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We Have to Use the Credit Cards for Food and Gas. We Don’t Want to File Bankruptcy. – Linda

“Dear Damon,

My husband and I got into credit card debt right out of college. We started off making about 50K per year, and have built our way up to 100K per year. I am a teacher and he works in food production. We relied on credit way too heavily our first 10 years of marriage, bought a house we couldn’t afford and our now struggling to pay for daily needs. We have two children, one with special needs who requires extra care and causes some medical bills.

For the past three years, we’ve bought gas and groceries on credit cards, and now the credit has run out. We’ve talked to three of our creditors and started payback plans with lower montly payments. We’ve sold many, many assets in our house (extra car, boat, furniture, etc). We’ve taken on extra jobs. We talked to a credit counselor two years ago who advised us to declare bankruptcy. (not an option we want to consider) We’ve borrowed money from relatives, borrowed from my husband’s 401K, etc.

Can I cash in my 403B? Is it even allowed? I have 15K in an account with WEA trust. They do not allow loans. (My husband has about 100K in his 401K (with the loan) and I have a retirement pension through the school when I retire.)

Linda”

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The Answer

Hello Linda,

It looks like you have a lot of things going on here and I can’t tell you what to do based on the limited information that you have provided.

May I ask how much debt are you carrying, and why do you feel that Bankruptcy is not an option for you?

I am not saying that is my recommendation, I would just like to know why you feel it isn’t an option.

Before you start wiping out your retirement we really need to put all the options on the table and cover the pros and the cons of each.

Please answer those two questions for me in the comments below and we can run through some options.

We Have to Use the Credit Cards for Food and Gas. We Dont Want to File Bankruptcy.   LindaWe Have to Use the Credit Cards for Food and Gas. We Dont Want to File Bankruptcy.   LindaDamon is a talented independent debt coach that provides in-depth assistance and consultations for people struggling with debt. If you want a personal debt coach to help you through a difficult situation or want assistance to find secret discounts offered by debt settlement companies I think Damon Day is an excellent person to contact for advice and assistance. He can be reached directly at DamonDay.com

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Damon Day
Damon Day is a talented Debt Coach who offers fee based consultations to consumers as an alternative to the typical free debt relief consultations which are nothing more than thinly veiled sales pitches lacking any real information to help a consumer make a good decision. You can learn more about how he can protect you from getting ripped off at DamonDay.com
  • Johana

    Not quite the same situation but also have a large amount of credit card debt that I want to consolidate, however my only income is SDI.  So what to do?

  • Linda

    Thanks for taking my question, Damon.  We owe $7000 on a secured loan (paid down from $25000 with a lien on my husband’s truck), I have only $3000 left in student loans, but we owe $45000 to Citibank, $25000 to MBNA, $15000 to Cabelas and Menards, and $4500 to Discover.  The secured loan and student loan will be paid off in 22 months, which will free up over $800 per month.  Also, my son will be starting kindergarten, which will alleviate daycare costs. 

    I called my 403B provider today and they do not allow loans or early withdrawals.  So that’s out.

    Any ideas?  As of right now, we pay all our bills and are about $500 short per month, not counting gas and groceries.  We’ve survived each month by selling assets on Craigslist, my husband got a small bonus for Christmas, I worked summer school, etc…

  • Linda

    Thanks for taking my question, Damon.  We owe $7000 on a secured loan (paid down from $25000 with a lien on my husband’s truck), I have only $3000 left in student loans, but we owe $45000 to Citibank, $25000 to MBNA, $15000 to Cabelas and Menards, and $4500 to Discover.  The secured loan and student loan will be paid off in 22 months, which will free up over $800 per month.  Also, my son will be starting kindergarten, which will alleviate daycare costs. 

    I called my 403B provider today and they do not allow loans or early withdrawals.  So that’s out.

    Any ideas?  As of right now, we pay all our bills and are about $500 short per month, not counting gas and groceries.  We’ve survived each month by selling assets on Craigslist, my husband got a small bonus for Christmas, I worked summer school, etc…

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