My parents are in debt and want to take a loan out in my name. Should I let them?

My parents are in their early fifties and have taken on some serious debt from their investments. They were originally pretty comfortable and in fair financial shape, but they lost a lot of money from WaMu and their stock investments. They then decided that the way to get out of it was to invest their remaining money and get loans from the bank to invest in all the foreclosed and cheap real estate available because of the mortgage crisis. Their plan was to buy these properties and rent them out to people, but the people they rent out to don’t have good credit and keep not paying rent for months at a time or running out on them all together. They’ve pretty much gotten to the point where the bank refuses to loan them any more money, and they’ve acquired about 4 or 5 of these rental houses. They’re also carrying high-interest credit card debt.

They’ve now come to me asking if I will basically take out a loan from the bank to “buy” one of these properties from them. They’d basically use the money I would get from this loan to pay off some of their high-interest credit card debt, and transfer the title of the house to my name. They would take responsibility for paying back the loan every month. They say that it would be beneficial to me because it would be adding to my credit history while I wouldn’t have to do anything, basically, except allow them to use my name to get a loan.

I don’t know what to do. I’m very wary about this because I’m about a year out of college, have never bought property or taken out a loan on anything before, and I make about 47,000 a year in a big city and am single without children. I wouldn’t be using the house that they’d transfer to my name, since I don’t live near them. I think they’d continue to try to rent it out.

I feel obligated to let them do this because my mom did spend probably tens of thousands of dollars on me up until I graduated college and we are family. However, I don’t want to potentially ruin my credit before I’ve even had the chance to use to any large degree yet. II might want to buy a house or condo in the next couple of years and I’m wondering if this will affect my ability to do so, if I already have a house or loan out under my name.

Also, they’ve made some really risky and bad decisions about money in the past, so I don’t want them to pull me down too if they can’t make the loan payments or make other bad decisions.

Also, if I let them use me to do this, I would feel like I should have a say in their future financial doings, which they might ignore or resent. I don’t want them to keep buying properties or investing in things they can’t afford, and I don’t want them to keep lending to people with bad credit.

Please give me some thoughtful advice about what to do! I’m just a kid out of college with my first real job, and I have no idea about getting loans from banks and my savings total to less than $ 5,000. I’d appreciate any help!

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