Help! Our son is using his student loans to party

Starting now, only pay for tuition and books

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From the Summer 2016 issue of the magazine.

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student loans

Q: We pay for all our son’s university expenses and just found out that he took out student loans to party. What should we do?

—Angry in Airdrie, Alta.

A: Your son’s sense of entitlement needs to be nipped in the bud, pronto! Otherwise, he’ll be in for a lot of financial hardship in the future, says Toronto-based financial planner Heather Franklin. You need to sit him down and show him how many thousands you’re already paying for his education. And one message should be very clear: Starting now, you’ll only be paying for tuition and books— and that’s all. “He needs to know he will be expected to pay back his student loans on his own,” says Franklin.

Bear in mind that behaviour like this could have been avoided with a bit of financial literacy, something that unfortunately is rarely taught in schools. “So now’s the time to bring clarity to the repercussions his decision will have on the other major financial choices he will have to make in his life,” says Franklin.

Got a delicate money question? Send it to ask@moneysense.ca.

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