Ask The Get Out of Debt Experts Paycheck-to-Paycheck

I Can Never Get Ahead. – Chad

“Dear Steve,

Holding minimal credit card debt, maybe $3,000.00. Owe $8,000 in Medical/Dental debt. Owe $16,000.00 in student loans. Owe IRS roughly $15,000. My monthly bills are $800.00 in child support, $440 car payment, $770.00 rent, not even sure on credit cards maybe $400.00 and utils and insurance about $400.00. Expenses maybe $400.00 per month. Past C7 and C13, closed and paid. Net income $4,200.00. Yet I never seem to have anything left after bills and I am not even touching the student loans, med debt and taxes.

What am I doing wrong, seems very out of control and shouldn’t be, by the numbers.
I don’t even know where to start, help!!?

I can’t seem to get ahead on any of the debt, what can I do?


Dear Chad,

I’d start with looking at your tax refund. If you expect to get more than $1,200 back then you are probably over-withholding. You need to adjust your withholding with your employer so you are getting that extra money each month in your check.

Your minimum payments on that level of credit card debt should be about $150. I’d be surprised if you were paying $400 a month.

If the student loans are government loans you can look into the Income Based Repayment (IBR) program and get a graduated payment based on your income.

Start with that and post an update in the comments to let me know if those steps made a difference 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.

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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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