Lots of Credit Card Debt And A Large Family To Feed. – Lynn

Over the past five years, we have adopted two children through international adoption. We now have five kids total, all under the age of 18. Around the same time we were going through the process of bringing our kids home, we had some major unexpected home repairs.

I am embarrassed to admit this, but we financed almost all of the above on credit cards and are now $69,000 in debt with them. We also have the usual car payments, mortgage, etc. About 3 years ago, I realized we were really underwater and I started us on a cash only budget.

We no longer use credit cards and in that time managed to pay off $21,000 of the debt. We both work full time and have secure jobs, but have had salary freezes and summer work cuts. We were surviving up until these cuts hit. Now my husband needs a surgery and will be recuperating for several months. He plans to try to work through it.

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I have taken a second job to help with expenses, but they continue to rise faster than I can bring in money.

We are struggling to keep food on the table and buy even the basics for the kids. I feel like an idiot and a failure to my family for being unable to provide for them the way I should.

I don’t want to renig on the cards (I do owe the money), and bankruptcy would be horrible. Around here, anyone who files gets their names in the paper–it could hurt us at our jobs. I just don’t know what to do anymore.

My oldest child would like to go to college in two years and I’m afraid my mistakes will prevent him from getting financing. We have no savings except for $100 left in the bank. If something breaks I will be forced to use a card again. Our kids are older, and I’m afraid the harassing calls we could get from creditors will be disturbing to them. I especially worry about the newly adopted ones–they may feel responsible. Thanks for any advice you can give.

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