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I’m Going Through a Divorce and Trying to Keep Clean Credit. – Julie

“Dear Steve,

Going through a divorce. Currently paying half the mortgage and rent. My daughter lives with me. FT college student-hasn’t worked in a year so I am also paying her car lease payment that I am a co-signer on. Paying utilities at home and rental property. I have maxed out on 2 different credit cards-using them to pay my bills.

How can I get these credit cards paid off without hurting my credit report? I am starting off new and want to keep a clean credit history.


Dear Julie,

Frankly, I don’t see how.

The problem is that the reason the cards are maxed out is because you have been using them to make ends meet. Your cash flow is already negative, you’ve just been masking it with the cards.

Even a debt consolidation loan seems unreasonable in this situation. If you consolidated those cards you’d be unable to pay for the loan in your current situation.

I’m afraid you are going to have to face some difficult choices and make adjustments to get your current financial life to fit within your current income. That might mean bankruptcy, losing the car, and shedding the credit card debt in an attempt to get back within your income. It also might mean your FT college student might have to drop out or reduce her schedule and get a job to pay for her own car, expenses, and maybe pitch in for rent. If you were not absorbing that expense then quite possibly a debt consolidation loan from LendingClub might work and protect your credit.

And while I’m raining on your parade, if your cards are maxed out, that’s already hurting your credit.

The other alternative is to increase your income but in this economy I don’t really see that as a likely solution.

I wish I had better news for you but it is what it is.

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.


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.

P.S. Be sure to read ‘The Secret of Surviving Through Difficult Economic Times. What I Learned On My Journey‘.

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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