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Survey Says Most Parents Pay Children's Debt

  • Written by Collection Advisor

As accounts receivable professionals know, when advising consumers on how to resolve a debt, emphasis should be placed on reaching out to parents. A recently published survey by creditcards.com further supports this tactic as it indicates 52% of parents have helped their adult children, 18 years or older, pay a debt.

The most common debts surveyed parents paid for their children were student loan (20%), auto loan (19%), medical debt (17%) and credit card debt (16%). The survey also found men were more likely to help children pay bills than women and parents 55 and over were more likely to help pay.

The prominence of student loan debt is echoed in recently released data from the Federal Reserve which says U.S. student loan debt reached $1.49 trillion in September. As of 2015, Fed research indicates the average monthly student loan payment for borrowers age 20-30 years was $351, with a serious delinquency rate of about 11%.

It pays to ask consumers about their parents’ ability to help as, in this case, there is a one in two chance the account can be resolved.