I’m Unemployed, Pregnant, and Can’t Afford to Pay Debt Collectors. – Erin

“Dear Steve,

Unemployed, pregnant, and cant afford the payments demanded by the debt collectors.

I am trying to make the demanded payments by the debt collectors, with out defaulting on my car payment, insurance, and medical bills. Do I have to send the collection agency the payment they are demanding, or can I send what little I can afford without the threat of being sued?


I asked my friend Susan Nilon 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.

Hi Erin,

First, take a deep breath. I know that you must feel that you are totally alone in your situation and desperate about what to do. But the truth is- you are not alone. There are many services that are available to you because you are pregnant and unemployed. The most important thing you need to worry about is your health and your baby’s health. If you haven’t done this already, go down to your local Social Service office. There, they will be able to give you information about programs like Medicaid and WIC. These programs will help you pay for your medical bills and put food on your table – not only while you are pregnant, but for some time after the baby is born.

After taking care of yourself physically, take a look at the things you will need in order to take care of your baby- a place to live and a car to drive. Beyond that, everything else pares by comparison. Do not let the debt collectors scare you into a place where you are not thinking clearly. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health with a baby on the way. The reason the debt collectors push so hard is because they don’t believe you when you tell them your situation. They have heard it all before and they operate under the assumption that you are not doing enough. They feel that if they just push harder then you will work harder at getting them what they want. But that doesn’t make it any easier on you.

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Before you go any further, I would also suggest seeking the help of a bankruptcy attorney. You can call up your state or county Bar Association and they will help you find free or low cost program. The bankruptcy attorney will help you have a better understanding of what is at risk with the collection agency and give you the best options on how to settle your debt.

I realize that you are carrying a heavy load right now. But there are people and programs that are there to help you. Please know that you will get through this and you will see a light at the end of the tunnel. Hand in there and let me know how everything is going.



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.

2 thoughts on “I’m Unemployed, Pregnant, and Can’t Afford to Pay Debt Collectors. – Erin”

  1. I am 25 disabled and on a low income/ tight budget of 700 dollars a month. About 4 or 5 years ago my father co-signed for me to get a credit cards and I couldn’t pay I told the company I was unable to keep up with the interests and it got to the point i couldn’t pay anything. Creditors are trying to go after my dad but he is also disabled and living on a low income budget..What can I do to get the creditors to stop?

    • Tina,

      Since he cosigned for the debt he accepted all responsibility for repayment. Your only option would be to pay the debt in full or come to a repayment agreement with the creditor you can afford to pay on a regular basis.



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