We Have Always Paid Our Bills On Time And I Don’t Want My Daughter to Suffer Now That We’ve Got Problems. – Kim


“Dear Steve,

We have always paid our bills on time. We own our house. We are 85,000 in credit card debit. Both of our salaries have been cut.

We have 2 kids and one of them rides horses. We pay about 800 a month on that and I can’t take that away from her. She makes all A’s, and is at the barn 3 times a week during school year and 5 days during the summer. Horses are her life and has taught her so much.

I have about 600 left over to pay on my credit cards but that doesn’t come close to what they are asking.

I’ve talked to the credit card companies to try to work something out but I can’t come up with cash to pay a lump sum. I feel very overwhelmed and the more I read the more confused I get.

1. What options do I have?
2. Can I give 100 a month to each creidtor and have them stop interest and late payment?


Dear Kim,

Sounds like you’ve got a bad case of the “my kids shouldn’t have to suffer because of our money troubles.”

I certainly understand how wonderful horses can be and what a change they can make in the life of a special person.

Maybe the better lesson would be to use this opportunity to let the horses teach your daughter about the realities of money. You could always give her an allowance to spend, that you can afford, for the horses, and let her make the choices about how she wants to spend it.

In my humble opinion you actually do your daughter a disservice by hiding her from your current financial realities. Let her participate in the solution to help the family by making those spending choices for the horses. Why leave her with potential guilt when you can give her an opportunity to build self-esteem by helping the family?

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With $85,000 in credit card debt the minimum payment they would take is about $1,700 a month. If you went into a credit counseling program you’d have to make that payment every month for the next five or six years.

Outside of that unrealistic approach, I think you’re looking at riding off to bankruptcy court for a solution. I’m not suggesting bankruptcy as a way to ditch your bills so she can continue the same $800 a month habit. Bankruptcy makes sense because even without the horse cost each month you still don’t have enough money to pay your bills.

I’d suggest that you also take a look at how you accumulated all that debt. If you used some of it to make ends meet or to pay credit cards, bankruptcy isn’t going to be successful for you unless you also make some lifestyle choices and cut back on things you can’t afford on your current salaries.

All I’m saying here is that rather than cut out something so beneficial for her each day, just cut back on it. And while you are thinking about that, remember there are other ways to get time on the horse without it coming out of your pocket.

I have some friends that have been struggling financially and their daughter is passionately in love with horses. She works at the stable, scooping and caring for the horses to pay for her training time and she actually loves it. Doing that, she does not feel guilty about riding, she gets to spend more time around the animals and it has increased her appreciation of the time she does get to ride.

Oops, I almost forgot, giving creditors $100 a month is going to only be beneficial if that is above the monthly minimum payment. Anything less than the contractual minimum payment isn’t going to prevent bad stuff from happening, just delay it.


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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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