My OCD is Hurting My Ability to Deal With My Debt. – Anthony

“Dear Steve,

I’m current 30 years old, and I’ve had OCD since I was 8 years old, but I was only finally diagnosed a year ago, and I’ve been stabilized on medication. I have a college degree, but it has become increasingly difficult for me to work reliably, and I’ve never had a full time job with benefits. I did subcontract as a web developer for a few years. The year before last, I was completely disabled, and it’s only in the past six months that I’ve become stable enough to work, but I have not been able to find any. I made the mistake of using my credit cards to try to support myself during that prior year, and I’ve run out of any sort of savings and currently have a negative bank balance. I also moved back home after college, and I haven’t been able to leave. My mother is currently supporting me.

Currently, I’m in collections for an $850 for a root canal I had on a tooth last year. I also haven’t been able to make any payments on my credit card, which currently has a balance of $2700. I unfortunately had to cancel my auto insurance as I can no longer afford to maintain it, but the insurance company put my account into collections for the remaining $85 for the remainder of the 6 month term. I’m also behind on my student loans, which I’ve requested forbearance on, and are approximately $2,900. I’ve been receiving calls from creditors, but I don’t have any hope of being able to pay them back at this point in time. The attempts to charge my bank account have also resulted in hundreds of dollars of bank fees. My OCD is about 80% better with medication, but I also can’t afford the therapy I need to finally put this behind me. Work wise, I’m currently programming a video game that I can license to websites which could net me anywhere from $500 to $3000 within the next two months, but it does nothing to help my situation.

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I’m at a bit of an impasse right now. I have a few options to consider. The first is to sell my last remaining asset, my truck, which could get me anywhere from $2000-$3000. The second option would just declare bankruptcy, which I would rather not do over such a small amount of money. The third option is to just wait them out for the next two months and start payments when I sell my first game. There is another game I also have in development which would likely within the next six months net me enough to pay off my debts and be in the black. I’m not sure what to do at this point. I’m also putting off therapy which I can’t afford. I’m not sure where to go and what to do. At this point, I just want to get on with my life.


Dear Anthony,

Yes, it does not sound like you have a lot of debt numerically but it’s enough to give you trouble.

If we are talking about a solution that might be available in a couple of months then it would be smart to draw a line in the sand and if there is no progress on the income by that time then we can take more drastic measures.

To see what solutions are available you can use the free How to Get Out of Debt Calculator to review your options.

Don’t sell your truck. At some point selling assets just leaves you tapped out but does not resolve the problem. This is ultimately going to be a problem resolved with income or disability.

If you have government backed student loans make sure you keep your servicer in the loop as income improves and then talk to them about the Income Based Repayment program (IBR) for a payment you can afford.

I want you to focus on getting your OCD under control and if you mother can assist you with that, do that. Don’t let her pay anything towards your debts.

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So if that seems like a reasonable approach let me prioritize it for you, treatment for OCD, line in the sand for action and review your options.

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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