Ask the Money Coach: 5 Steps to Take When a Relative Ruins Your Credit

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Issue an Ultimatum

If that person’s credit is bad (which it likely is) and they can’t get credit, a phone, electric service or cable in their own name, that’s their issue to deal with; not yours. A week’s time is plenty of notice for them to take action. Tell them that if they don’t handle it in a week, you will be forced to contact those creditors and utilities directly and advise them of the situation – including divulging their identity. Hopefully, you will be stern and straightforward enough in your approach to this person that he/she will know that you mean business. 

At this point, I’m still not saying that you have to turn the person in (although they do deserve it). But neither should you be held continually responsible for someone else’s financial mess.

Issue an Ultimatum

If that person’s credit is bad (which it likely is) and they can’t…