I'm not ashamed to admit that I owe 30K in student loans from my undergrad. My parents never helped me pay for my degree and I didn't expect them to help considering they didn't have the resources. However, they provided me with other things like moral support, a roof, food and clothing. My mother wants to know how much I owe because she's curious and I don't want to tell her because I'm afraid she'd judge me and say I was a fool. I have given her clues in the past, but she'd say things like, you shouldn't owe more than 20k. It's something I personally don't feel I should share with them because I'm embarrassed.
- No, it's not their business43% (16)56% (22)50% (38)Vote
- Yes, it's their right to know57% (21)44% (17)50% (38)Vote
Most Helpful Guy
This general subject is one of the challenges of navigating relationships with parents as an adult. We may do things that our parents wouldn't approve of, but we recognize we have the right to live our lives as we want -- and bear the consequences. We might rationally know that we don't need their approval, but everyone wants their parents' approval. You probably are feeling this struggle internally. If you did not fear their disapproval, you would have no problem telling them.
I suggest that you either
(a) tell them that it is not their business, that you are responsible for your life and your debts, that you don't pry into their finances, and you would appreciate if they didn't pry into yours, or
(b) tell them that while it is not their business, that whether or not to tell them is something you've struggled with -- that although you share their financial conservatism, you believe that the best investment you can make is in yourself and your education, and with a lifetime ahead of you that the debt you've incurred is insignificant. tell them honestly that you like to have their approval for the decisions you make, but that when you know what is right, you will proceed with or without their approval. if they truly listen, they will be very proud of you.
Good parents don't want to control their children's' lives, they want to give their children the tools so that they can make the best decisions in their own lives. Acknowledging their importance to you, and your independence, that you have absorbed and understand their (financial) perspective, and based on your facts and experience have formed your own, will show them that they've done well in bringing up a capable adult.
Most Helpful Girl
Why would anyone judge you over reasonable student loans, or any amount really as long as you are paying them back? When I graduated in 2004, I owed about $35K, and I'm slowly paying it back. It's nothing to be ashamed of, but your finances are YOUR business. There is no reason your parents really need to know. Maybe they are asking because they want to help you out a little?
I'd just let them know you owe far less than the average student, but you are managing paying them back just fine. If they want to give you a financial donation to help out, that is appreciated but not expected.1