Do we qualify for debt assistance if we are not completely broke and have made all our payment on time? – Shannb

“Dear Steve,

My husband has been self employed for 15 years as a builder and other among other things. For the past year he has just been an investor in the stock market. Building has not been a good trade for a while. We have taken a large loss and have high debt. The debt was not bad 4 months ago until the stock market took a dive. We need the money that is left to make money or we will be stuck with nothing. It is not enough to cover all the debt.

Do we qualify for debt assistance if we are not completely broke and have made all our payment on time.


Dear Shannb,

This is one of those scary letters I cringe when I read. I suspect that your husband was day trading to try to generate cash in a volatile stock market. Now is certainly not the time to invest unless you are willing to wait a long time for a return. Otherwise, traders are shorting stocks and betting they will drop. A gamble.

For the novice or casual investor playing the market is not a sure strategy for financial success. Maybe some people really do well and make a fortune but over the years, thousands have wound up on my doorstep with stories similar to yours.

If you can afford the regular monthly minimum payments, everyone qualifies for debt management assistance. There isn’t much to qualify for. You can either make the payment the debt management company tells you, or you can’t. Click here for more information on debt management.

The real issue here is that even if you enter a debt repayment plan, unless you develop some new form of income, all you will do is spend down what money you have left, making payments. That is not a recipe for success.

Over all my years, the people that seem to make the most money fall into three categories; inherited, lucky, and hard workers. The surest chance of making more money is for you and your husband to work hard to find jobs and then work hard at those jobs to make ends meet.

Otherwise, I see bankruptcy in your future.

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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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