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Home > Ask The Get Out of Debt Experts > I Was Unemployed But Now Have a Job. I’d Like to Start to Get Out of Debt. – Adan

I Was Unemployed But Now Have a Job. I’d Like to Start to Get Out of Debt. – Adan

“Dear Steve,

I live in Los Angeles, CA and was unemployed for several years and was not able to pay my credit card and student loan bills among other bills. Now I have a job with okay salary and my living expenses are not much. I can afford to start paying off my debt.

I have credit card debt in the neighborhood of $10,000. I have not paid any of my debt in several years nor have I paid any of my school loans in the same time span. Can I still work this out with creditors and begin to pay them back through a debt management program? Some people have advised me to file for bankruptcy but I think the amount is not so much that I cannot repay with reasonable payment schedule.

Is it too late or can I still work with creditors? Can you recommend a debt management program in the Los Angeles area? Also can you recommend someone to speak with that can help me get back on track with paying back my college loans? The bills I get are out of my ability to pay but with the right representative maybe we can work out a better repayment plan.

My college debt is around $60,000. I no longer answer my phone for fear of collectors and need to pay back my debt so I can be at ease now that I can pay down my debt. But prefer if I had the g uidance of a credit counselor to help with a debt management program.

Thank you for your help and I look forward to your reply.


Dear Adan,

First off, congratulations on finding a job.

It’s not the amount of debt that’s a determining factor if bankruptcy is right for you, but the need for the protection it offers you.

I’d first set my sights on getting the student loan debt back on track. Hopefully these are government loans. If so, then you’ve got some great options. The best would be to consolidate them and then place them in the income based repayment program. For more information see this and this.

If these are private loans, before you do anything, update me in the comments below. I might suggest a different path for you then.

Either way, I think we need come clarity on the student loans first before we even begin to think about any strategy to repay other debts.

The good news is you are taking some initial steps and this process will result in addressing the debt. That will reduce your stress level, significantly.

One little nugget of advice, just make sure you NEVER call a debt collector toll0free telephone number from your cell phone. They can capture the number you are calling from and use it to hound you.

Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.

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About Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode
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.
  • adan

    Dear Steve:

    Thank you for the information on getting out of default with my government student loans. Most of my student loans are not private; only around 30% are private from the university.

    I will review the sites you provided and let you know how I proceed. What would be your advise on the private student loans?

    What strategy should I look into for my non student loan debt?

    Thank you again, Steve. You have given me more insight on this topic than I have had in several years.


    • Steve Rhode

      On the private loans the only options are what the loan servicer will offer you. There are no incredible programs like for the government loans.

      For the non student loan debt I wouldn’t do anything right now until we get you back on track with the higher priority student loan debt. Once we do that we will know how to best tackle the other debt. The student loan debt for you is most likely not dischargeable in bankruptcy anyway so tackling that first is the most logical thing to do.

      After you look into consolidating your government debt and getting it into an income based repayment plan and you talk to the private student loan servicers, then come back and give me an update where you stand.

      As a favor, do you mind clicking on the “Rate Our Site – Leave a Testimonial” button and giving the site some feedback?

      • Adan Rios

        Dear Steve:

        Months ago I asked for your advise and you suggested the above. I have consolidated my government student loans. I also contacted my private student loan holders and have begun a repayment plan for my student loans (about $70000 in student load debt).
        Now I would like to begin repaying my credit card debt. Do you have any suggestions on how to go about doing this? I have two credit cards in default for $3000 and $4000. Should I contact the credit card companies and work out a repayment plan like I did for the student loans?
        Lastly, how can I see all the debt I have to make sure I take care of all debts? Is that information on the credit score report? Steve, please advise.

        Thank you for your help and I look forwrad to your reply.



      • Steve Rhode

        Adam, thanks for checking back in.

        The best way to find your listed debt, not all debt is reported, would be to go to and request your free copy of your credit report from each credit bureau.

        I prefer a consolidated report. Even though there is a charge for it they are so much easier to read and include all your credit scores. See

        Let’s see what the reports say about who has your debt now and let me know how far in default you are on the cards.

        We can take it from there.

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