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I’m a Retired Military Vet That is Tired of Battling Debt. – Gary

“Dear Steve,

Hi Steve, this is the first time I ever encountered anything like this. I am a retired military Vet. I receive $1650 a month in retirement and I work civil service for the gov’t with an income 70K a year. I have approx 37K in debt. I own a home in Alaska which my wife talked me into while stationed there. We only lived in the home for 6 months and then got transferred to Europe for 4 years. We now live in IL. We are renting the house out in Alaska for $1600 a month which does not cover the entire mortgage. I am renting a house in IL for $1600 a month. My wife is not employed because she lost her job. I try to pay more on the credit cards but the banks keeps raising the interest rate and I’m barely make a dent in the debt. My son asked me to co-sign a student loan for him to go to school for 14K which I did to help him be more competative in the job world. I knew I shouldn’t have gone with SALLIE MAE for this!!

Wouldn’t you know it he stopped going and he has no income so now I’m on the hook for this!! I also send money to my daughter and her husband with 2 grandkids to keep her head above water. They both walked into work one morning and both were layed off. I am trying to hold down 3 households on one income. I have already dipped heavily into both my Money Market accounts which one is almost dried up.

How can I reduce my credit card debt and consolidation loan? Should I just take the 27K I have remaining in my Money Market accounts and pay what I can? I had very good credit ratings before all of this happened. Now it’s shot to bits.


Dear Gary,

This situation is the accumulation of a number of otherwise unattached events. I think if you had to fight back against one at a time it would be less drastic. But in this situation I don’t see any other logical solution other than bankruptcy. In bankruptcy you could hand the Alaska house back to the bank, keep renting in Illinois, keep making the Sallie Mae payments and help out your daughter a bit as well.

Otherwise, without the intervention of bankruptcy your money market will be dry soon and you’ll be left totally without options. It’s a bit like standing in the middle of a desert with an arm load of firewood and needing to keep a fire going. No matter how much you might want the fire to keep going, once all the available firewood is burned up there is no more.

Before you make up your mind I suggest you click here to talk to a local bankruptcy attorney and get the facts about what bankruptcy would mean for you.

Please update me on your progress by posting updates here in the comments section of your question. I’m very interested in how this works out for you.


You are not alone. I'm here to help. There is no need to suffer in silence. We can get through this. Tomorrow can be better than today. Don't give up.

About the author

Steve Rhode

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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