Life Has Kicked Me With Debt Every Step of the Way – Haley


Dear Steve,

When I was 16, my parents split and my mom was laid off about a year later. I gave her about $10,000 I’d saved at my job between the ages of 16-18.

At 18, I started college and was expected to pay for it myself. I tried to sell my only asset, my car, to my sister. She ended up driving it to Texas and not speaking to me again for years.

I took out student loans, but without a car, I resulted to borrowing my roommates car to get to and from work. Then I took out a credit card to pay for gas and food. The next semester happened and I was short again.

Then I was raped and dropped out of college. My college loan started to default and I took out another card. I don’t even know where all my debt is. I went through a period of borrowing from Pay Now places, and I think I have them all paid off from two years ago, until last week when I got a call saying they still hadn’t received payment.

My question is…. what do I even begin to do. I have no idea how much debt I have or even where to find it. I’ve moved approximately 6 times since I started all of this mess. I’ve been unemployed for the last month and a half and I’ve finally started a new job. I want to get this handled so I can eventually buy a newer car.

Please help me.



Dear Haley,

Wow. You’ve lived through a whole lot of unfortunate tragedy. I’m not really sure what to say about all of that other than, that all really sucks.

So let’s move forward to today.

The first thing I suggest you do is nothing.

I’d rather see you start to save money and build an emergency fund before you open the doors and start to rebuild your credit. I can’t stress strong enough how important this step is. Having some cash in a savings account or a second account will give you some protection in case something unexpectedly happens in the future. It will. It always does for everyone.

Do You Have a Question You'd Like Help With? Contact Debt Coach Damon Day. Click here to reach Damon.
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Trying to tackle your back debt issues is a two-stage process. Not only do we need to deal with the old debt but you need to rebuild your credit at the same time.

I hate to assume but I would be surprised if your new job was giving you a huge windfall each month. So to repay your old debt, save, and live now it will most likely create an impossible financial solution that is unsustainable.

Frankly, I think it is time to stop trying to repair your financial past and instead start doing better moving forward. I think you should strongly consider talking to a local bankruptcy attorney who is licensed in your state. Bankruptcy would give you an absolute legal fresh start and allow you to use what you learned from making mistakes and not do that stuff again.

Your situation is almost a classic example of what is in this article, Those That File Bankruptcy Do Better Than Those That Don’t.

If you got a fresh start and focused on rebuilding your credit (How to Easily Rebuild Your Credit and Have Good Credit Again After Bankruptcy) you could quite possibly be qualified for dealer financing faster than trying to dig yourself out of the old hole.

I would certainly encourage you to talk to a bankruptcy attorney before you even begin to deal with the old debt. And it you want some additional information to read, 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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