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Home > Reader Questions > I Am a College Student. What Can I Do to Get Out of Debt? – Maisie

I Am a College Student. What Can I Do to Get Out of Debt? – Maisie

I am a college student, and I am in debt over $1,000 to the bank. I have my own apartment with roomates, I work at Subway, and I am over whelmed with debt as of right now.

What can I do to get out of this mess I have created for myself?


This is your chance to be a hero and help out this person by providing your feedback and answer to the question in the comments section below.

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This is information that was submitted by a third party and not generated by or Steve Rhode.
  • hady

    HI Maisie
    First dont over do it!!!!!!!!!!! if $1000 is your problem than you are not in a mess as much as you think you are.
    However, in life not fixing small problems always leads to bigger and bigger problems. This is what you should be worried about and where you focus the most.
    So first thing to do is not to punish ourselves, everyone will go through this. You should toughen up and take it this as the next challenge in your life. Believe me, once you get through with it, things will look a lot better.
    Second, is to simply stop spending on uneccessary things for a while until you fix this. Third is to draw a cash flow projection for yourself and if you will need to work more hours for a specific time to reach your objective. You have to understand and commit that you may be required to sacrifice a bit to reach it. 
    However, I would tell you drawing a good plan and sticking to it will be such a reliever and you will find those peaceful sleep you are probably missing right now.
    Keep the courage and faith

  • Kim Mealy

    Can you consolidate your debt? That helped me or may do a forbearance or deferment.

    • Steve Rhode

      I’m not worried about her SS income but if it is deposited into an account where non-SS income is also it can create issues.

  • Lex


    Do you pay for your own school or do your parents pay for it? I’m asking this because you sound like an independent student, and might qualify for financial aid for school. That would free up some of your money, because financial aid will cover the cost of class and of books. (Check out:

    Most importantly, don’t freak out. It definitely sucks right now but the important thing is to stop racking up debt and start paying it off a little at a time. As other reviewers mentioned, if you take $50 you spend at the mall every month and instead apply it to your debt, it will be gone in no time. If you have time, pick up extra shifts at work. Let your manager know that you’re trying to pay stuff off over the summer and they might give you more or longer shifts. You could pick up a second job, but if it’s too much just focus on paying as much as you can every month. 

    Make sure you keep up with school. Keep your head up! In a few years from now you’ll look back and think how glad you were that you toughed it out, paid your debt and graduated college.

    Good luck! :)

  • Tarecos60

    I agree with most of the posts here. Don’t let the $1000 overwhelm you. Talk to the bank or whomever you owe and work out a payment plan. Be pro-active. Creditors like that!

  • Tmspensieri


    First off, just breathe! You’re doing ok. You caught the problem before it got worse. Just listen to what the good people above me have said. Make a budget, tighten down a bit. Think long term instead of short term. Talk to your creditors and dont think that putting your head in the sand will make it go away. Everything has a solution. You’ll be fine!

  • mmdox


    I’m finding myself in a similar situation. I went back to school not too long ago and found myself unable to pay my credit card bills on top of tuition, rent, books, gas, groceries, etc. Whether your debt is $1000, $5000 or $50,000, the fear is still very real. However, I think it’s important to note that many young people would look at $1000 of credit card debt and not care. The fact that you care enough to worry speaks volumes. You’ll get there. Good luck!

  • Asdmom

    Maisie, congratulations on taking the first step.  As a person who was in your shoes some 30 years ago, I did NOT take action to nip the debt monster in the bud…so you have a chance to change your destiny to never carry debt  (or pay interest except for your mortgage or car) again:)

    And please please stay in school as cherscrafy recommends.  Having an education gives you OPTIONS in life, trust me on this!

    How about you try to find some ways to make extra money to put specifically towards the debt?  I know it sounds strange, but can you babysit in the evenings?  My neighbor’s daughter makes alot of extra $$ that way, and she studies when the kiddos go to bed. Or if that is not your thing,  how about some temp work at local summer festivals to earn some cash.

    Hang in there, you’ll do great!!

  • dmrotondo


    I’m wondering if you are just anxious and overwhelmed about the fact that you owe $1,000 on a credit card, or if you are having trouble making the payments on your credit card in addition to your rent/utilities, gas, food, not to mention tuition and books.  It’s really important for you to keep your payments current.  And it won’t take you very long to pay that balance off.  You can start by adding as little as $5 extra to the minimum due. It is not awful for you to even carry that debt through college if you have to as long as you stay up with the payments.  

    The hard part is not charging the balance back up. It’s very easy to get in a cycle of having to use available credit on a credit card to pay for groceries or gas because you have used all your income to make payments on your credit card.  

    Try and cut every penny of expense you can right now.  Look for ways to save on textbooks (such as renting or purchasing used books online), your cellphone service, gasoline (stay on campus and study at the library instead of making an extra trip back to your apartment in between classes).  Resist the temptation to join your friends at happy hour or a trip to the mall.  

    Stay the course and get your degree.  That’s the most important thing of all.  

  • Chasen_daugherty

    First thing is relax. Think about the kids who get out of college owing over 100,000 in student debt. 1000 shouldn’t be much to worry about. If I were you, and I really didn’t want to worry about the money, I would take out a student loan with less interest than your credit card. Take the opportunity during your time off in the summer to get an extra part time job to help pay off the debt. Hope this helps!

  • cherscrafty

    First of all, hang in there.  Education is a great reason to incur debt.  Don’t let it overwhelm you too much.  Continuing with college will eventually land you a job that will cheralihelp you repay your loans.  Look at your monthly expenses and if this is your only loan, focus on repaying it back as quickly as possible.  It might require you to be really frugal for the next few months but when you get it paid off you will feel SO much better.  Also, try not to get any more loans.  Pay cash for everything, that way you can avoid the way you are feeling right now.  I realize some loans are unavoidable, just make smart decisions when it comes to borrowing money.  Keep in mind that when you borrow money someone else is telling you how to spend the money you make because until you have them paid back, that’s how you have to spend your money.  Keep your head up.  Good things are coming your way :)

  • Msullivan


    The first thing you should is stop beating up on yourself. You will be fine and that $1,000 debt will not ruin your life.

    It is now summer. If the debt is really troubling to you, don’t go to summer school, increase the number of hours you are working and attack that debt. If you can free up $50 a week for ten weeks you’ll be half way there. $100 a week means you will be debt free by September. Of course you will need to watch your expenses to save, but you sound like a careful spender.

    We could discuss ways of moving the debt and extending the debt payment, but this is a great time in life to establish an attitude of eliminating and avoiding debt and the best way to do that is earn more and spend less. Don’t try to avoid the pain by pulling the band aid off slowly; rip it off and save the money you would spend in interest by stretching it out.

    Good Luck!

    • Steve Rhode

      Good advice.

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