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.

Do You Have a Question You'd Like Help With? Contact Debt Coach Damon Day. Click here to reach Damon.

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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