Francine, now 62, is careful not to blame anyone else for her financial faults, but she says her parents didn’t help – because they were too thrifty.
“My mother never had a charge card, so I wasn’t raised knowing about credit,” she says. “If she didn’t have cash, she didn’t buy it.”
But Francine grew up in the era of increasingly easy-to-get credit, and that led to 13 cards and no self-control. “It just got easier and easier,” she says.
Her own children – a 42-year-old son and a 36-year-old daughter – have learned from both her mistakes and her advice. Still, “One of them I’m a little concerned about, but the other one doesn’t want to go where his mother has been.”
She prays her three grandchildren and one great-grandchild fare better financially. Her hope? “They start teaching this stuff in high school,” she says. “That’s when they need to learn” what she didn’t.
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: Ask Stacy: Where Can I Go for Help with Debt? Dealing with Debt: Credit Counseling Will Credit Counseling Hurt My Credit Score? The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.