I’m 22 And Already Deep in Debt. What Should I Do? – Jerrica

“Dear Steve,

I am only 22 years old and i already have debt that I can’t handle. It’s not in the hundred thousands but I want to stop it before it gets to that point. I have a little less than $5,000 in debt and I have no job. I don’t even own a car or house that i could use as collateral for a loan. The only income that i receive is cash benefits from DCF every month. And that is only $300 that is supposed to last myself as well as my two kids. YEAH RIGHT! But I don’t want to be stuck with debt that will pill up. I had a bank account that was charged out because it was in the negative thanks to a fake check that I had recieved. That was for $850. the rest is from a school loan that i never intended to take out. I withdrew myself from school but it wasn’t before they charged me with a portion of the loan, about $3500.

Is there any way that i could possible consolidate all this debt into a few payments spread out over a few years? I don’t want to be dramatic and try to file bankruptcy because it’s not at that point i don’t think, but then again, I’m no expert. Would it be possible for me to get a loan to pay the debt entirely and the just pay small payments over time? I have even considered trying to get a cedit card but i have no idea what my credit looks like or what my score is. Please help point me in the right direction.


Dear Jerrica,

The underlying issue here is the lack of income. It just isn’t possible to qualify for a real loan without sufficient income and good credit. There will be lots of people that will try to tell you they can get a loan but they will charge you a fee for the imaginary loan and vanish with your money.

See also  James in the UK is Feeling Horrible About His Situation.

Is the student loan from a private student loan or a government student loan? That’s an important item to know.

But based on your current income and situation one possibility is to do nothing and stop making payments you can’t afford. Your creditors will sue you and you will lose but they will not be able to garnish your benefit income.

Then, once you get a job and begin to earn income we can revisit the lingering debt and come up with a plan to deal with it then.

But right now I’d suggest you visit the government site Benefits.gov and find out what additional benefit program you are eligible for.

Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.


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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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