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Only Making Minimum Payments And Can’t Get Out of Debt. – Debbie

“Dear Steve,

I owe $10,000 on four credit cards and can only make the minimum payment. I will never get these debts paid off. I am not behind but I’m having a hard time making them.


Dear Debbie,

If you can make at least the minimum payments then you might want to click here for debt management information. In a debt management plan your interest rates will be reduced and more of your payments will go towards the debt.

But I’m concerned with that approach. If you are not behind and struggling to make the minimum payments then it is doubtful that a debt management program will work for you since that while the interest rate will be lower, the monthly minimum payment will be about the same.

So let’s say you make payments for three years and then find yourself in a situation where you can’t keep making the payments. While your debt will be lower at that point, you’d probably have to look at bankruptcy as a solution. You will have just wasted three years of your life making payments that never solved the problem.

If that does not sound like a good outcome for you then you might want to consider bankruptcy now and if you feel compelled to repay your debts, you can do so after bankruptcy. There is no legal obligation to do so but nothing is stopping you either.

Before you decide what to do I would suggest that you contact a debt management company and a local bankruptcy attorney and see which of those solutions sounds like a better approach for you.

Please let me know what you decide to do.


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.

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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 am a fellow person drowning in a sea of debt from not escaping a failed business when I should have.

    In the given scenario, if in 3 years she ran into trouble, she would leave the debt management program, interest rates would be back up, but since the balance would be drastically reduced, her minimum payments would be much less then they currently are. Also, at that point she could save a fraction of the balance and offer it as a settlement, since the overall balance would be so much lower the credit card company will be more willing to take it losing less money.

    I found that the payments are a bit lower when going through CCCS because the interest rates are lower, even though you are paying CCCS a small monthly fee. I still couldn’t afford those payments, so CCCS reccomended looking into bankruptcy. Instead, I called all of my 6 credit card companies myself and asked to talk to their hardship programs. When you do this tell them you can no longer afford all of your bills because of a pay-cut, increase in bills, or whatever you want, and they will take a lot of info from you about your bills, ask what you could afford, and they will cut the interest rate for you to lower your payment. My interest rates were cut by at least 50%, some are as low as 5%interest now.
    They also do not close out the card, so it doesn’t affect your credit negatively. You can not use the card while enrolled in their hardship program, but you will have a more affordable payment and a balance that is decreasing more rapidly.
    Good luck.

  • Debbie,

    Also you may consider checking out a PERFORMANCE BASED debt settlement company as they negotiate with your creditors so that you would roughly pay a little more than half your debt back over a 2.5 years period.

    That program would most likely offer a lower payment than you are making now.

    Sometimes debt settlement is the best alternative to filing for BK.

    Best Luck.

    Ryan McDonald
    Assista Financial Solutions

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