I Lost My Job, My Husband Died, and I’m Drowning in Debt


Dear Steve,

I am 60 years old, lost my job 1 1/2 yrs ago and subsequently started my own business. I was receiving 1/2 of my ex-husbands military pension, and paying down my debt and remodeling my home. Then the bottom fell out.

My house was flooded by a faulty hot water heater and very extensive repairs needed to be done, some covered by insurance.

My ex-husband passed away and unbeknown to me he hadn’t taken out SBP, so my pension stopped immediately.

I was able to live on my savings and investments while the business was starting to grow but I was living fist to mouth. Large expenses had to be put on my credit cards (property taxes and homeowners insurance, as well as house repairs, electrical and hvac).

I now have amassed a credit card debit of $32K. I now receive his SS in the amount of $1490 per month.

I was doing ok until I tore the meniscus in my knee and for the time being am unable to work. I am able to pay my mortgage and household expenses, but there is nothing left to pay on the credit card debt. I don’t know the best option for me. This is the first month that I am falling behind.

I don’t know the best option for me. Bankruptcy has been suggested. I have talked to a couple of the creditors but the option they have given is still beyond my means.



Dear Teri,

It is what it is. The right way to determine what is best for you at this point would be to evaluate the options based on your situation. The worst way would be to decide what to do based on emotion or assumptions.

I’d suggest you first read this, this, and this. They will give you a great overview of what we need to deal with to get you moving in the right direction.

See also  I Want to Borrow From My Pension to Pay Off a Credit Card Debt. - Debra

Then read my guide 8 Easy Steps to Eliminate Your Debt Checklist and use the free How to Get Out of Debt Calculator to review your options.

Once you’ve identified a company you want to work with, then follow my step-by-step guide on what you should look for and expect from a good debt relief company.

Ironically bankruptcy is most often the fastest way out of debt for the least amount of money. It allows you to get back to living within your income, it’s the only legally binding option you have over creditors, and it’s easy to rebuild credit.


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.

Do you have a question you'd like to ask me for free? Go ahead and click here.

Damon Day - Pro Debt Coach

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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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