Personal Finance

Help paying off my parents monthly mortgage!

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  • Apr 29th, 2015 1:44 pm
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[OP]
Jr. Member
Sep 6, 2009
181 posts
30 upvotes

Help paying off my parents monthly mortgage!

Ahh.. where do I start?

I have known for a while that my family's finance was in trouble since I was a kid. My parents were jobless for almost 10+ years living on savings and earnings they have made before moving to Canada. My Dad currently has a part time job working a few shifts at a factory. My mom is currently jobless but cannot see her finding a job as she has a mental disease from what I can tell (I have tried asking her to get help but she always insist she is ok!). Its been almost 10 years and things have started to finally hit. I recently learnt that my family would be moving out of the house, I am living in now, by the end of this year if things do not get better. Their savings are almost running out since my Dad's current part time job cannot support our family's expenses. But now that I am older, I thought I might be able to lend a helping hand and help salvage the situation. I am wondering how I can maximize the amount of money I make to assist my parents in paying off a bit of their monthly mortgage.

I currently do not have a full-time job as I am still studying in University. This summer, I will be interning with a company and making approximately $2,000 Canadian a month. I will be back in school in the Fall and will not continue with a part time job due to the amount of work at school. I currently have approximately $1,000 in my bank account now. My parents mortgage is approximately $1,200 a month for 20 years. Hopefully, I will be able to land a full-time job after graduation. What do you guys think is the best plan of action now?

UPDATE

Thank you to everyone who took the time to read and post a comment. I have read each and every single one of them. The advice you guys have provided is helping me get through this rough period as I feel comforted by the fact that there are solutions to this problem. I am at a point where I cannot even get help from my closest family members hence I have asked you guys for advice. My Dad simply ignores the problems that the family is having. My mom is in a state where anything you say to her goes out the other ear.

For now, I would really like to get some help for my mom. As I stated earlier in the post, I am sensing that my mom has a mental disease. Every day and night when she has nothing to do, she would hold her phone and go on a messaging app and type messages to herself or to the "Server". I checked her phone today and the last message she wrote to herself was March 20, 2015 which said "vomitlyroughlyeasily". She usually types a few words and then erases them. She does this for hours on end if nobody bothers her. Whenever I ask her what she is doing, she tells me "Nothing is wrong. Go away! You are so annoying. Leave me alone."

I am sad that I have lost my Mom when I lived away during the 3 years I was in University. She was a perfect mom and I hate to lose her. If you guys know what is wrong with her and can tell me who I should see that would be awesome. Right now, no one in my family including my Dad and younger brother want to do anything. I am literally holding this family together.
43 replies
Deal Addict
Jul 19, 2004
1394 posts
632 upvotes
Vancouver
What do you study? If the situation is that bad then you have to go and take a part-time job and help out as much as possible.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jan 23, 2011
1003 posts
1093 upvotes
You can only truly help someone when you are strong and independent yourself. The best you can do now is show your parents you can take care of yourself, so your parents know they raised an independent responsible child, and they as adults will take care of themselves.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
May 11, 2014
5206 posts
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Rankin Inlet, NU
ppl2pass wrote: Ahh.. where do I start?

I have known for a while that my family's finance was in trouble since I was a kid. My parents were jobless for almost 10+ years living on savings and earnings they have made before moving to Canada. My Dad currently has a part time job working a few shifts at a factory. My mom is currently jobless but cannot see her finding a job as she has a mental disease from what I can tell (I have tried asking her to get help but she always insist she is ok!). Its been almost 10 years and things have started to finally hit. I recently learnt that my family would be moving out of the house, I am living in now, by the end of this year if things do not get better. Their savings are almost running out since my Dad's current part time job cannot support our family's expenses. But now that I am older, I thought I might be able to lend a helping hand and help salvage the situation. I am wondering how I can maximize the amount of money I make to assist my parents in paying off a bit of their monthly mortgage.

I currently do not have a full-time job as I am still studying in University. This summer, I will be interning with a company and making approximately $2,000 Canadian a month. I will be back in school in the Fall and will not continue with a part time job due to the amount of work at school. I currently have approximately $1,000 in my bank account now. My parents mortgage is approximately $1,200 a month for 20 years. Hopefully, I will be able to land a full-time job after graduation. What do you guys think is the best plan of action now?
While I understand that you want to help your family, this is not an easy thing for anyone let alone your parents to deal with. How do you expect to pay $1200 a month while going to University and working and managing to graduate well? I am not saying to abandon your family, but you have to remember, you are also limited in what you can do.

If you expect to help your parents and family off, the option for you is to quit school and work. Not a great plan by any means whatsoever. That leaves you with working part-time and putting that money toward the house and studying at the same time. Again, while doable, you need to find a good paying part time job that can also be flexible with your school schedule. That does not leave you with many options. The last solution is then to finish school and then find a great paying job and start helping then. However, will that be soon enough to save the house?

The main problem is that your parents are the ones that really need to decide what they need to do. While it is commendable for you to want to help, your help can only go so far as to be detrimental to your own success and perhaps helping them out over the long term. Your parents need to decide whether keeping the house is a good idea. Renting seems to be the only affordable option for them. Even if you do manage to work and earn a good living, is it really realistic for you to continue paying for a house for nearly 20 years? Im assuming since your family has had a lot of financial issues from the start, Im sorry to say that this really wont resolve before that is to happen.

I would have a heart to heart with your father. Im not sure what your parents expectations are of you, but Im assuming they dont want to burden you with it either. Offer to help out with a few things if you really want to, but you and I know you cant pay the whole mortgage. Consider paying rent as if you are paying for your own apartment. I also assume that for your mother, the mental health challenges are stigmitized in your ethnic culture and so may be difficult to approach. Try seeing if there are any health professionals in your area from the same culture and see if they can be of any help.

Lastly, while I commend you for wanting to help your parents, you still need to look out for yourself. Try and find things that may help you(eg. Scholarships towards your tuition). Make sure you can be successful. you will be much more helpful over the long term if you yourself can be on your two feet.
Deal Addict
Jan 24, 2015
1021 posts
309 upvotes
Canadian in USA
Your best plan of action right now is to focus on getting through school and getting a fulltime job. There isn't much your money is going to do that will make a big difference right now. Unfortunately.

Ideas -- if you are going to school in another city, can the family move with you? Maybe find work there? It would cut in half the number of places you are paying rent/mortgage for. In that case they could try and rent out the family home and/or sell it until finances are better.

I hear you that you want to help your family, and you will, but they may have to tough this out a couple more years until you're in a better place to do that.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Nov 28, 2007
3163 posts
1056 upvotes
Whitehorse, YT
ppl2pass wrote: Ahh.. where do I start?

I have known for a while that my family's finance was in trouble since I was a kid. My parents were jobless for almost 10+ years living on savings and earnings they have made before moving to Canada. My Dad currently has a part time job working a few shifts at a factory. My mom is currently jobless but cannot see her finding a job as she has a mental disease from what I can tell (I have tried asking her to get help but she always insist she is ok!). Its been almost 10 years and things have started to finally hit. I recently learnt that my family would be moving out of the house, I am living in now, by the end of this year if things do not get better. Their savings are almost running out since my Dad's current part time job cannot support our family's expenses. But now that I am older, I thought I might be able to lend a helping hand and help salvage the situation. I am wondering how I can maximize the amount of money I make to assist my parents in paying off a bit of their monthly mortgage.

I currently do not have a full-time job as I am still studying in University. This summer, I will be interning with a company and making approximately $2,000 Canadian a month. I will be back in school in the Fall and will not continue with a part time job due to the amount of work at school. I currently have approximately $1,000 in my bank account now. My parents mortgage is approximately $1,200 a month for 20 years. Hopefully, I will be able to land a full-time job after graduation. What do you guys think is the best plan of action now?
What's odd is that the parents qualified for a mortgage and/or renewal with the employment record described. Are we missing something?
Member
Feb 3, 2011
302 posts
66 upvotes
Markham
Gingercookie wrote: You can only truly help someone when you are strong and independent yourself. The best you can do now is show your parents you can take care of yourself, so your parents know they raised an independent responsible child, and they as adults will take care of themselves.
That's very easy to say.... Depending on what type of culture you were raised in. I would NEVER let my parents or siblings lose their house. Whereas, my husband was raised to take care of himself and only himself. And as OP had posted, he/she also lives in that house. OP kind of has no choice but to start contributing to the household.

OP, I'm not sure how comfortable you are financially with school and everything, but it might be nice if you could pay a bill each month? Maybe hydro or cable or something like that? That would at least take one thing off their plate.

I hate to say this, but there are many people who attend school and have a part time job. I understand that schoolwork is overwhelming, but I did both, myself, and had many friends who did the same. It's definitely not easy, but there are many people doing it.
Deal Addict
Feb 10, 2013
4336 posts
931 upvotes
Richmond
full time student and part time job here. what do you do in your spare time? play pc games? spare time go earn money. working at a big box supermarket like loblaws may not be the best pay but they work around your schedule. :) i saved $200 in tuition this semester though employee benefits.
Deal Fanatic
Mar 24, 2008
6208 posts
2605 upvotes
Toronto
toodlepip wrote: ...
I hate to say this, but there are many people who attend school and have a part time job. I understand that schoolwork is overwhelming, but I did both, myself, and had many friends who did the same. It's definitely not easy, but there are many people doing it.
Did you also pay your parents mortgage while you went to school?

IMO, sellng/losing the house will be a good long term financial "fix" for this mess. OP should focus on school more than the job since the sooner he/she graduates, the sooner he/she will get a proper job and will be in a better situation to help out his family.
Marzipan wrote: What's odd is that the parents qualified for a mortgage and/or renewal with the employment record described. Are we missing something?
Fake T4 slips.
Member
Oct 21, 2005
496 posts
163 upvotes
rj2wells wrote: Your best plan of action right now is to focus on getting through school and getting a fulltime job. There isn't much your money is going to do that will make a big difference right now. Unfortunately.

Ideas -- if you are going to school in another city, can the family move with you? Maybe find work there? It would cut in half the number of places you are paying rent/mortgage for. In that case they could try and rent out the family home and/or sell it until finances are better.

I hear you that you want to help your family, and you will, but they may have to tough this out a couple more years until you're in a better place to do that.
Sorry to hear about your situation. I agree with rj2wells, if they cannot afford the house they are in they should sell it and rent. Perhaps renting is looked down upon but it is much better than going bankrupt.

Good on you for trying to look out for your parents but situations like this have caused a lot of bitterness and family splits. Don't let that happen to you.
Deal Addict
Jan 2, 2015
1633 posts
638 upvotes
Toronto, ON
I had to pay rent to my mom while going through university, on the grounds that I was an adult. I wasn't happy about that. (I still live at home and pay rent, more than doable now that I'm gainfully employed and not paying tuition.)

The OP could help them a little, but to me it seems like wasted effort. One of the parents is committed to keeping things the same.
Marzipan wrote: What's odd is that the parents qualified for a mortgage and/or renewal with the employment record described. Are we missing something?
That's not odd. Plenty of people are getting mortgages who shouldn't. In Britain they recently passed rules to prevent a retirement loophole, as people who would reach retirement age while paying off the mortgage and didn't have a pension plan were still getting approved. Giving such people mortgages doesn't make sense, as the bank can end up losing money. (Of course, not everyone in that situation is going to default.) Britain changed the rules to prevent this, but with the unfortunate side effect of making mortgage term renewal for such people impossible. Some are losing their homes as a result.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Apr 20, 2011
5310 posts
484 upvotes
Vancouver
The mortgage is only $1200. not $2000 etc. So how much cheaper could renting a 1 bedroom apartment be? $400?

The property could be rented out without losing it.
Deal Addict
Aug 31, 2014
1505 posts
560 upvotes
YVR, BC
how did your parents get a mortgage?
Sr. Member
Jan 5, 2015
615 posts
165 upvotes
Edmonton, AB
Helping to pay the bills (utilities, food) is generally a good start.
Your education is a long-term investment, I would advise focusing on your internship to land a job.
As for the house, not enough info to advise whether your parents should keep it, rent it or sell it.
What's the mortgage they got? Is it variable, fixed? Is renewal coming up?
As mentioned by others, how did they get a mortgage with their employment status? Will they be able to renew? Was there a co-signer?
What other liabilities do your parents have? Car loan? Credit card debts?
What liabilities do you have? A student loan?
Do you have brothers and/or sisters that can help? How about uncles or aunts?
With all these unknowns (from my point of view), I would advise you have a detailed financial one-on-one with your dad and/or siblings...
Sr. Member
Oct 19, 2005
863 posts
222 upvotes
Brampton
xgbsSS wrote: While I understand that you want to help your family, this is not an easy thing for anyone let alone your parents to deal with. How do you expect to pay $1200 a month while going to University and working and managing to graduate well? I am not saying to abandon your family, but you have to remember, you are also limited in what you can do.

If you expect to help your parents and family off, the option for you is to quit school and work. Not a great plan by any means whatsoever. That leaves you with working part-time and putting that money toward the house and studying at the same time. Again, while doable, you need to find a good paying part time job that can also be flexible with your school schedule. That does not leave you with many options. The last solution is then to finish school and then find a great paying job and start helping then. However, will that be soon enough to save the house?

The main problem is that your parents are the ones that really need to decide what they need to do. While it is commendable for you to want to help, your help can only go so far as to be detrimental to your own success and perhaps helping them out over the long term. Your parents need to decide whether keeping the house is a good idea. Renting seems to be the only affordable option for them. Even if you do manage to work and earn a good living, is it really realistic for you to continue paying for a house for nearly 20 years? Im assuming since your family has had a lot of financial issues from the start, Im sorry to say that this really wont resolve before that is to happen.

I would have a heart to heart with your father. Im not sure what your parents expectations are of you, but Im assuming they dont want to burden you with it either. Offer to help out with a few things if you really want to, but you and I know you cant pay the whole mortgage. Consider paying rent as if you are paying for your own apartment. I also assume that for your mother, the mental health challenges are stigmitized in your ethnic culture and so may be difficult to approach. Try seeing if there are any health professionals in your area from the same culture and see if they can be of any help.

Lastly, while I commend you for wanting to help your parents, you still need to look out for yourself. Try and find things that may help you(eg. Scholarships towards your tuition). Make sure you can be successful. you will be much more helpful over the long term if you yourself can be on your two feet.
TO be honest... this is the best comment and suggestion.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Mar 31, 2008
12631 posts
2720 upvotes
Toronto
popbottle wrote: The mortgage is only $1200. not $2000 etc. So how much cheaper could renting a 1 bedroom apartment be? $400?

The property could be rented out without losing it.
Seeing that the OP's parent have little chance of recover-ability, it might be best to sell. It gets to a point where things go beyond plain numbers and mathematics.

In the OP's case, it's more of a life-long constraint, that will forever make him make decisions on making sure the mortgage is funded. Renting out brings a host of headaches, with a lot of different moving parts, that would be difficult with managing parents who are not contributory. And it also ties you to your parents in a negative way IMO as this Mortgage God will be the one thing just holding everything together.

Now of course if you're in a hot market, it might make some sense to try to hold on to the house a bit and cash out at a higher level.

And it's not just holding on to the mortgage, there will come a time when you have to spend a bit more to fix something, which will add even more strain.
Deal Fanatic
Sep 23, 2007
5264 posts
1411 upvotes
I recommend you work part time and still ensure you have the energy to study full time. In the long run, the only real way to help your parents is by doing well in your life.

Selling the house may not be the end of the world. It might be a good thing. You guys can downsize and live somewhere more affordable. I understand you may need another place to live in between selling and finding a new house. Do you have any relatives that can help?
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jan 23, 2011
1003 posts
1093 upvotes
I say this because he has good intentions to help, but not the means to help at this stage of his life. I mean, OP is still in school aspiring to find a job in the future with enough pay to solve all their current problems.

OP is helping his parents by becoming a strong responsible independent healthy adult who takes good care of himself. Children often don't get this concept, but this is actually the most rewarding gift children can give to their parents universal across all cultures, to see their children having strong wings to fly and land and good values and living a healthy life away from drugs alcohol smoking.
toodlepip wrote: That's very easy to say.... Depending on what type of culture you were raised in. I would NEVER let my parents or siblings lose their house. Whereas, my husband was raised to take care of himself and only himself. And as OP had posted, he/she also lives in that house. OP kind of has no choice but to start contributing to the household.

OP, I'm not sure how comfortable you are financially with school and everything, but it might be nice if you could pay a bill each month? Maybe hydro or cable or something like that? That would at least take one thing off their plate.

I hate to say this, but there are many people who attend school and have a part time job. I understand that schoolwork is overwhelming, but I did both, myself, and had many friends who did the same. It's definitely not easy, but there are many people doing it.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Oct 24, 2012
11594 posts
2581 upvotes
Montreal
604nation wrote: how did your parents get a mortgage?
Falsifying income documentation is very common and easy to do.

Or they made just enough part time to qualify for a tiny mortgage.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Apr 20, 2011
5310 posts
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Vancouver
stated income lol- i thought they stopped that years ago?

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