How Can We Get Help With Our Debts When We Are Not Behind? – Jaimee


“Dear Steve,

I am around 31000 in credit card debt between six cards. My lowest interest rate is 2.99 and my highest is 22. All of this debt was ran up during a period that my husband was in school and I was the only income.

Citibank is my highest balance and they just raised my interest rate from 6.49 to 14.99, the minimum payment is outrageous and we are drowning. We have always made our payments and been on time but can’t see to get anywhere.

How can I get out of all of this debt? Credit counseling and debt consolidation seems to only help people that are behind in payments and this is not the case for us. Please help!


Dear Jaimee,

For those people that are just treading water, not behind but not making any real progress, creditors don’t want to help you, they’ve got you in the “sweet spot” just making the minimum payment and making them a lot of money.

Since creditors essentially control credit counseling by controlling the terms and details of who can get help there, and creditors won’t lend to people that are maxed out, you are over a barrel.

Your only way out of the situation is to change one of the variables. You could fall behind and then go into a debt management program, you could increase your income to pay off your debt with a bit less stress, or you could invoke the surprise bankruptcy and go bankrupt and get the court to either eliminate your debt or give you a 0% repayment program you can afford.

I know, I know, it’s not fair and certainly you would think that more help would be available, but it’s not really.

This is why many people elect for the surprise bankruptcy. They keep making minimum payments until they realize it is a dead-end street for them and then poof.

No matter what you decide to do I think you should talk to a local bankruptcy attorney and see how bankruptcy would impact you.


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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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