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I’m Active Duty Army And Don’t Have Enough to Pay My Bills. – Amy

“Dear Steve,

I am currently serving in Korea and I am paying bills at home which is leaving me with only enough money for food. Before I joined the Army I was helping my family pay bills and I joined in order to help a little more but now I am unable to use the dining facilities because of an illness and all the money I have left goes to food but I have a large amont of debt that is not getting paid and I wanted to know if there was any way for me to get some help with it. I have student loans totaling $7,000 and credit cards that have defaulted totaling $1,000 plus some medical bills that’s about $400. Right now the only bill I have that gets paid is my car which I am letting my family use while I’m away it’s $400 a month. I want to pay but I just don’t have any money.


Dear Amy,

I have to admit, I’ve never heard of someone not able to eat in the dining facility because of an illness. That’s really unfortunate.

While your debts are overwhelming for you they are numerically small. It seems like the decision to make the car payment back home is what is sinking you. I can understand why you would want to keep making that payment, so your family can use the car, but in the grand scheme of debt the student loans need to come first, not the car payment.

If you default on the student loans they can garnish your wages, intercept your tax return, sue you, and even add as much as 40% to your balance as a collection fee.

If your student loan is a government backed loan then look into the Income Based Repayment Program (IBR) for some payment relief. Otherwise, be sure to call your student loan servicer and get your loan current again.

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As far as the car goes, the family back home may just have to help with the payment. I hope they realize that this requirement for them to pitch in is related to whatever illness prevents you from eating in the dining facility and not your fault.

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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