I’ve Thought About Killing Myself to Get Out of Debt. – Doug


“Dear Steve,

We have mostly lived pretty well but never have had any savings so when something happens or we want to do anything the answer has been to put it on a credit card. So we have cards at or close to limits we have two kids in college with student loans and we messed up on our taxes so owe money to the govt.

I got laid-off then went back to school and worked at a $12 an hr job. Just before I graduated my wife got laid off. She got a new job (less pay) I got a new job a little less pay than what I made before being laid off.

Her friend died, her aunt died, my dad died, her dad died she got a new job making almost what she made before being laid off.

We missed a mortgage pmt last month and are trying to get our mortgage refinanced from 15 yr to 30 yr. this will help but not quite enuf.

I am working 12hr shifts 6 nights a week and she is doing about the same during the day. we owe about $75000 in student loans now and probably $30000 in credit card debt. my credit score is about 700 hers is 600. We have used all of my retirement money and a lot of hers.

I feel like if we could just get rid of the debt we could live our life and be happy. Instead we are barely hanging on and if something happens we are screwed. I don’t sleep more than 3 hrs at a time and maybe 5 hrs a day total. I need a way to make it from paycheck to paycheck and still make a dent in the debt. It is increasing at a decreasing rate I think but time is not on my side. I thought of offing myself but that wouldn’t be enough money.


Dear Doug,

First, let me be perfectly clear, while you have had thoughts of suicide over your debt, suicide is not a option. It does not resolve your situation and while the situation feels hopeless, we can fix that. There is no reason in this world why you should allow your feelings of depression to determine how you move forward.

Deep depression and problem debt go hand in hand. I would urge and implore you to go and speak to your primary care physician and explain how you are feeling. There are medications and therapy that can be implemented right away to make those depressed feeling go away.

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There is no doubt that you’ve been through a lot in the past couple of years. Between death and downsizing you’ve lived through the major stressors that can break someone’s spirit.

When I read your situation it strikes me that rather than moving forward with a good plan to solving this financial problem, you are only continuing down a path that is unlikely to succeed. This is especially true if you have taken your retirement funds to pay off debts. As a general rule you should never do that.

It is time that you start to put the safety of you, your wife, and your family first. This means that before you make any payments to the credit card companies you need to be putting money into a savings account. If you can’t afford to do that then based on what you’ve shared I think you should go and talk to a bankruptcy attorney and discuss how to file bankruptcy. This link will give you a free bankruptcy consultation. Use it.

The reason I strongly believe in bankruptcy for you is that any monthly payment plan like debt settlement or credit counseling is not going to give you the emotional relief that you need, right now. You need to be able to know that this debt is handled and not going to resurface again.

There are some technical ways to rarely discharge student loan debt in bankruptcy but I would not count on that in your situation. But talk to the bankruptcy attorney about the best way to make suitable repayment arrangements on that debt.

You urgently need to get yourself in a position of putting money away for retirement and cash in a boring old savings account, each month. This is the responsible thing to do.

Go talk to the bankruptcy lawyer and then come back and report on what you’ve decided to do. I want to know.

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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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11 thoughts on “I’ve Thought About Killing Myself to Get Out of Debt. – Doug”

  1. i have the same problem. too much debt and no money to fix it. there are NO PILLS or TALKING that will solve this problem. money would solve the entire issue in one day. if i don’t come up with money to fix this soon i’ll just end it and be done. i have no hope so what’s the point. what i really hate is there are billionaires out there who could pool their cash and easily fix all the student loan debt. etc. and still have enough left over to enjoy their multi million dollar homes, cars, stuff. they give .01% to a charity and call themselves “good people”.

  2.  I can relate to those who are feeling the way I do. I’ve been thinking
    of suicide these last few months. Now more especially due to more wage
    garnishments. I’ve tried talking to a recent collector from NCO, but no
    avail. Like the voice in my heart and my soul continue to go unheard. It
    seems there’s no more compassion in this world anymore.

  3. Dear Megan
    I would never feel embarassed about bankruptcy. I certainly wouldn’t feel any obligation to some bank. I can understand not wanting to ruin your credit, but to hell with the banks. Those are the guys paying themselves bonuses with government bailout money. Alot of them aren’t even owned by Americans. Just worry about how to take care of your family.
    Is a credit score worth ruining your life for? The idea of living with credit is what gets alot of people into trouble in the first place. I know I screwed myself up with it. Using those cards as an emergency fund.
    Your life isn’t over but you need to change how you do things. You are like millions of other americans.
    There are ways to get out of debt and start over. Actually, I don’t think your situation is as dire as you make it. At least you are both still working. What if you were unemployed?
    educate yourself and make a plan. Then stick to it. You may have to simplify, but life can still be good. It’s all about change and being flexible.

  4. Thanks for your post, Rob. I’m in a similar situation to Doug, and the myriad pat lists of steps to take haven’t humanized my problem as much as you just have. What my husband and I are doing isn’t working, we’re not enjoying our life and we want to start. We have two great kids and good jobs, we work so hard…it feels like the worst shame ever to say how far in debt we are– we didn’t even buy a house in the inflated lending market, we kept renting and all that. We’re still falling behind, our debts have grown as well as our incomes, but not enough to make ends meet. I’ve been searching all day to see what the worst case scenario is if we just stop paying our credit card bills. It seems like it’s just as upsetting and embarrassing as declaring bankruptcy…I have tried to keep up paying at least the minimums every month, but we’re getting behind on survival needs– food, rent, I cringe at the grocery store and worry about having enough for gas money now. I feel like such a failure. I’m smart, intelligent, I have a master’s degree…I tried not to buy into the “keeping up with the joneses” and stayed away from the “mcmansions”, but I’m still being crushed under this weight. I’m barely sleeping, anxious and depressed (am in treatment for the latter two) but until the monster is slayed, my issues are not going to be resolved.

    Anyhow, thanks for your post. I too sometimes feel like “just packing up and going.” My husband is not so easily convinced!

  5. I had a friend back in the 80’s. He and his family had escaped from Hungary when it was an iron curtain country. They made their way here. They got jobs, but discovered credit cards. They greatly overextended themselves and ended up being bankrupt. They lost their condo and some of their toys. Had to start all over again. Within a year they were getting credit card offers all over again. It didn’t take them too long to get back on their feet. The point is, why end your life just because you owe some bank money. By the time this recession/depression is over with their will be millions of people who have bankruptcy on their records. You are not alone.
    Losing your home is not the end of the world., If you have to live in an apartment, so what. It is better to live with diminished expectations than it is to ruin your health worrying about a building that is probably not holding it’s value anyway.Frankly, I hate my house. Sometimes I feel like just packing and going.
    If you get creative you can find a way to survive. The thing is to realize that what you are doing isn’t working and find a way to make a new life.
    For instance, I was just looking at Rent.com.
    I don’t know where you live, but in Charleston SC I found some nice 2bedrooms for $600/month. I bet when you add up all of the costs of your mortgage, insurance taxes, repairs , on your house it’s alot more than that. The less money you are making, the easier it is to replace.That means, the easier it is to move. Really look at what you are doing. Is the house really worth the struggle?
    As far as the student loans, just send them what you can every month. What are they going to do, kill you? Let them worry about it.

  6. You’re wrong. The pills treat the symptoms, not the cause. At that point a person could simply pretend like nothing is wrong, while they lose their house, have credit below 400, liens, garnishment, and a host of things to ensure that they will not be out of debt until they reach 80 years old, AND possibly the loss of family, pets, business references, and the like.

    Death is not an option, simply because you won’t know if it worked or not…

    …unless you have faith.

    You really want to help? Stop with the platitudes, and find some way to get these people enough money to restart, because all those wonderful plans out there are only for people who are behind “a little.” If you really ARE in a bad place, you will be discarded like yesterday’s garbage. After all, you’re unnecessary; there’s always another person willing to do it more cheaply than you.

    Most of these people in catastrophic debt are good folk, that simply need respite from their debt. If it takes them 40 years to repay it, be happy with that. What’s the point of making a new lower class of dispossessed middles?

    • You said, “…find some way to get these people enough money to restart…”.

      Nice idea but no public funds exist for this. If you know of a place where people could go for free money to start over, please let me know.

      I think the needed “respite from their debt” is only available in bankruptcy, which I suggest more often than not.


  7. Hmmmm…… take a pill and get therapy find a way to resolve the student loan debt. While I am sure your advice is sincere, I think it’s misguided. I would suggest to this man to try and start a grassroots effort to force our elected officials to start fairly addressing the student loan matter and advocating for full consumer rights concerning student loans. I think fighting and advocating for your rights as a citizen would be a healthier way than taking a pill to pull yourself out of a funk due to lack of options set up by our elected officials. Essentially don’t blame yourself turn that energy into fighting back unfair laws and practices set up by the people that are supposed to represent us.

    • Hate to say it, but I too have been seriously contemplating the last case scenario and just offing myself. I’m just kind of scared to go through with the act. Kind of hoping for the fall asleep, never wake up thing. We’ve become disposable commodities, expendable tools for Big Brother to exploit and there doesn’t seem to be any hope on the horizon. At least not in my world. Hope things have panned out better for you Doug.

    • Hate to say it, but I too have been seriously contemplating the last case scenario and just offing myself. I’m just kind of scared to go through with the act. Kind of hoping for the fall asleep, never wake up thing. We’ve become disposable commodities, expendable tools for Big Brother to exploit and there doesn’t seem to be any hope on the horizon. At least not in my world. Hope things have panned out better for you Doug.


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