I currently have liquidated all my assets (savings, checking, CD’s) and have not tapped into my 401(k) yet. I am newly employed at a school district and make $32,275/year. I am now living paycheck to paycheck. My current debt is car loan of $10,943 at an interest rate of 5.5% and monthly payment of $552 – I am currently ALWAYS 15 days late on its payment since my new employment. I also have a total of $34,336.24 in credit card debt and additional $100K+ student loan balance. I have borrowed some money from family members. I still live with my parents because I cannot afford to rent anywhere.
I want to get out of this debt hole, but I’m not sure what to do or where to go or what is my next step. It’s ruining my self-esteem and quality of life where I cannot even purchase gas to get to work or groceries for the week. I need A LOT of help and direction.
Well the answer is pretty basic. Debt problems are solved by either increasing income, reducing expenses or a combination of the both.
I would imagine as a new teacher it would be difficult to take on a second job right now. But many teachers do work as bartenders, waiters or servers to help supplement income. That extra income can be used to pay down the debt.
If, as I suspect, i’s not really a possibility for you to take on a second job right now then bankruptcy is a logical solution. With bankruptcy your debt can be eliminated or reduced and give you a chance to move forward. And let’s say you did get a second job latter once you become more adjusted to your new teaching environment, you could use that money to help pay off your student loan.
I’m not trying to be cavalier about your credit card debt but that student loan debt is a massive mountain of debt that needs to be addressed. Student loan debt is not dischargeable in bankruptcy and it will follow you to your grave unless we focus on eliminating that first.
Now if we flash forward a few years and you’ve made a real dent in the student loan debt and your income has risen, how would that make you feel? Pretty good huh?
The only fair thing to do is for you to accept responsibility for your debt, deal with it, and strongly look at bankruptcy. In fact you can click here to find a local bankruptcy attorney you might like. Continuing to borrow from family doesn’t help anyone and it certainly doesn’t change your situation but taking definitive action will.
And don’t touch that 401(k). Those funds are protected from your creditors and you will desperately need them to grow for you to use when you are older.
So what do you think, does that sound like a reasonable approach to consider?