We are in over our head in bills.. 3 years ago we had a medical emergency with 3 of our children.. just when we think we are gaining the company my husband worked for made some major cuts in jobs and hours/trips.. We’ve borrowed so much, maxed out credit cards and just can’t catch up.
Amy advice on where to start to get on our feet again?
There was a time when I was deep in debt, afraid, confused, alone, and depressed about the mess. I would expect you feel a similar amount of stress and anxiety over your situation.
But the biggest secret I’ve learned in the following 27 years is that you can’t let your debt define you.
The pressure that debt brings makes people do things that make no logical sense. People will borrow and borrow to make things better. It most often does not. Or others will turn to credit cards or loans to make ends meet. And that works for a period of time, until it doesn’t.
It’s no surprise that medical debt is the leading cause of bankruptcy. Once something happens, typically beyond your control, that alters the balance between income and making ends meet, then it’s only a matter of time before the situation must really be dealt with. In this case it took three years for it to hit the wall.
I don’t care what anyone might tell you, including yourself. You are not a loser or failure for finding yourself in this situation. Debt problems are really just simple math problems wrapped layers deep in emotion. It’s the emotion and perceptions of self-worth or self-esteem that cause most people to string out truly dealing with their debt.
If we distill your situation down to the most basic components what we actually have is a situation that suffers from a massive debt explosion and a reduction in income. That math is never going to add up. Getting out of debt is either eliminating debt, increasing income, or a combination of the both.
You may want to read “How to Get Out of Debt. The Honest and Unvarnished Truth” and “How Do I Get Out of Debt Quickly? Change Your Mindset.”
There is a seemingly never ending number of companies that would love to sell you some sort of magic debt relief wand but truthfully and honestly what you most need is a fresh start.
You need a way to end this ridiculous slide deeper into debt and have a shot of being able to live within your current income. That new financial life should also include saving money to build up your emergency savings account so you’ll have money on hand to deal with financial surprises. And you’ve also got to start saving for retirement as well.
Based on what you shared with me it seems very clear what you should look at first is to consider bankruptcy. This will give you a legal fresh start, protect you from your creditors, and give you the least expensive and fastest way out of debt.
There are three things I think you should look at to help you make an informed decision.
First, you should look at my online Get Out of Debt Calculator and compare your debt relief options.
Second, you should read “How to Find a Great Bankruptcy Attorney” and don’t just leap at the first attorney you talk to. Most bankruptcy attorneys offer free consultations so start scheduling a few appointments.
Finally, you absolutely need to realize bankruptcy will help you to do better financially, and faster. Most people think that can’t possibly be true, but it is. Read “Those That File Bankruptcy Do Better Than Those That Don’t.”
Please post an update for me in the comments and let me know what path you decide to choose and how things are going.