I’m 69 And Lost My Job But I Want to Pay My Debts. – Chuck


“Dear Steve,

I am 69. lost my job of 15 years 6 months ago. Am on SS and work odd jobs when I can. Have 56,000 credit card debt, Was ok while working but now am 6 months behind on large accounts, have been struggling to keep others current.

I called credit repayment plan and was told I would make payments of $750. per month for four years which is about $300. per month less than I’m paying on half my bills now.but would cover all the bills owed.

I rent and have no assets, I have old 74 truck and 92 car.

One comment was to stop paying anyone and hang on to me money because of my age and no assets crediters could’nt get anything. But I’ve always payed my bills and would like to get my credit back eventually.

I have an appointment with attorney next week.

Looking for suggestions to get back on track and out of all the stress


Dear Chuck,

I’m not sure who specifically you called that wanted to put you on a debt repayment plan but it looks like it was a debt settlement company.

Whoever they are, they have done you a gross disservice in advising you to begin any sort of payment plan.

And while it might be true that you are “judgment proof”, the head in the sand approach is almost never a good idea because it will result in you stressing under massive collections and potentially getting sued. Who needs that aggravation if it can be easily avoided?

What I hear you saying is that you have always had a tremendous amount of pride and on some level you look at bankruptcy as a solution based in failure and so it should be avoided.

Every dollar you pay towards this debt is money that you will no longer have to care for yourself. Let’s say you spend every single dollar towards debt repayment and now you are so broke you can’t afford proper medical care, medications, food, utilities, etc. The only thing that has happened here is that you’ve let your pride transfer your burden to that of public programs, benefits programs, etc.

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Chuck, if I was standing there in front of you I’d put my hand on your shoulder, look you dead in the eye and say “This situation sucks but we need to deal with it.”

I would argue that the most responsible action that you can take is to deal with this head on and in a realistic way. If we do that you will come to a couple of conclusions. First is that there is no reasonable expectation that with your income and asset situation you will be able to repay this debt. The second is that you have a duty to take care of yourself first so that society does not have to assume the responsibility of taking care of you instead.

The most appropriate action in your situation would be to pursue bankruptcy and discharge the debt. Bankruptcy will close the door on these debts for good and then what little money you have coming in will be better able to take care of you.

Keep your appointment with the bankruptcy attorney and ask him or her all the questions you might have. I want you to as fully informed as possible so you can make the best decision for you.

And if you are still stuck in the moral guilt of not repaying your creditors, there is nothing that says you can’t repay them after bankruptcy. Oh yes, and as far as rebuilding your credit, it can be done and it’s easier than you would assume.


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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P.S. Be sure to read ‘The Secret of Surviving Through Difficult Economic Times. What I Learned On My Journey‘.

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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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