1. Have an honest conversation with your studentIf at all possible, sit down with your student in person, but the phone or video chat will work as well. Approach the conversation non-judgmentally with the goal of helping your child and try to leave your frustration with the situation at the door. It may be helpful to open the conversation by sharing about a time when you made a poor financial decision so that your college student realizes that you have been in her shoes before. Ask your child to tell you how she got into debt and actively listen to her response. Look together at the credit card bills to get a clear picture of where she is currently is and what decisions helped create the credit card debt.
2. Help your student make a plan for paying off the debtOne solution is for your college student to earn extra money working part-time to pay off the debt and map out a payment plan to get the bills paid off as quickly as possible. However, if your student is taking a full load of classes, this may take many years or cause their schoolwork to suffer because of working long hours on the job. And if they miss a payment, it can significantly impact your credit and you are a cosigner, as well.
Because of these limitations, Ulzheimer recommends that the parent to pay off the debt and then have the student pay back the parent either the whole amount or a portion of the debt with interest added. "The payback process isn't really as much about the money as about the effort and learning that you have to work to pay off your debts," says Ulzheimer.