My New Husband Says Bankruptcy is Out of The Question. He’s Against It. – Susan

“Dear Steve,

I have credit card debt of about $12,000 on top of my student loans which total about $22,000.

I am not proud of the situation I am in. Living on my own and going to school (and being young and dumb) I used credit cards to get by and now they seem like they are never going anywhere.

I recently got married and my husband is going to school which we are paying for without loans. He isn’t working while in school and I am getting ready to take on a part time serving job to supplement my full time income.

My husband also has a chronic illness and his medicine just jumped up to $300/month (at least for the next 3 months) It is getting to the point where I’m not sure how much longer we are going to be able to keep up with it all.

My credit isn’t great since I have so much outstanding debt and my husband’s is non-existent because he filed bankruptcy due to medical bills when he was in his early 20’s. I am 27 and he is 32. I feel like this may dictate the rest of our lives.

Should we file bankruptcy? I’ve mentioned it once to my husband before we got married and he was against it.

We want to get a home one day and have children, but I just don’t see any light at the end of this tunnel that will allow us to do that.

I haven’t asked anyone else’s advise out of embarrassment; I don’t think anyone close to us knows the situation we are in. I would love any suggestions you may have…


Dear Susan,

Thank you for reaching out to me and asking for help.

I wonder if your husband’s aversion to bankruptcy might be the result of his previous experience and not being prepared for it emotionally. See Debt Related PTSD and Financial PTSD Quietly Hurts Many.

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The situation you’ve described is a recipe for a financial train wreck. Maybe not today or tomorrow, but in the foreseeable future.

It does not sound like your income is helping you to get ahead and save money, you are just treading water. In fact I would be surprised if you have enough money leftover each month to build a big emergency fund or savings account in case you need it.

Credit is actually easy to rebuild, even after bankruptcy, and it sounds like your husband may have made the classic mistake of avoiding credit after his bankruptcy due to the “emotional” pain he went through. That’s actually the exact worst thing to do. See How to Easily Rebuild Your Credit and Have Good Credit Again. Without following that guide and rebuilding your credit it will be much, much harder to get into a house in the future. By following the guide and being able to save money again you will be able to buy a home after bankruptcy. See How to Easily Get a Mortgage After Bankruptcy and How Long After Bankruptcy Can I Buy a House?

You said your husband “has a chronic illness” and the most prudent thing to do is get yourself in a situation where you can pay for his medical care. You even mentioned that with your current situation you don’t know how much longer you can pay for it.

The goal is to get in a situation where you are living within your income and savings. I’m not convinced you can do that while servicing your old debt, paying for school, dealing with the student loans, and facing increasing medical costs.

Are your student loans government backed loans? If so, read this.

One issue we need to face is the life impact of his chronic illness. Is it so severe that he may not be able to complete his degree or be able to work if he does complete it?

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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.

Once you’ve identified a company you want to work with, then follow my step-by-step guide on what you should look for and expect from a good debt relief company.

Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this 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

Steve Rhode

2 thoughts on “My New Husband Says Bankruptcy is Out of The Question. He’s Against It. – Susan”

  1. Hi Steve-I met with an attorney today, but found out that I won’t be able to file for 90 days if I want to pay one of my debts off before filing. My dad co-sign on one of my cards and I am afraid it will affect his credit if it isn’t paid before I file. My attorney said that my father would receive a letter notifying him that I am filing, but as long as payments are still made on that debt, it won’t affect his credit. Unfortunately, he didn’t sound too confident when he said that. Do you have any insight on this??? I will pay off this debt one way or another as I do not want it to negatively affect my dad, but I would hate to have to wait another 4 or 5 months to file (it’ll take me a month or two to get it paid off).

    • If you pay off that card, close it before you file. That will separate your father from the card. That should take care of the issue.

      Alternatively your father could pay off the card now, not you, then close it, and let’s say you then pay your father back after your bankruptcy discharge. In that case you would probably be able to file now.

      Just saying.


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