I’m 71 and Can’t Work Much Longer But Have Debt. What Can I Do?


Dear Steve,

I am 71 years old and not able to work much longer.

I have credit card debt of almost $10,000, and I will have to quit working in November. I own my home and have no other bills, so I can survive on Social Security but not if I pay all my credit card debt. So what is the best solution? If I don’t pay, what can they do?



Dear Carolyn,

Welcome to retirement.

Do You Have a Question You'd Like Help With? Contact Debt Coach Damon Day. Click here to reach Damon.

You have some options. Every provider believes they have the best solution. Your choices range from:

  • Contact the nonprofit law firm HELPS for low-cost creditor interference.
  • Some debt reduction scam, there are many.
  • Maybe bankruptcy, depending on your state and details about your house’s equity. That approach really depends on many factors. Some people appreciate legally closing the door on old debts and never having to worry about them again.
  • A credit counseling Debt Management Plan, but that makes zero sense in your situation.
  • Witchcraft.
  • Luck.
  • Hope.
  • Prayer.

However, the most balanced solution would be to first talk to my Debt Coach friend Damon Day and discuss your overall situation. Damon is not going to push you to do anything. His role is to help triage your situation, give you options, and help you execute the custom plan you are most comfortable with.

Damon and I talked recently on this podcast about the steps people need to take first to deal with their debt. It is worth a listen.

Listen to the Podcast

You can subscribe to my podcast on any of these sites below.
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You asked me, what can creditors do if you don’t pay. They can do the usual stuff from attempting to collect the debt, all the way up to suing you. For some people life can become very stressful from just the collection attempts.

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But that anxiety is primarily caused by the lack of a plan on how you want to deal with the debt. Advice, education, and a plan bring knowledge and comfort.

Don’t worry. There are options here. It’s great to see you reaching out months early than a day late.

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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