News programs report a growing trend across the country, in these tough economic times, where broke or unemployed parents with tapped credit lines, maxed out Visa cards, and depleted IRAs are taking out credit in their children’s names and racking up massive debts the kids are on the hook for.
It seems that children, with minimal debt, often employed and living with their parents (read: no overhead) are considered a better financial risk than their financially exhausted parents. Grab a handful of those pre-approved, formerly-known-as-junk-mail credit card solicitations addressed to your offspring (the only one in the house with an income and a decent credit score), fill ‘em out, forge a name or two, and POOF, instant cash. Apparently financial planning worksheets will now contain a “Child Exploitation” section, as in “How many do you have, and are they old enough to get a loan?” with answers boxes listed as “1-2,” “3-4,” and “CHA-CHING!”
Those of us with only one child are somewhat limited (excluding just cutting out the middle man and selling the child instead… Oh please, not like it didn’t cross your mind), but for people with multiples (octomoms…you lucky dogs), you can all start living the dream. For those of you under 40 and worried about your retirement, get out there and give your only child some siblings. You’ve got time for the little darlings to be of loan age before you move to that golden retirement villa by the sea. And lose the guilt. Children have been helping families for hundreds of years. Our grandparents had ‘em working the fields. They hooked them up to plows, for God’s sake. These days, we just need their social security number, and they can go back to playing their Xbox. Go Mom and Dad!
Meanwhile, back at the Claflins’…
Kenny and I spent the afternoon updating our wills and insurance policies. Nice to know that what is hilariously referred to “our estate” will be properly passed down in the event of our untimely demise (although I suspect that if we went up in a giant ball of flames today, the children would say, “Well, at least they weren’t, like, YOUNG or anything. They were in their 50s. They had a good run.”) Anyway, good luck, kids! You should have all this paid off in, oh, 30-40 years. You’re welcome, and we love you too.