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'AITA for snapping after my parents used my college fund to help my brother and SIL?' UPDATED

'AITA for snapping after my parents used my college fund to help my brother and SIL?' UPDATED


A lot of situations can invoke feelings of betrayal.

"AITA for snapping my parents after they told me they used what was intended for college to help my brother and his family?"

I was not planning to go straight to college, I wanted to take a year off I saved up some money from work. More or less school, sports, and work is all I have done. I wanted to live a little before I go to college. I told my parents about this two years ago. I assured them I all intentions to go to school just wanted to live for a little before hand. It seems they were cool with it.

Advance about a year and a half I told my parents I was looking to start college next semester this is when they told me that I no longer had any money. They did not think I was going to use it, and my brother's wife was diagnosed with MS and can no longer work so they gave my brother my college fund. It was a sizable amount.

My parents did not do put it into a 529 plan, my father created an investment account that was in his name but intended for me. Last I was told total amount was around $224,418. Account has been open for 19 and half years. I get legally I had no claim to the money since it was in my father's name.

I also get I am not entitled to my parents financial assistance with higher education. All that being said, I lost it with my parents and told them off and said many hurtful things some I regret some I do not. My parents have told my family and been getting calls and texts stating how hurtful my comments were and the money my dad gave my brother and his family saved them.

My initial reaction is why is that my problem? I get it must suck going from two incomes to one, and having a two child on top of a wife with aggressive MS. While callous, how is that my problem? Why should my future he impacted over someone else's life? My father is not even willing to cosign a loan with me.

I mean I am still going to school, I know you go find ways to make it cheaper go to community college for gen Ed's and stuff the transfer. Many grants and scholarships. AITAH for more or less telling my family they all ducking suck trying to preserve the future of someone that has no real future. His wife MS has aggressively progressed in the brief time she has had it.

Gone from working to needing assistance getting to the bathroom. Sure it may not inherently be a life limting disease, but it sure is a mobility limiting disease and she is only 33 and she is already this bad? Hate to be that person my father made a bad investment. That money is going to get eaten up rather quickly.

Commenters had a lot to say in response.

Agoraphobe961 wrote:

Info: did at any point did you or other relatives besides parents contribute to the fund? Your first statement sounds like you did which could give you some leeway for a legal case or at least leverage to get your dad to co-sign. While you are not “owed” the money, your parents did spend 19 years giving you a verbal contract that you had a college fund

OP responded:

No I did not add to the account. I lived off the money I saved from working while also doing side hustles for extra cash when needed.

petitefunsassy wrote:

I don’t understand why they needed the entire amount right away. I don’t get how you can be close and communicating you will be going to college and they give away the money you were counting on without talking to you about it? I don’t get how your SIL ms issues aren’t covered by insurance and social security disability.

OP responded:

Living expenses, it appears getting disability for MS is rather annoying to get. I do not know the extra details but I do know his wife did make good money before, she made more than my brother. They also have kids so yeah I am sure they money helped them a lot. I do not know the ins and outs of their situation to answer your questions accurately.

Rattttttman wrote:

Best advice I’m going to give you: if you can avoid loans: APPLY FOR ANY AND EVERY SCHOLARSHIP YOU CAN !!! Also really really really brush up on your financial literacy. I’m about your age, but I grew up poor and am figuring college out this fall too. You got this, community college is also a super smart option! Make sure all of your credits will transfer!

Kafanska responded:

I really don't understand why are community colleges in USA so looked down upon, and why does everyone want to go to one for which they'll have to take out a loan that could cover most of an apartment/house.

Blucola333 wrote:

Question no one (that I can tell) has asked. Did your brother have a college fund, himself?

OP responded:

Yes he did, and was gifted a house when he got married.

The next day, OP shared an update.

Update: Have not read all of the comments, but wanted to clear some things up I have seen. I am going to be 20 in January. I did get accepted to U of Penn I will have to see what options are available for me, if nothing is available I will probably just go the state school route. Thankfully I am going to school for electrical engineering with a focus in power systems.

Hopefully means I will not have a hard time finding a job. Reason I took the year off before going to straight into college is because some friends I game with are also engineers and they told me if they had the option they would hold off a year or two before going to college since from that point on it is all a grind.

So that is what I did, I told my parents my plan they said they were okay with it and even told me the account was not going anywhere. It was my mistake to put my trust in my parents. I should have followed the the mindset only person you can count on is yourself. Which is what I am doing going forward. My family does not care about me, and that is fine.

I acknowledge what I said was harsh and I could have framed what I said better. Point still stands as others have pointed out. The money is a band aide, they are going to run through it and find themselves in a similar situation down the road. Sure I have options aviabile, but comparing them isn't getting my SIL on Medicaid a much cheaper and more viable option?

Insurance could help fund her treatments and assistance she may need for as long as she qualifies.

The money will run out, and what then? I hope for my brother's and his family sake our parents don't just pull the rug from underneath him later down the road.

As I have found out their word holds little value. I also do not believe for a moment everyone saying they would be understanding would be as understanding had this happen to them. It is easy to say from the sidelines but it is hard to be open minded to the situation when you planned around a certain thing being there especially because your parents promised you.

You expect your parents to be the ones that will keep a promise with their child.

Does not matter, at this point I know exactly where I stand. My brother not only had his college paid for by our parents, he has got a house from them as a wedding gift.

I am unaware if he knew the money he got was my college fund or what but I do not care at this point. I will be fine going forward this is not the end of the world for me. So many people go to school without their parents money I can also do it. This is less about the money and more so the fact they are taking a piss on me and trying to pass it off as rain.

I would have been more understanding if they just came to me at told me what they planned to do. I would be pissed but I could respect their honesty. How they went about it was scummy. To those that are also saying they parents would not sign my loans because of what I said. I asked about the cosigner before I said all those things.

At first I was upset but I knew with them cosigning I could still pay for school, and given their financial situation hopefully my rate would be on the lower side. Everything blew up the moment they told me they could not cosign a loan with me. So yeah I doubt that is why they said no. I will keep reading the comments and will answer some I see throughout the day.

The questions kept coming.

cgm124 wrote:

Honestly I would go NC and block them from your life, what did your parents say to you when you called them out?

OP responded:

Nothing to me, they just checked out. Clearly they had a lot to say to my family though. Given the phone calls and text messages. I know where I stand with them and yeah I am done with them.

heepofsheep wrote:

Have you talked to your brother? He basically got both college funds…would he be willing to at least co sign your loans? If your parents wanted to help that badly why didn’t they take a loan against their 401k?? Hell they could still do that fund your college. Except of course they’d be sacrificing their wellbeing instead of theirs….

OP responded:

Part of me wants to I really do but I am also afraid. I want to ask if he knew it was my college fund he was getting. I am afraid of the answer. Doubt I will ask though if I am being honest. Yeah that is a good question. Overall they probably feel the same way I do. Why should they have to suffer because another person is sick.

They just come off as being the good guys in this equation because they offered help. Knowing my parents especially my dad the money was never part of their plans. It was more or less extra money.


Absolutely NTA. If I was in your position I’m not sure I would talk to my parents ever again. Also all of the nasty stuff you said about her and the MS I’m sure are solely due to the hurt and feeling of loss of your future you are feeling right now. At least I hope so.

twewff4ever wrote:

Your comments about your SIL are terrible. Did she learn you said that stuff? I wish parents would be far more honest about college than they are. Were your parents the type to insist that you must go to college?

I firmly believe that parents like that should be forced to pay for college. You said your parents seemed cool with you taking time to off from school. Did they promise the money would be there and would be reserved for your use only?

Did you have an agreed upon timeline? Like a year and then you’d go to school?

ESH - you for your comments about your SIL. Your parents for not talking to you when they decided to use the money for her and for refusing to co-sign a loan. And all of you seem to have piss poor communication skills.

Giving $200k right off the bat was a major overreaction on their part. They should have talked to you and your brother when this came up and made a much more reasonable decision. Btw people with MS can still have a good life and contribute. I suggest you look up Rachel Miner. A friend of mine has MS and teaches. Your comments are incredibly offensive and ignorant.

Zinkerst wrote:

ESH. Your parents sure did a number on you not being upfront about things etc., and I can't help but feel that SOME of such a large amount could have been preserved for you, but really: "They all suck trying to preserve the future of someone that has no real future"

"she is only 33 and she is already this bad? Hate to be that person my father made a bad investment."

Yeah, as a person living with MS for 13 years now, yes, you're callous, and you suck.

BellaSantiago75 wrote:


What they did was crap, but the way you talk about your SIL is vile.

OP jumped on with a final comment.

I am more so mad that my older brother got his free ride, a house when he got married, and on top got my free ride also. Yeah I came to vent, I also don't buy others wouldn't be upset either.

My parents knew my plan, were on board, told me the money would be there when I was ready. Then when you go to collect they tell you it is all gone, and then when you ask if they would he willing to cosign they also say no.

Pretty sure most people would be livid in that situation also. Sure maybe they would say what I said but the raw emotion probably would be present in nearly everyone. It is easy to say from the sidelines how they would handle it. Sure I am sure people will say they will handle it with grace. Good for you.

I will be fine, I am still going to school and I will make sure to learn my lesson that I cannot count on my parents to keep their word and I will make sure I never in a position where I am relying on handouts. My parents taught me a great lesson cannot trust anyone but yourself not even family.

Sources: Reddit
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