I Feel Like I’m Drowning in My Debt. I Can’t Breathe and I’m in Tears. – Erika

“Dear Steve,

Hi there,

I am writing you today because I feel like I am drowning. I woke up at 5 this morning in tears because of it. I am sure a lot of people who write you say the same thing. I am a divorced mother of two and I make about $36,000 a year as an administrative assistant.

I got myself in way over my head with credit cards. I have four of them totaling just about $20,000. With the rest of my bills – rent, insurance, car payment, etc I have no money (literally) left over for things like groceries and gas. That is what got me into trouble in the credit cards anyway – I would put groceries and such on them.

Now I am making $600 a month payments just in credit card bills. I am beyond scared and don’t know what I should do. I unfortunately can’t get a second job, due to my kid’s schedule between the back and forth with their dad. And if bankruptcy is the only way out, how do I even afford to pay for that? I just want to be able to breathe again and not let this overtake my life. What do you feel is the best option. I appreciate any help you can give.

Thank you for your time,


Dear Erika,

First, let’s begin with breathing. When you begin to feel stressed like this I want you to promise me you’ll do something very simple. Just breathe in for a five count, hold it for a five count and exhale for a five count. Do this five times. Trust me, it will help tremendously whenever the panic hits.

The emotions and feelings you have are completely normal and unfortunately usual. A major part of the issue is you probably feel like you have personally failed in some way. You may feel you are being judged by others. You may even have slipped into the parental guilt of not being able to do the things you want to do with your child because of your debt. And you certainly feel trapped.

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The reason you got into this position is less important at this moment than what needs to be done to address it. Whatever it is that you did, don’t do that again. Don’t use credit for things you can’t afford when the bill comes. There, lecture given.

If it was at all possible for you to take a step back from your situation what you would see is a woman and mother that has a financial situation where the income is insufficient for the expenses. This condition leaves the good mother unable to save, without an emergency fund and totally unprepared in case of an unexpected financial need. You’d also see a woman whose work productivity is suffering, is stressed, and is in a position where those issue are impacting the relationship with the kids.

At times like these I find the most important question you need to answer is if you feel you have a greater responsibility to try to fix the past or fix the future?

The correct answer would be to focus on making the future better.

You and your accounts are numbers in a computer with your creditors. They don’t judge you. If there is any judging going on here it is you doing the judging. Stop it. The situation only is what it is numerically not personally.

If I apply some logic to this highly emotional situation I would say there is little expectation of you being able to continue down this path. There is no expectation you could continue and save an emergency fund to protect you and your kids.

Because of the immediate need to change this situation, avoid collections, avoid lawsuits and relieve your stress for your health, I think bankruptcy is the most logical solution.

You can click here to find a local bankruptcy attorney and then go and talk to them for free.

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Typically the way people pay for bankruptcy is to stop paying their credit cards and instead use that money to pay for the bankruptcy.

If you will trust me on this and take my advice, you will find that within four months you will be in a much better place in your life.

Please update me on your progress by Damon Day - Pro Debt Coach

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