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I Am a College Student With Credit Card Debt. How Do I Hide From the Collectors? – Dora

“Dear Steve,

I am a 23 year old student who not only has debt from college loans and also credit card debt from last year (on 3 credit cards that have all been closed). I ran up a huge amount of debt in a short time and as of now I am unemployed. I am not able to work cause I’m still in school and it’s just too much to handle at once with school work and a job. Hence, I have “no” money saved to pay off my debt from last year (2008 summer/fall) and not even anything in an account.

I closed my bank account a long time ago, as my parents have been helping me pay college tuition. I cannot stop the collection agencies’ phone calls, and they’re daily. They gave me a “settlment” amount, which was basically cut in half but even that I cannot pay.

What can do I do to hide? I can move in with my fiance at a n unknown address a half hour away. Will they be able to find me if I move in with him and switch my cell phone number? Or, should I consider declaring bankruptcy, since I have no money at all to pay the amount? If I was able to hide from them would they at least leave me alone finally and give up, or would I possibly be arrested if they found me? I really am scared and need your advice. I don’t have the money, PERIOD!

Of all the options I listed above, what would you suggest doing and what does it involve? Thank you so much.

Dora”

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The Answer

 

Dear Dora,

The best I can offer you here is a fatherly lesson and a big hug.

Dora, you need to accept responsibility for the mess as it exists today. I realize that wasn’t your desired outcome. It is what it is.

Hiding is not an effective solution here. Hiding just means you are on the run but that does nothing to change all the underlying issues here. So let’s say you hide, then what. The creditors will sue you in your absence and you will then have judgments against you. What did hiding accomplish?

No, I’m afraid you are going to have to ‘cowgirl up’ (a bumper sticker I saw recently) and actually address the issue head on. The reality is you don’t have any income to repay your debts. You can either take some time off of college and go out and make money to repay your debts or you can go bankrupt, stop collections and rebuild your credit latter.

While you are learning a lot in your college course, this is a great lesson in the harsh realities of contracts. The creditors enticed or encouraged you to get the cards. At the very least, they made it easy. And guess what, they are going to punish you under the law for not living up to your end of the credit card agreement.

All of that is 100% legal. When you took out the card you made a promise to pay, you used the card, and now for whatever reason you are not paying. I’m not judging you here, just showing you there are real consequences to entering any offer or contract.

Contracts are not innocent or casual documents you sign to get the thing you want. They have real life consequences and that’s the lesson here.

My advice is that you should click here to find a local bankruptcy attorney you like. Go talk to them and learn what bankruptcy would mean for you. Under bankruptcy, which is a legal process administered by the courts, collection calls will stop, judgments will be blocked and your debt will be forgiven. Best yet, this issue will be closed and you will not have to hide from it in the future.

Facing your debt situation is emotionally tough but takes less energy that constantly being on the run. Don’t hide, deal with it.

Please update me on your progress by posting updates here in the comments section of your question. I’m very interested in how this works out for you.

Big Hug!

I Am a College Student With Credit Card Debt. How Do I Hide From the Collectors?   Dora
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P.S. Be sure to read ‘The Secret of Surviving Through Difficult Economic Times. What I Learned On My Journey‘.

If you have a credit or debt question you’d like to ask just use the online form. I’m happy to help you totally for free.

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About Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode
Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
  • SYOBO Works

    Dora is a college student with credit card debt. This is not unusual. It is a state of affairs, in fact, that gives many twenty-somethings comfort to know they’re a part in sharing with other twenty-somethings. Isn’t that how we’ve been raised to think throughout grammar school and high school and college? If everybody else is doing it, how can it be bad?

    However, she is also a runaway slave. That’s not too comforting, now is it?

    She is not a runaway slave of the chattel slavery sort, but she is a runaway slave of the indebted servitude kind. She is an indentured servant. That means that she is bound by contract to work for a fixed period of time, typically several years, in exchange for the food, clothing, lodging, transportation, training and other necessities that she uses during her term of indenture. And all her years in college are part of that term of indenture.

    If she is unwilling to meet her contract, someone must redeem her. Who is willing to be her redeemer? Who is willing to be the redeemer of the millions of students like her who are well on their way to a similar crisis as that which she is now confronting? And, if someone redeems her without her making any effort whatsoever to pay back as much as she possibly can without becoming irredeemable, then why should anyone attempt to redeem her?

    Worse yet, were she to say that she “deserves” to be redeemed, as so many in her class have the audacity to utter with a self-righteous sense of entitlement (“I was tricked into borrowing thousands of dollars to spend a year in Italy studying History of Renaissance Music Therapeutics…”), then why should she be redeemed at all?

    The best advice to give Dora is to understand that childhood has been long over for her and no responsible adult will express or practice real mercy toward her unless she first recognizes her errors and then attempts to make amends for them. With such an expression of maturity will come the kind of help that she needs.

    I do not recommend that she look into bankruptcy first. I recommend that she stop getting in debt immediately, step out of the college life bubble and start working like a maniac to pay off her debts. She ought to attempt to renegotiate her debts, once she comes to know de facto what she is able to command as a wage earner in the market.

    If her creditors are unwilling to reason with her, then she should own up to the fact that she will be an indentured slave for several years. But I do strongly urge her then to make it no more than a decade of her life and to strive for manumission with the help of some advocate.

    I know I’m using archaic language. It is because we have a generation that has embraced archaic behavior and is living archaic miseries for which archaic remedies were effective enough to give us subsequent freedoms, that we’ve traded back today for evils of the past.

    My strongest recommendation to students like Dora is to become entrepreneurial to get out of debt as quickly as your full youthful energies and desires to help your neighbors will allow. Here is a further elaboration on that point: http://www.startingyourownbusi

  • http://www.startingyourownbusinessovernight.com/who-are-the-munoz.html SYOBO Works

    Dora is a college student with credit card debt. This is not unusual. It is a state of affairs, in fact, that gives many twenty-somethings comfort to know they’re a part in sharing with other twenty-somethings. Isn’t that how we’ve been raised to think throughout grammar school and high school and college? If everybody else is doing it, how can it be bad?

    However, she is also a runaway slave. That’s not too comforting, now is it?

    She is not a runaway slave of the chattel slavery sort, but she is a runaway slave of the indebted servitude kind. She is an indentured servant. That means that she is bound by contract to work for a fixed period of time, typically several years, in exchange for the food, clothing, lodging, transportation, training and other necessities that she uses during her term of indenture. And all her years in college are part of that term of indenture.

    If she is unwilling to meet her contract, someone must redeem her. Who is willing to be her redeemer? Who is willing to be the redeemer of the millions of students like her who are well on their way to a similar crisis as that which she is now confronting? And, if someone redeems her without her making any effort whatsoever to pay back as much as she possibly can without becoming irredeemable, then why should anyone attempt to redeem her?

    Worse yet, were she to say that she “deserves” to be redeemed, as so many in her class have the audacity to utter with a self-righteous sense of entitlement (“I was tricked into borrowing thousands of dollars to spend a year in Italy studying History of Renaissance Music Therapeutics…”), then why should she be redeemed at all?

    The best advice to give Dora is to understand that childhood has been long over for her and no responsible adult will express or practice real mercy toward her unless she first recognizes her errors and then attempts to make amends for them. With such an expression of maturity will come the kind of help that she needs.

    I do not recommend that she look into bankruptcy first. I recommend that she stop getting in debt immediately, step out of the college life bubble and start working like a maniac to pay off her debts. She ought to attempt to renegotiate her debts, once she comes to know de facto what she is able to command as a wage earner in the market.

    If her creditors are unwilling to reason with her, then she should own up to the fact that she will be an indentured slave for several years. But I do strongly urge her then to make it no more than a decade of her life and to strive for manumission with the help of some advocate.

    I know I’m using archaic language. It is because we have a generation that has embraced archaic behavior and is living archaic miseries for which archaic remedies were effective enough to give us subsequent freedoms, that we’ve traded back today for evils of the past.

    My strongest recommendation to students like Dora is to become entrepreneurial to get out of debt as quickly as your full youthful energies and desires to help your neighbors will allow. Here is a further elaboration on that point: http://www.startingyourownbusinessovernight.com/college-student-debt.html

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