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Q: To start paying off our substantial debt, should we borrow money from the bank or from mom and dad?

Diana says....
If your parents have deep pockets and are willing to help you out, go for it! Bor-rowing from the bank to pay off debts costs money and can take years to pay off. That said, no debt is the best debt and a bank loan is much less costly than paying high credit card interest rates for years. To prevent a repeat of expensive debt habits, give yourselves a reality check to see what your spending habits are really costing you. Take a look at your recent bank and credit card statements and highlight all of the items that weren’t necessary household expenses. Then add up the total of the “Want It (But Don’t Really Need It)” items and be prepared for a rude surprise. If you don’t control your money-burning habits, you’ll be heading back to ma and pa again before you know it. And next time, they might not be so generous!

Diana Cawfield is an award-winning financial writer with more than 10 years experience. Send her your questions here.