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I’ve Lost My Income, Should I Consolidate My Debt With Clearpoint?

Written by Steve Rhode


Dear Steve,

Until 10/4/16, I was working and I had a whole lot of debt, but at least I was working and able to pay payments and close small cards.

Currently, immigration did not renew my work authorization, and I am basically waiting for immigration to make a decision so it is limbo phase where I cannot work. It’s really tough and my savings are about gone and I am using them for rent, utilities and to support my wife and 2 kids.

In cards I have about 50k and a loan for 20k that has a ridiculous interest rate. so about 70k in total

I am really financially lost as what to do. Should I talk to a consolidation agency such as Incharge or Clearpoint to consolidate, or file for Bankruptcy? What consequences are there for bankruptcy? Will I forget about being able to lease an apartment if I want to move ?

Thanks for your help.



Dear A,

Let’s get real here for a minute and then get you on the right path.

Your financial situation was problematic before you lost the work authorization. You’ve exhausted your savings in a month or so and you are in debt from before. That’s evidence you were financing a lifestyle you couldn’t afford and running in the red prior to losing the employment.

Forget consolidation. You can’t enter into a payment plan with money you don’t have coming in.

And while bankruptcy is probably the most likely solution, it’s not right now. You might as well wait till all the bad financial news hits the fan and then go for a bankruptcy fresh start just before you begin to work again.

Until the income issue is resolved, there is no rush to take any other action. While you wait to have the income situation resolved, you will just have to be honest with the collectors that might call and not run and hide out of fear. Your situation is what it is, sucky.

So the primary focus here has to be income and not debt. Maybe your wife will need to go out and get a job and you can be the stay at home dad for a while, maybe you need to go do Uber or deliver pizzas for a minute and get some income flowing some other way. Afterall, do you have any estimate on how long it might take to regain your work authorization in the current political environment? A day, month, or year?

As far as the ability to rent an apartment in the future, what difference does the credit make at this point when you have no income to afford to rent one anyway? When, not if, you file bankruptcy, you can get back in better shape fairly quickly. Read How to Rent a Lovely Home or Apartment After Bankruptcy.

Stop worrying about the debt at this point. Turn around and focus on the real problem at the moment, income.

Once you resolve that issue then come back and I’ll help you move to the next phase of your new and better financial life.


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.


      • Thank you for your reply Steve, I understood all your points except this : “And while bankruptcy is probably the most likely solution, it’s not right now. –>You might as well wait till all the bad financial news hits the fan and then go for a bankruptcy<– fresh start just before you begin to work again."
        Waiting till all the bad financial news hits fan, meaning after I stop paying all the payments on the cards??? Do you mean the aftermath of that?

        • I mean that dealing with your debt makes no sense until you begin to see hope you will climb out of this pit. If you file bankruptcy now but don’t solve the income problem then more financial problems are likely and once you use your Chapter 7 bankruptcy refresh you can’t use it again for another 8 years. Get all the crap past you then clean it up.

          The situation for your financial future isn’t hopeless. Quite the opposite actually. Make good choices about increasing income and preserving current dollars. We can clear up the mess later and you’ll be fine.

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