Ask The Get Out of Debt Experts Credit Counseling

I Do Love the Fact You Were on Starting Over. – Nicole

“Dear Steve,

I don’t even know where to start; just that I’m ready (I think) to finally get this literal and physcial load off my back, my mind, everywhere it is affecting me. I have an appointment set for this Friday with a credit counseling agency (legitimate, I hope, I have been doing research for several weeks and they do have an A+ rating with BBB), along with my husband, in the hopes that we will be able to tackle this seemingly insurmountable debt. We have 2 major credit cards that at their limits, several store credit cards (one of which is at its limit), a gas card (at its limit), a mortgage and a second mortgage (to pay off the last round of debt- like I didn’t learn my lesson then……..). Both of our vehicles are paid for (I believe both of them through a re-fi…….again- not getting it here).

Do you think we can do this ourselves? I have already called both of the major credit cards (one of which was willing to help- the second one, absolutely not; they gave me the exact same line they gave your wife) and am not even sure if it would do any good to call the others. We do have several cards that are not even close to their limits….anyway, I guess my question is, given the state of the economy, should we try for bankruptcy or are we not even close? Actually, I’m not even sure what my question is at this point……..
I do love the fact that you were on Starting Over- I used to watch that show religiously and was very sorry to hear that was not renewed.



Dear Nicole,

I did enjoy my appearances on Starting Over. It was an enjoyable show to shoot when it was in Chicago. If you follow me on my Facebook page you’ll see Teresa, my Starting Over client on there.

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For your debt situation, first, I need for you to let go and surrender yourself to address the situation from a logical point of view and not emotional. I know, easier to say than to do. But this situation is not a referendum on you, your value, or your worth. It’s just a situation that needs fixing and hopefully in the process of fixing it you’ll be able to learn what to not do again. No sense wasting a perfectly good mistake I always say.

The credit counseling appointment is a great place to start and hearing from them will give you an alternate point of view. When you head into that appointment I think you need to do so understanding that every debt relief provider ultimately is interested in promoting their solution. It’s only natural, they feel it is best or profitable they wouldn’t be doing it.

In a credit counseling program, while your interest rates may be reduced, your payment won’t be reduced much, if at all. It sounds like your situation is one in which you are totally maxed out and maintaining the minimum payment, even with a lower interest rate, may be too much for you to handle for the next five years.

In your evaluation to make the best possible decision for you I really think you need to speak with a bankruptcy attorney also. You don’t have to meet with the attorney to file for bankruptcy but you can go to learn more about bankruptcy for your situation. If you do that you’ll make an educated and informed decision that is best for you.

You can click here to find a local bankruptcy attorney and if you’d like a second opinion about your situation or a personal consultation by another debt coach, please feel free to contact Damon Day.

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.

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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