Husband is on Disability and My Paycheck Isn’t Enough to Cover the Bills. – Crystal

“Dear Steve,

My husband and I are newlyweds married May of 2011. We are having our first child in July and we are very excited.

Last year one month before we left for Hawaii to get married I was let go. Fortunately I was able to find a job the very next but I was not going to be paid for time I need to take off.

I did not want to cancel our plans to Hawaii because it was all planned for plus we had about 50 friends and family going with that had already paid for their ways. I was planning to use my vacation for my time in Hawaii but instead I had to use it for the months rent. We had also had a family reunion in July where I needed to take about 4 days off from work.

Paying rent, and my two car payments were my top priority and because of that I had to not pay for my credit cards. Towards the end of the 2011 my husband had to take a leave of absence from due to some medical issues and as of right he is on disability and I am the one with paycheck and once again we are forced to make sure that rent and car payments are only met. We are so behind on our credit cards that minimum balance on some is in the amount of more than half one of my paychecks, and I am getting 10-15 calls a day from them. Please help!!!! We want to get out debt, we want to buy a home, we want our lives back.

Would debt consolidation be the best option for us, if so how do I know which company to go with?

Should I send letters to our credit cards explaining our situations?

Is bankruptcy an option we should maybe consider? ( we are about $25,000 in debt including our car payments)

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Basically, what is your opinion in what might work best for us?

Thank you,


Dear Crystal,

You should always feel free to communicate with your creditors. But do it without expectations it will result in any modification of your debt or payment. Creditor allowances are not based on individual situations but the general bucket your account is in. For example, it is just a reality that people who are behind on their bills may be eligible for more advantageous special repayment plans than people who are current.

Also, you should not be afraid to call your creditors and discuss your situation with them. They already know you are behind.

Calling is stressful but remember the person on the other end of the phone is just dealing with the next call, in this case, yours. Try to be as friendly and cordial as possible without being too stressed out and snapping at them. Basically you want to try to make that person your friend and advocate.

Just remember, to not agree to make any payment or enter any plan that you can’t sustain or afford month after month. If you do, the fact that you enter a plan and then can’t make the payments, it can be used against you and accelerate the process.

All of that being said, bankruptcy should always be considered. It is the only legal intervention that is available that has power and control over your creditors. A chapter 7 bankruptcy is also a relatively affordable solution that gives you a legal fresh start and second chance.

Do You Have a Question You'd Like Help With? Contact Debt Coach Damon Day. Click here to reach Damon.

People generally worry about being able to rebuild their credit following bankruptcy but the reality is it’s stupid easy to rebuild your credit. Here is a guide that shows you how.

The bottom line is the right solution is the one that addresses the problem in the most effective way.

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I’d suggest you first read How to Get Out of Debt. The Honest and Unvarnished Truth and The Truth About The Success Rates, Failure Rates and Completion Rates of Credit Counseling, Debt Settlement, and Bankruptcy. They will give you a great overview of what we need to deal with to get you moving in the right direction.

Then use the free How to Get Out of Debt Calculator to review your options.

After that, come back here and comment about what seems to make the most sense and let’s discuss that.

Does that sound like a reasonable approach?

Damon Day - Pro Debt Coach

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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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