their seventies and recently refinanced their home using an online lender. They thought the loan would pay off all their debt, but it did not. Now their house payment has almost doubled, and they still have debt to pay. Why would a lender let people in their seventies refinance their home? What can they do now? 

A. I understand your concern for your parents and their financial well-being. A recent study from Texas Tech University confirms that aging Americans are at a higher risk than younger consumers when it comes to their finances. Researchers found an alarming decline in financial awareness among Americans of retirement age. What’s more, the study showed that while the ability to manage money decreases for retirees, confidence in their ability stays the same.  A decrease in financial ability means seniors are more vulnerable and at a greater risk for fraud and abuse. 

While the Internet gives us access to more services than ever before, when it comes to significant financial decisions, I maintain that people, of any age, should choose to work with a local lender.  Prospective borrowers need to take the time to review a major decision and ask the right questions.  And if there is an issue, they need to be able to reach a person on the phone or speak to someone in person.

At this point, I would encourage your parents to visit with counselor at a HUD-approved housing counseling agency.  A trained housing counselor can review their entire situation and provide options for them.

Not liking the terms your parents received isn’t enough to take legal action.  However, if your parents were given incorrect information, then you should encourage them to file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau at On the other hand, if your parents are satisfied with their decision to refinance—but you aren’t—you have little recourse.

As for your question about a lender allowing your parents to refinance, lenders cannot discriminate based on age. Therefore, your parents’ request to refinance has to be met with the same opportunity as a younger couple.

I encourage to you continue to communicate with your parents about their finances.  As parents age, they need someone who is looking out for their best interest. 

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.