DEAR BRUCE: Please help me. I let my 32-year-old daughter use my credit card. She has come into some hard times and needed a little extra help. I've always maintained a zero balance, paying it off every month. Unfortunately, she has run up the card considerably, and I don't want to be associated with it anymore. Is there any way I can remove my name from the card? My credit is in perfect shape, and I want to keep it that way. How can I handle this situation? I don't make a habit of this. — L.H., via e-mail

DEAR BRUCE: Please help me. I let my 32-year-old daughter use my credit card. She has come into some hard times and needed a little extra help. I've always maintained a zero balance, paying it off every month. Unfortunately, she has run up the card considerably, and I don't want to be associated with it anymore. Is there any way I can remove my name from the card? My credit is in perfect shape, and I want to keep it that way. How can I handle this situation? I don't make a habit of this. — L.H., via e-mail

DEAR L.H.: I understand precisely what you did — you did it out of love — but I'm afraid that you're stuck. The money was loaned (that's what a credit-card balance is) on the strength of your good credit. If she is having financial problems, there is no way the credit-card issuer is going to suddenly let you slide because it understands why you don't want this obligation. As long as that balance is outstanding, you're on the hook. You certainly have not helped things by adding your daughter's name to the account. It might be a good idea to close the account, and explain to the credit-card company that you're closing it — so no more charges can be made. Hopefully, your daughter will continue to make the payments, reducing the outstanding balances. Understand that, until such time as those balances are satisfied, it will be your legal responsibility, not your daughter's.

Send your questions to: Smart Money, P.O. Box 2095, Elfers, FL 34680. E-mail to: bruce@brucewilliams.com.