I’m a Single Parent With a Child That Had Cancer. I’m Drowning in Medical Debt and Student Loans. – Star

“Dear Damon,

I am a single parent finishing master’s degree, had a son undergo cancer treatment in 2007 and still being seen regularly. Treatments stopped in 2010. Have incurred huge amount medical debt and still incurring. Was in the final stages of Bachelor’s degree at that point in time. Had minor credit card debt under $5,000. However when sickness happened ended up over $10,000. Trying to pay debt down but get side swiped with medical collections. Will graduate with master’s in 2012. Then school loans will be there along with one child off to college. I have no assets other than a beater car I own outright, I rent and have zero dollars in savings cause life keeps happening. I did the second job for a year and half but ended up with issues at home. I can not go back to that.

Would it be better to wait for bankruptcy after receiving degree? Do you have any suggestions for medical bill relief and credit card debt?


Dear Star,

I am sorry to hear about what your son is going through.

Do You Have a Question You'd Like Help With? Contact Debt Coach Damon Day. Click here to reach Damon.

In regards to your question, I would agree that bankruptcy seems like the most appropriate option and yes if you are still accruing medical bills, then I would wait a little longer before filing. You will not likely be able to discharge any of the student loans in a BK, but clearing out the CC and medical debts will free up some cash flow so that you can hopefully handle the payment to your student loans.

The question I would look at though is what is your income likely to be once you obtain your masters degree? I would recommend you meet with a bankruptcy attorney now to discuss your options and the best timing for filing. You do not want to wait until you graduate and get a higher paying job, that could put you over the median income cap and then force you into a chapter 13 repayment plan instead of just being able to wipe it out for a fresh start in a chapter 7.

See also  My Private Student Loans with Citibank and Sallie Mae Are a Mess

You can click here to find a local bankruptcy attorney.

If you do not have an immediate need for your credit score, I would likely look into letting some of the CC payments go and forgo paying on some of the medical bills in an effort to set aside some cash in the bank for an emergency fund.


Damon is a talented independent debt coach that provides in-depth assistance and consultations for people struggling with debt. If you want a personal debt coach to help you through a difficult situation or want assistance to find secret discounts offered by debt settlement companies I think Damon Day is an excellent person to contact for advice and assistance. He can be reached directly at DamonDay.com

If you have a debt related question you’d like to ask, just use the online form.

Damon Day is a talented Debt Coach who offers fee based consultations to consumers as an alternative to the typical free debt relief consultations which are nothing more than thinly veiled sales pitches lacking any real information to help a consumer make a good decision. You can learn more about how he can protect you from getting ripped off at DamonDay.com