I Am Unemployed and Can’t Pay My Charge Card Bills. – Fran

“Dear Steve,

I was laid off a year ago and apply to jobs/agencies daily to no avail. I am using up what little money I got from a slip and fall lawsuit that I had to accept a horrible offer on which is my small savings acct. and I am really scared – once it’s gone, I can’t afford my mortgage for my small condo, car ins., living expenses and a horrible $600/month health ins. cobra pymt!

I was told I can’t modify my mortgage since I am unemployed. I have no where I can go, can’t sell since I owe more. I have not paid any of my charge cards in 8 months, since I can’t afford it. I am afraid to go bankrupt at 50 years old, my mortgage adjusts next May…..OMG….I can’t sleep at night, my phone rings constantly from creditors, I am so depressed, worried, anxious. I am on the ext. of unemployment which ONLY covers the mortgage and soon that will end. What do I do? Help me!

I am unemployed, using my savings to live and unemployment and can’t pay my charge card bills, what do I do?


Dear Fran,

First, take a deep breath, I’m here now. We can work through this together.

The stress is amplified by the fear and collection pressure you are under. That stress leads to depression if unchecked and depression leads to inactivity and inactivity leads to you just waiting for all the bad stuff to happen to you.

First, forget paying on the credit cards. They are not a priority debt. Your mortgage, utilities and health insurance is much more important. But even then, you are running out of savings and the unemployment is going to stop soon, you say.

So, everything aside, the number one priority is to find a replacement for the income. If there is nothing available in your area, you need to move to a place their are jobs. Some parts of the country don’t have enough applicants for all the jobs available. Take North Dakota for example. The unemployment rate there is 60% lower than the national average.

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At 50 you don’t need to worry about feeling like you are at the end of the road. I hear 50 is the new 30 since we are all going to be working till we are 90.

If you decide that relocating before you run out of cash is the way to go then stop paying your mortgage. The best approach will be to tidy up all this unmanageable debt with bankruptcy so you can get a true fresh start some place else. But the key here is if you’ve waited too long and used up all your available cash. Hopefully you have enough to move and pay a deposit on a rental unit someplace else. You’ll also have to pay for bankruptcy.

And bankruptcy will stop the collection calls and leave this debt behind you. Your credit can get rebuilt once you have income coming in again.

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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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4 thoughts on “I Am Unemployed and Can’t Pay My Charge Card Bills. – Fran”

  1. i think the best thing to do is just chop up all your credit cards
    move out of your pad into a rental go on welfare live in a box
    and move onto the whitehouse lawn

  2. i think the best thing to do is just chop up all your credit cards
    move out of your pad into a rental go on welfare live in a box
    and move onto the whitehouse lawn

  3. I here what your saying. I am 55 pretty much in the same boat.The thing that bothers me the most about this ression is that it was caused by the very same banks that the tax payers bailed out.Whats even more upsetting is the fact that know one is doing anything about it.The banks have caused tremendous suffering from their irresponsible and abusive activities.Risky loans,Credit default swaps,structured investment vehicles, and the list goes on and on.Where are the regulators?Where is the bailout for the American People?I have plenty of information to share.

  4. Oh my goodness sakes, I would never have thought this could happen. I am like a lot of others, 50 yrs. old, laid off, never ever had trouble getting work before, but now am starting to wonder if I will ever get work again. My husband is 61 and had to take a paycut, I am kicking myself so hard, we sold our mobile home 4 yrs ago and bought this house, oh God, how I wish I had that mobile back. We bought a fixer and thought we would at least be here 10 yrs and could get back what we put into the home at minimum, now over 100k upside down. I am so frightened that we will end up without a home, we have no family and I am finding out not really any friends either. I am so scared we have pets that are like our family. I look at this house and cry and now I look at my furr babies and cry. I just do not know how we will survive. My self esteem has taken a real hit, I just feel like I am in some surreal nightmare and just cannot wake up


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