DEAR DAVE: My dad wants me to buy a house on a 30-year loan for him and my mom in my name, and let them make the payments. I'm 24 years old and have a good credit score and a nice apartment, but my job depends largely on how the oil industry is doing. My dad filed bankruptcy nine years ago, and he's already $150,000 in debt again, so he's never been very responsible with money. I think this would spell big trouble for me, but I'm sure he will be mad if I say no. What are your thoughts?
DEAR EMMANUEL: Yeah, I think doing something like this would spell big trouble for you. If your dad is irresponsible with money — especially to the point of having to file bankruptcy — what makes you think he'll make these house payments on time?
I know this would be an uncomfortable conversation to have with your dad, but you need to brace yourself and just do it. Be respectful and explain exactly why you won't do this. Think about it, Emmanuel. When he doesn't pay the bill on time, it's going to screw up your credit score. And when you get ready to buy a house, guess what? You're going to have trouble qualifying because you already own a house. Most people don't make enough money to qualify to buy two homes.
Basically, your dad is asking you to not buy a house so they can have one. I can't tell you how to make your dad OK with saying no to this, but I can tell you that your answer should be no. Let him and your mom know that you love them both, but this is something you just can't do.