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Someone Recommended CredAbility, The Nonprofit Debt Counselors. – Jim

“Dear Damon,

Most of my debt is 90k in a HELOC, and $10k in our home equity loan at the same bank, 27k in 3 PLUS loans for my older daughter, $12k for one auto loan and $13k for the other. We purposely used the line of credit instead of running up credit card debt, but now that we are approaching the limit of the line of credit, we are building up credit card debt. My wife and my combined gross income is about $45k and expenses about $80k. (I was making $80k 11 years ago when we moved to NJ, then was downsized).

What can we do before running out of money? Someone recommended Credability, the non-profit debt counselors. Could they help?


Dear Jim,

I think the reality, based on what you are telling me is that you are too far gone to even think about paying the debt back, unless you have a fairly sizable cash reserve or some assets you can sell. The issue if I understand you correctly is that you are bringing in 45,000 a year and spending 80,000. So the first step is to cover a monthly deficit of 3,000 a month either with cuts or an earnings increase, and likely both.

That is of course going to mean a serious lifestyle adjustment. We might be talking about selling the house, letting all of the debt go and filing bankruptcy. You mentioned that you made 80,000 11 years ago, but it appears you did not adjust your lifestyle enough since the downsizing.

The bottom line is that you either have to make more money or live like you make 45,000 a year. I wouldn’t worry about a program like credability unless and until you can balance your monthly cash flow. Likely you are going to have to let the debts go for now, and unless you can bring in extra money, file for bankruptcy and have a fresh start.

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

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

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Damon Day

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


  • I was just wondering if we should really call it “spending 80,000”; since my expenses include over $14,000 per year to repay the home equity loan, $7,400 for the HELOC, $4,600 for the 3 PLUS loans, $6,700 for 2 car loans plus smaller amounts on credit cards. 

    So I was thinking of making cuts as you suggest (we have recently saved, or are about to save, a lot of money by closing out a storage unit, expenses for our kids who are off to college, downgrading our cable bill…) and I was hoping there was a way to modify the loans to make them more handleable per month.

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