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What Can I Do to Get My Credit Card Companies to Remove My Interest While I Get Back on My Feet? – Neal


“Dear Steve,

Unemployed, finding it hard to find work. I collect unemployment benefits (!) and my wife gets family tax benefit A & B as well parenting payment. A few years back I was in the best job with car etc and we took out credit cards and new car loan. We owe both credit cards and car and have tried to use some credit help agencies to be told that it is not possible while unemployed. I would rather not go bankrupt or whatever. We rent too and rent etc is high and in the area is about average.

What can I do to get the credit card guys to stop the high interest and put the cards into stasis or something to allow me to pay them off without the continuous high interest etc?


Dear Neal,

I am encouraged that those credit help people you saw would not put you on a debt management plan while you were on unemployment. Good for them.

Unemployment benefits are too low to help makes ends meet or sustain a debt repayment plan. Additionally, unless you land a job, the benefits will end before you know it and then what, you’re still in the same boat.

The only program that will eliminate your interest completely and allow you to repay what you can afford will be a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Creditors will not do that on their own, no matter how much sense it makes for them to do it.

You see Neal, you are but a tiny cog in a huge machine of credit. Creditors are not going to give you special deals or individual understanding that does not comply with a program or policy on their books. It is too expensive to treat people as individuals.

In your situation the best two options would be to not pay your credit cards and go into collection and bankruptcy. If you stop paying the card this will buy you a bit more time to find a job. If you can’t land a job by a future date you pinpoint now, then bankruptcy is the most logical course.

Of course, bankruptcy is an option you should investigate right now and learn more about what bankruptcy would mean for you in your situation.

Here is your homework, I want you to make an appointment with a local bankruptcy attorney and go learn more about bankruptcy. After your meeting I want you to come back and update me in the comments section about what you learned. Deal?


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.

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.


  • Thanks Steve – not sure if I included that I was in Australia. Does that make a difference in what you are saying?

    • Neal,

      There are some debt assistance solutions in Australia that are unique to Australia but the underlying issues are still the same, unemployment will run out at some point and basing a repayment program on unemployment is like putting on a bandage while standing in front of an oncoming train. It is ineffective to prevent injury.


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