I Have 3 Kids in College and Just Making It Month-To-Month. – Catherine

“Dear Steve,

I am a single Mom struggling with putting 3 kids through college. Every year I seem to get further in debt. I am currently buying a used car through one of those ‘bad credit’ companies, and am getting raped financially.

In order to pay tuition this fall, I stupidly (I know) let my insurance lapse on this car. The day before I was going to reinstate it, my son got in an accident with it, and it’s not drivable.

My question is, do I continue to make payments and try to scrape together enough money to fix it. Or let it be repossessed and take another hit on my lousy credit?

I’ve already purchased a good used car (for cash). No car payment there. I am desperate to sort this out and have no one to ask.

I make pretty decent money, but live paycheck to paycheck. No frills, no cable, no credit cards, etc. My rent payment is high until my lease is up and I can move.


Dear Catherine,

My hat is off to you. Making ends meet with three kids in college is almost beyond impossible. You are a strong should to be able to make that happen.

The problem with the current situation is if you let the car be repossessed then the lender is going to sell the car at auction, get a little bit of money for it and then come after you for the remaining due on the auto loan.

One approach to dealing with the situation is to let the car get repossessed and then follow that up with a bankruptcy. If you had other debt lingering you could address everything at the same time. There are a lot of factors though that I don’t know about your situation that would impact that decision. If you decided you wanted to explore that option I’d suggest you click here to find a local bankruptcy attorney and talk to them for free to figure out if that’s a reasonable approach for you.

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Do you have any other debt or is your struggle simply just covering the basics from month to month?

Just based on only what you shared, if you can afford it and you don’t have other lingering debt you’d discharge in a bankruptcy, the best approach would be to get the car repaired rather than repossessed.

Please post your answer in the comments section below.


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.
Damon Day - Pro Debt Coach

4 thoughts on “I Have 3 Kids in College and Just Making It Month-To-Month. – Catherine”

  1. Thanks for you quick reply.  I do have other debt.  I have unpaid bills left over from my divorce I could never catch up on.  Without a $400 a month car payment, that leaves me some room to pay off other things.  I was considering bankruptcy, but wasn’t sure if that was the best solution. Quite honestly, I’m sure I can’t afford to repair it.
    At the rate I’m going, I can’t ever get free of debt….there is just nothing left over.
    I’m looking for a second job, but I already work full-time.  It’s difficult to find something to fit into my varied schedule.
    Thanks for your input,

    • First off, I don’t want you to feel guilty if bankruptcy is the right solution for you. Please take a few minutes and read through How to Get Out of Debt. The Honest and Unvarnished Truth.

      It clearly sounds like you’ve reached the end of your financial rope and there is no reasonable expectation you can dig yourself out of this hole. But rather than feel like you are leaping into a dark pit by considering bankruptcy, let’s take this in steps.

      First step is to find a local bankruptcy attorney and talk to them. Don’t feel like you have to file bankruptcy the minute you see them. Listen to what they have to say and then come back here and give me an update.

      My goal is to get you headed in the right direction and give you the best chance of moving forward from this point in a safer financial way.

      • Hi Steve,
        I’ve made an appointment with a bankruptcy attorney for next week.  I’ll keep you posted.  And thank you for the kind words and encouragement.  I know I’m not alone in this horrible economy, 
        but it’s good to hear I’m not a deadbeat.


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