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I Feel Like a Failure Because I Can’t Afford Christmas – Worried Mom

Written by Steve Rhode


Dear Steve,

I am so lost right now and just need someones advice. I’m a single mom of a seven year old girl and I’m expecting my second child. I have been struggling with debt for such a long time. I have outstanding balances with payday loan companies, credit cards in collections (from divorce) & my credit score is 550.

I have tried applying for a debt consolidation loan recently to help me get out of my current situation but keep getting denied. Feels like each month I’m digging myself a bigger hole because I’m borrowing money. I won’t be able to give my little girl Christmas this year if I can’t find help/solution.

I make good money for a single mom and I have been with the same company for over 4 years, My payments for everything I have are high due to my credit score and history. I want help to get out of hole I’m in but no one will help me. What can I do? Please help!

Worried Mom


Dear Worried Mom,

Thank you for contacting me. While I’m going to give you the advice you need to hear, you just might not be in a safe emotional place to hear it and so it might sail right past.

The emotional baggage that people place on Christmas is incredible. So many people think Christmas is connected with the things we can buy. Kids are taught to expect that. The sad fact is the true gift of Christmas is not material, it’s emotional. The gift of your time or your daughters time is the greatest gift you can give or receive.

More playtime together, special outings with your daughter, maybe cookie making or something else joyful can be the most meaningful gifts. I realize that is all very easy to say but it happens to be true. Gloves wear out and get thrown away, strong family relationships don’t have to.

READ  It Will Make You Laugh. Merry Christmas From Steve, Pam and the Rhode Dogs

I urge you to read The Guilt of Christmas Present.

If you want to buy something affordable for your 7-year-old then layaway is the best bet.

On the other debt you’ve got to get to the point of realizing more borrowing is not going to serve as a bridge, it’s just going to accelerate your fall down this dark pit.

From what you describe you’ve already turned to last resort payday lenders and you are drowning. At this point the best thing you can do is to stop paying your bills and file bankruptcy later or just file bankruptcy now and get a fresh start.

Your credit score is low but the current cycle you are in is just keeping it low and won’t give you a chance to improve it. Rebuilding your credit after bankruptcy is a simple process. Read How to Easily Rebuild Your Credit and Have Good Credit Again After Bankruptcy.

And bankruptcy should not feel like a failure, it should feel like the legal blessing it is for people in impossible situations. Read So You Are Going to File Bankruptcy. That’s Great News. Congratulations.

Today is only the worst day of your life if you let it be. With some clarity and focus it can be the first day of a better life ahead.


You are not alone. I'm here to help. There is no need to suffer in silence. We can get through this. Tomorrow can be better than today. Don't give up.

About the author

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.


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