I’m in College and Getting Sued by CapitalOne. What Do I Do? – John

“Dear Steve,

Full time college student with debt from credit cards and past balance for a college in California.

I’m a 21 year old college student (about a year left of school) My student loans are all deferred until I graduate, but I have two credit cards and a balance from a college I used to attend in California. The total that I owe is about $3500 and all three of the creditors have collection agencies and attorneys harrassing me. I was served by capitolone and told that they are filing a judgement against me.

I attend the Culinary Inst. of America full time, so I am unable to work enough to pay these debts. I pretty much just make enough money to live on and my mom pays most of the misc. college expenses to help me. I would like to try and settle these debts but don’t know where to start. Might you be able to offer advice?


Dear John,

Where do you start; with income. Until you get out of school it does not sound like you can make much, if any, money to begin to resolve these debts.

I’d just wait till you graduate, get a job, and start earning some money before you do anything. Otherwise, what’s the conversation going to be?

“Hi Capital One, it’s me John. I just wanted to call you and tell you I don’t have any money.”

Save the time and bake me a batch of snickerdoodles.

If they are going to sue you, they win. Like I said, it can all be dealt with latter.


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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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1 thought on “I’m in College and Getting Sued by CapitalOne. What Do I Do? – John”

  1. John,

    Your story really resonated with me. I recently graduated from culinary school and am finding myself drowning in debt. I have debt from an old Chase card that is at about $5100. I have not been sued, but I feel like it’s coming very soon and I don’t know what to do. I have a full-time job now as a pastry chef and try to make extra money outside of work by taking on freelance food writing gigs, but the industry isn’t known for paying all that well. I can barely pay for things like gas, groceries or health insurance, let alone pay off this monstrous, looming debt. 

    I’d love a follow up to see how things are going now. How did you deal with the lawsuit? Were you able to get back on track? If so, how did you do it?


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