Ask The Get Out of Debt Experts Retirement Related

We Are Thinking of Cashing Out Our 401K to Pay Off Some Debt. – Mary

“Dear Steve,

We are a couple in our late 50’s.

Our problem, we bought a house two years ago, payments $1700. we have $15000 in CC debt all in collections, we had a cut in income….we bring home $3100 a month. We have exhausted all savings, we cannot pay insurance, expenses, cc, etc. in full. We do not save any money, we do not have an emergency fund. We do have small 401K’s. One of ours $31000. with a $10000. loan against it. Is it wise to cash it in to pay off our debt. We have no equity in the house, we paid $275000, it’s worth now $180000. The loan was for $256000, we owe $253000.

We have no money extra to do anything with. There is no room in the budget for emergencies.

Should we cash in our 401K to catch up now?


Dear Mary,

I had the following questions that I’d like for you to answer before I can answer your question. Please post your answers in the comments section of your question. I’m looking forward to helping you for free.

  1. Do you want to tread water and continue your current situation or fully resolve it?
  2. How is your life going to be better by draining your 401K?
  3. How do you feel about letting your house go back to the bank and renting to reduce your monthly expenses?
  4. What is your opinion about bankruptcy?

As soon as you can post the answers to my questions above I’ll be able to help.

If any reader wants to offer advice in the comments section please feel free to participate.


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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