I’m Deep in Cash Advance Debt on My Credit Cards From Helping My Boyfriend and Family. – Melissa

“Dear Steve,

$16,000 in credit card debt(8500on one card,7100 on another) the 7100 is mostly cash advances for family needing help now im stuck with the bill 8500 is from when i was in nursing school and from a fiance who thought money grew on trees, the card for 8500 interest rate is being raised to 21.99 percent,due to the economy I guess because I have never been late on a payment.

How do I get out from under the outrageous interest rates to get this debt paid off as soon as possible and what is the best way to go about it. I want to go back to school but I dont want to add anymore debt before paying this off.


Dear Melissa,

I can steer you out of this mess but that is not going to address the underlying issue here, you appear to be an enabler. I’m making this judgment solely based on the information you provided. You became the source of very expensive cash advance funds to a family member and funded a boyfriend that used you as his bank.

You’ve got to learn that it is okay to say no and sometimes that is the kindest thing you can do for everyone.

I’m positive the family situation was bad but what happened is they transferred their crisis to you. Cash advance credit card debt is the absolute worst type of debt you can have. The interest rates are the highest of all and you will be charged that debt until all the debt on the card is paid off.

In a perfect world the family you helped out should be making an extra effort to help get that debt repaid as soon as possible. Are they?

I’ve seen the boyfriend/girlfriend thing many times before. In fact I have some friends now where she is constantly enabling him by buying him stuff using limited money from her fathers death inheritance. I mention to her constantly that she needs to leave that money alone but she feels he won’t love her if she does not appease him with things he wants. It is a dead end street. These things never end well. What she does not recognize is she does this because of her self-esteem issues.

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I think the worst case I ever saw was a boyfriend that desperately wanted a new hot car. His credit was bad. The girlfriend wanted to help him out so she pledged her car as collateral for his loan. He drove the car off the lot and she never saw him again. She lost her car.

Melissa, at some point you need to ask yourself if your boyfriend loves you for you, or you for your credit. My advice is that you need to sit him down in a kind way and let him know things are going to change. If you are going to help him out by getting something, he needs to pay you back for whatever it is. In a relationship two people cleave (my word of the day) together to form a unified bond. They pool their income and pay expenses from that pool. From what you’ve shared it sounds like all he is doing is dipping out of your pond but not pouring anything back in. If so, he’s using you.

My best advice is this situation is nearly beyond repair. You have two choices. If you can afford the regular payments on these cards and are prepared to have the cards closed and repay them over six years then you should look at a debt management program. You can click here to get debt management information.

But, if you are ready to make some radical changes in your life and stop the enabling then looking at bankruptcy as a fresh start is not an unreasonable idea. If that sounds more like where you are right now then click here to find a local bankruptcy attorney you like.

Please update me on your progress by

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

Damon Day - Pro Debt Coach

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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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