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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.

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.


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.

READ  I Have No Money to Pay My Increasing Debt. - Peter

About the author

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.


  • 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”.

  •  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.

  • 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.

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