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My Husband Just Got Laid Off. How Can We Fix Our Debt Problem Without Ruining Our Credit? – Amanda

“Dear Steve,

My husband and I have recently bought our first home and made some other big purchases using credit and have gotten ourselves into debt and then to top it off, he was just laid off, so we are down to just my income and much more than that in monthly payments.

How can I fix this without completely ruining our credit?


Dear Amanda,

In a situation like this the only solution is going to either be to replace the income or bankruptcy. It is unlikely that you would be able to reduce enough money by avoiding getting a cup of coffee out or cutting out cable television to make a drastic difference in the situation.

I also don’t think that a credit counseling or debt management program is going to be a sustainable solution for you unless the missing income is fully or partially replaced.

You could wait a bit if you wanted to give him a chance of finding a new job before you file bankruptcy. The only thing that will happen is that you will get deeper in collections and have to deal with debt collection calls. But when they call, and they will, just be pleasant. Just don’t promise to make any payment that you honestly can’t afford.

Sure, the situation sucks. But it was unplanned and the credit score is the least of my worries. My primary concern is that I want you to make the mortgage, utility, insurance and food payments first. The credit card companies will just have to wait if there is no money to make payment arrangements to them.

Once the income is replaced you can go about rebuilding your credit.


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.

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