Ask The Get Out of Debt Experts Unemployed

I Had Cancer and My Husband Was Unemployed. We Are Struggling With Payday Loans. – Kim

“Dear Steve,

I will try to be brief:

I owe about $12k to installment payday loan companies such as Checkngo.
I owe about $2k in medical bills
I owe $9k on my car
I owe $2k to the IRS (new this year)

Credit isn’t great – about 680 but I do have a good job that I’ve been at 6 years.

Had cancer last year and my husband was unemployed and sick and as you can see I panicked and got very high interest rate loans

Payments on just the payday loans are $2k a month, Car loan is $350

We have cut back on pretty much everything we can, have 1 car only, no cable tv, don’t water the lawn even !

I cannot pay these huge amounts each month

My question(s)

Would debt relief help me? I did take these loans and I just cannot every pay them back at the 100% interest rates – Even if I could make the payments a $5k loan would be $40k by the time it was paid back.

Or would bk be a better option? I read horror stories about how I will never be able to even rent a house again etc.

Any advice would be very much appreciated.



Dear Kim,

First, let me dispel some of the myths about bankruptcy and renting. Yes, it is possible that a major apartment complex might have an issue renting following bankruptcy but for the vast majority of private landlords, it’s not a problem. Additionally, I can’t remember a single past client that was ever turned down by an apartment complex when they offered to put up a larger security deposit.

The critical issue here is that, as you describe it, your level of money available for payments sounds barely able to meet your obligations. In a situation like that some form of intervention is required to alter the monthly payment to make it more affordable.

This would be either through a legal payment reduction and financial second chance with bankruptcy or a more aggressive approach through debt settlement.

See also  Retired, 45, Pregnant, and Afraid of Losing the House to Foreclosure. - Cris

At this point I think the better approach is going to be to assign you homework to learn more about each option and what it would mean for you.

Only by educating yourself can you make a good and informed decision about what the best next step is going to be. My gut reaction is bankruptcy because I think that is the fastest way for you to regroup and be able to save money in an emergency fund to protect yourself moving forward.

I’d like for you to click here for debt settlement information and click here to find a local bankruptcy attorney. Once you talk to each, come back and update me in the comments and let me know which approach seems more reasonable for your personal situation.


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.


  • so I finally got the guts up to decide to file bk. I’ve paid a lawyer 90% of what I owe him to actually file but he’;s not returning calls or emails. I’ve creditors calling 20x a day , already have 1 small claims case won against me and have more claims literally showing up at my work. I can’t afford another lawyer so what can I do. I’m literally ill with worry about the creditors calling and the real possiblity of my wages being garnished

    thanks for any ideas

    • Kim,

      Sorry to hear the lawyer is not returning your calls. Not to worry. If you can, drop by the office and chat with the staff. Or even just call and talk to the staff and find out what’s up. 

      You are almost there and I know it feels like things are closing in but before more panic arrives, let’s see if you can be an awesome detective and just get to the bottom of the communication issue.


  • So I’m filing for bankruptcy in October but have to go to small claims court next week for an installment loan I can’t pay. Have no idea what to expect or what to say and my lawyer isn’t being of any help. Do I just say yes I owe the money? Do I say I’m filing? I have no idea and I’m a little afraid
    Any advice?

    thanks again

    • Kim,

      You should just answer truthfully. The answer seems to be that you do owe the money, you don’t have it and you are filing bankruptcy.

      I know it’s a stressful experience but just tell the truth and be yourself.

      • Thanks again Steve I wasn’t sure if I should mention the bankruptcy or not. Like you say the whole thing is stressful. LOL even just getting the money for my lawyer has been toiugh (one more installment then I can actually file)

        • The reality is that since you are going to file in October you actually don’t need to appear. By not appearing you will lose by default but it doesn’t seem you have any option to repay the loan at this time anyway. maybe the fact that you know you’ll lose anyway and not having to go to court can provide you with a little stress relief.

          You are always welcome to go to the hearing though and learn from the experience. Who knows, maybe you’ll learn something that will help you to help others facing a similar situation. Good things can come from bad times if you let yourself learn from it.

  • I think you answered your own question when you said your paycheck wasn’t enough to make the payments and feed the family.

    Which comes first for you?

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