I Used to Have a Drug Problem. Now I’m Left With Debt. – Jayme

“Dear Steve,

In my younger years, I had a drug problem so I just didn’t care about all the court fines that were mounting. I’m now 28, two sons and a full time job for 3 years. Although I’m paying $100. a month to the collection company that the court sent these fines to, I’m just getting behind because of the interest being charged.

Is there any way to stop the interest charges and get these fines paid off? Thanks


I asked my friend Mike Killian to answer your question for you. I wanted to make sure you got an answer as quickly as possible as I’m a bit backed up at the moment. I’ll be watching the comments on this question and be around to help if you need me.


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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Dear Jayme,

Jayme, first off I laud your turn around. I hope your problems do not create an environment that has you back peddling to a no-win situation of drugs, etc. At the same time my news for you is not very good.

The only way around similar situations is bankruptcy and unfortunately issues such as fines, court fees, etc are not dischargeable in bankruptcy. I certainly wish I had better news. The only things I can think of is to call the collection agency and simply ask for lower interest fee or to increase your minimum payment so that the debt can be paid off faster and save on the interest.

You may be interested to know that a simple increase in payments can dramatically reduce the total interest and time to pay off the debt. For example, if you have a $5000 debt at 17% interest and pay $100 per month you will pay $11,304 in interest over 40 years. That same interest and amount with a minimum payment of $125 will reduce the amount of time to pay off the debt and the amount of interest by nearly ½.

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Perhaps a second job or selling something can assist but unfortunately there are very few other options.



If you have a credit or debt question you’d like to ask just use the online form. We are happy to help you totally for free.


Mike Killian is founder of Learning Credit and Debt Management. He has been writing and teaching about credit and debt management issues for over 12 years. His articles have been referenced by various members of the media, including MSNBC and The Motley Fool. Mike has also offered debt elimination seminars to businesses and community colleges for many years.He has an MS in counseling and is a nationally certified as a Personal Finance Counselor. Mike can be found at LearnCreditManagement.com/.

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