Need Advice on Getting Out of Debt

Updated on November 23, 2009
H.M. asks from Sedalia, MO
40 answers

My husband and I have hit rock bottom, I don't know what to do. We are about to lose our house and car and I'm afraid then we'll lose my 2 stepsons too. We owe almost 2 house payments and 2 car payments, plus we owe a huge electric bill. My husband works 2 jobs totaling 80 hours a week, and we still can't catch up. We made the mistake of taking out some small personal loans at those little loan places around town and now we have 5 loans to pay on too. We have been trying to get our house financed but its a manufactured home so its impossible with our credit. We luckily have never gotten credit cards. We go to the food pantry each month and we only have 1 car. We have no cell phones and we had the satellite shut off, so now all we have is the basic necessities. I use the internet to manage our accounts and its bundled with our phone, which we need since we live so far out and my husband has the car, so I have to be able to reach someone in an emergency. I'm so scared and worried all the time that I can't sleep or eat. We're trying to trade our car in for something cheaper, but its hard because we are behind on the payment. If anyone has any suggestions or knows anything about getting out of debt, I would appreciate it. I don't want to have to declare bankruptcy because in all we are only about 12000, in debt. I was wondering about the government grants if there are any available. We have tried getting assistance but they say my husband makes to much, which I don't understand since we can't afford to go grocery shopping and use the money only for bills. Please Help!

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?

We decided to move closer to my husbands work and the boys school which will save a lot of money and help us get back on our feet. Nothing is concrete yet, but were trying. My husband just got a huge raise at work and once we get moved will be able to quit his other job. Thanks again for all the advice.

Featured Answers

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.W.

answers from Champaign on

You've gotten some really good suggestions so far. To add, if you have anything you can sell: have a garage sale, put stuff up for auction on ebay, anything else you can part with to bring in a little cash, that may help as well.

More Answers

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.L.

answers from Kansas City on

Sounds like a very stressful time, been there.

1. Call mortgage and auto loan comapanies. They'll work with you, they'd rather have some money than no money.

2. Do you have a budget? Like how much do you spend a month on groceries, exactly what bills do you have, when are they due? I keep a list of all of our bills. My husband has two jobs, so he gets paid a little one week and then more the next. I have a list of each bill and what paycheck we pay it with. If we don't have enough to pay it, we wait, but no more than a week, and it gets paid first the next week. On our expenses I write down everything - groceries, car gas, cell, phone, cable. Including things that come out of checking.

3. DON'T use those payday loan places again. They're interest is OUTRAGIOUS, and it's only a quick fix, as I'm sure you're learning.

4. I love the suggestion about working at a fitness facility. I used to work at the Y child watch, I could take the kids, and at the time, we only had one car, but I could walk. If you're living miles from anywhere, that probably won't work for you.

5. Don't worry about your credit score right now. Honestly, it's not as hard to build back up as you might think.

6. Figure out where your money is going. Your husband is working 80 hours a week. How much is he bringing in? Is this more than you owe on your mothly bills, OR is the money going somewhere else? For me, writing all this stuff down helps, then I can see how we can cut expenses - things like eating out, renting movies, stuff like that adds up quick.

Hope this helps.
S.

2 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.H.

answers from Springfield on

I have been there before, and I feel so bad for you. Start out by calling the mortgage company and making payment arragements and the same with you lien holder on your car. Next, IGNORE the payday loan companies, they can not eat you! Catch up on everything else before you even begin to deal with them again. Pay only the mortgage, car, insurance and utilites. Cut out all extra expenses, no cell phone, no cable, no internet. Start packing lunches for the kids and hubby, no more eating out or school lunches. Cut out everything that is not necessary. Trading in a vehicle is probably not a good idea, if you are upside down and trade down you could quite possibly have almost the same sized payment and a crappier car! You might also try applying for wic, food program for women infants and children, thier income guidlines are not as strict. If you are a stay at home mom, you could start babysitting at home for other peoples kids, its cash income! Maybe start working a partime job if there is someone to keep the kids, or work when your hubby is home. Lots of department stores are starting to hire christmas help. You could also ebay all of your childrens outgrown clothing and things you just arent using. I know some of these are just unpleasant ideas, but I hope they help! Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.N.

answers from St. Louis on

H.,

Have you tried the HUD and FHA Loans, supposedly Bush has made those easier for families to get since all the foreclosures that are going on. Call a broker or the bank where your loan is and ask. Also on the car some banks will allow you to add the payments to the end of the loan to avoid reposing the vehicle. All you have to do is call and ask them what they can do to help. They would rather have your money than the vehicle, house, etc. Hope this helps, good luck and God bless.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.A.

answers from Kansas City on

Do NOT take out bankruptcy over $12,000. You should be proud of yourself that you do not have credit card debt. Do you have a radio? 11am tomorrow tune into 710am. Like others have posted, listen to Dave Ramsey (http://www.daveramsey.com/ ). If I were you, I'd call in and tell him what's going on. You're going through a rough patch but things will get better. You're not too far down and you'll pull youself back up.

1 mom found this helpful

L._.

answers from San Diego on

I believe it's time to go ahead and so something a bit more drastic. You and your husband should look for an agency or program for people in your situation and move into one of those residential facilities where the rent and utilities are free until you get back on your feet. They have credit counseling, will force you to get some savings together and will even pay daycare so you can go to work.

I know you are trying to avoid bankruptsy. But sadly, your credit is probably already shot. Since you are behind on the mortgage and possibly/probably behind on some of those other big payments, things are getting put on your report. You could give the house back in leui (sp?) of forclosure. It will still look bad on your credit report. But as I said it already looks that way.

I am only saying this because you are unable to work and your husband is working 80 hours because you aren't. It's too much to expect him to work 2 full time jobs just because you don't have a car to drive and don't want to pay daycare expenses. You will never climb out of this hole you are in unless you are able to go back to work and pick up your share. And what will you do when your husband drops dead of a heart attack?

If you live in a place you can do daycare, disregard everything I said and start a daycare. I just got the impression you are a ways out in the middle of nowhere, but I'm not sure why I thought that. If you do daycare charge in advance. That will help you start to pay the bills again. But don't treat it like cash money. You MUST claim it on your taxes. There are so many tax breaks for daycare providers you won't pay that much and you can't expect God to protect your family and help you through this if you are doing something wrong morally.

The debt is not really the problem. I'm 50,000 in debt. But I don't have a hard time with the payments. I was panicking last year when a couple of my companies raised my interest rates. But I called them, gave them hell and made them reduce them again. I pay things in advance any time possible and I am forcing myself to put savings aside.

The real problem is making enough money to pay your bills and necessities. Bills ARE a necessity. But, if your credit is already shot, you could move to a place where there are more jobs or more kids to watch. Don't let yourself think you need a house either. I have operated my daycare out of a 2 bedroom apartment and did just as well as I am doing now in a big house. People want and need reliable care and they want to feel safe. If you can make them feel safe you could do daycare anyplace.

If you want to know more about how to get into the assisted living programs for family, email me. I have friends that run a homeless shelter and I know people that have been in the Hillcrest ministries program in Liberty MO. I've learned quite a bit about how people get on these progrms.

Drastic times call for drastic measures.

Is your house large enough to take in a border? If you could rent out a room maybe you could take a deposit and first and last months rent and pay your back mortgage? I'm just trying to think of things that could help. :)

Suzi

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.K.

answers from Champaign on

The Debtor's Anonymous organization can be reached online or by phone. If you're in a rural area, there may be no meetings near you.

I know it feels like the barbarians are at the gate. We are in debt and broke. I feel for you and identify with you. Hope knowing you aren't alone helps. YOU ARE NOT A BAD OR WORTHLESS PERSON JUST BECAUSE YOUR FINANCES ARE MESSED UP!

K.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

D.M.

answers from St. Louis on

Read this book as fast as humanly possible. Apply it. It works.

http://wallacewattles.wwwhubs.com/rich.htm

God Bless

Love,

D.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

P.L.

answers from Peoria on

You need to stop and take a deep breath. Time-out to re-evaluate your expenses. Take a note pad and start writing. Setting up a budget is a process that must be kept to religiously. There is no room for frills if you are on a limited budget and you continue to be a stay at home mom/step mom. You might look into starting a home based job on the internet. Possible consideration for you would be to seek a job at a day care center that would allow you to bring your 2 yr. old to work with you. I gather the other children are in school. Otherwise, my advice is to either try to set up a manageable budget yourself or seek professional advice on the matter.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.O.

answers from Lawton on

I don't know what to tell you as we are having a tough time too. My situation is not as deep as yours yet, but I feel it coming. You are lucky that you did not get into credit card debt because that is where our problem lies, and it is horrible as well. We are not behind yet, but I really don't know how we are going to eat for the next two or three months, much less the holidays. We are about 23000 in credit card debt and it just keeps piling up, even though we are paying about 600 a month on it. We went to see a CCCS and they told us that since I was a student it would be a good time to file bankruptcy. The only problem is that we really don't believe in doing that. We want to pay our debts, we just don't really know how to survive until I am through with school and have a job again. We have thought about selling our house and moving, but we really don't want to do that as we are surrounded by family and friends. We are going to try to find an AngelFood in our area (which was also one of the suggestions the counselor gave us). I just wanted you to know that you are not alone and there are others out there who understand at least a little of the stress that you are going through. Just keeping praying for God to show you what to do-that is all we know to do right now too. Good luck and keep on posting on here. It helps me I know.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.H.

answers from Springfield on

Drop me a line and we can talk.
I've facilitated a budgeting class, and we can brainstorm together.

Ten Ways to Supercharge Your Cash Flow

by Chris Pummer
Thursday, November 1, 2007provided byMarketWatch <http://www.marketwatch.com/news/default.asp?siteid=yhoo&a...;

So your mortgage payment just ratcheted upward or an unforeseen event has shot the heart out of your finances. Don't succumb to money melancholy just yet.

In the grand scheme, you may have serious credit problems you need to reconcile with due haste. More immediately, what you have is what high-finance types call a cash-flow problem -- not enough income and reserves to cover your monthly expenses.

Before unloading your house on the cheap to avoid foreclosure or hitting your doctor up for a Prozac prescription, consider that many Americans have tens of thousands of dollars in assets and $1,000 or more in potential monthly income and savings they often don't realize are readily available to them.

More From MarketWatch.com <http://marketwatch.com/&gt; :

* Five Moves to Keep Your Debt Under Control <http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/five-moves-keep-you...;

* Banks Play a Lot of Tricks to Sweeten the Pot at Your Expense <http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/banks-play-tricks-s...;

* Selling a Shared House <http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/divorced-couple-dis...;

"There are many steps you can take to improve your cash flow," says David Yeske, past president of the Financial Planning Association and a principal with the San Francisco-based firm Yeske Buie. "You just need to take a hard look at your options."

What follows are 10 ways to raise significant sums to overcome a sudden shortfall. Some involve sacrificing your future financial security. Others require eating a bit of humble pie -- but at least you'll be able consume it in your own home's dining room.

The big scores

Many of us are sitting on ten of thousands of dollars in retirement and college savings that we can access with minimal or no tax consequences or early-withdrawal penalties. Past Congresses made these allowances to help middle-income Americans get through hard times. These are sound ways to tap your long-term savings:

1. Roth IRAs. Because these accounts are funded with after-tax dollars, all contributions can be withdrawn freely at any time. Contributions made by converting a traditional IRA to a Roth can be withdrawn if held in the account five or more years. Conversion contributions less than five years old will be subject to a modest 10% tax for early withdrawal. Avoid pulling out earnings because they're subject to both income tax and the 10% levy. That hit could approach 50% of the withdrawal, depending on your tax bracket and state and local income-tax rates.

2. 529 College Savings Plans. You can withdraw funds you contributed with after-tax dollars to these accounts with potentially minimal tax consequences. The withdrawn money will be reported to the IRS on a proportional basis, as principal and earnings, depending on the account's performance. For instance, if your contributions produced a 25% return and you take out $10,000, then $8,000 will be tax-free and the $2,000 representing the gain will be taxable. At worst, you may owe up to $1,000 on that amount, so you reap $9,000 or more from your $10,000 withdrawal. If the account's earnings are much greater, this is a less attractive source to tap. You should not take out any contributions made by others such as relatives. And 529 accounts set up under the Uniform Gift to Minors Act are not accessible.

3. Halt contributions to 401(k) and 403(b) plans. Many people overlook the fact they can suspend contributions to these employer-sponsored retirement accounts with their very next paycheck, Yeske says. Get yourself to HR and cancel these set-asides for the future -- but restart them as soon as you can after your crisis has passed.

4. 401(k) and 403(b) loans. Many employers allow general-purpose loans from these savings plans. Such loans typically must be repaid within five years. The upside is the interest you pay on the loan goes into your account, along with your replenished funds. Just be sure to deploy the money strategically to get through your cash crisis and not fritter it away.

If you're really strapped and must withdraw money from your 401(k), 403(b) or tax-deductible IRAs be prepared to face that severe tax bite of up to 50% come filing time. If you hold off until this Jan. 1, you at least won't have to square up with the IRS until April 2009.

If you don't see your financial situation improving in the coming year, this move is strongly ill-advised unless you put aside the taxman's due in a lock box.

Monthly boosts

If you're sure it's impossible to get your income and expenses in line, think again. Many people can add $1,000 or more to their monthly income with minimal sacrifice. And since that's after-tax money, it represents about $1,500 or more you can put toward your mortgage, since your higher interest cost is tax deductible.

1. Adjust your payroll-tax withholding to account for an increased mortgage payment. If your payment jumps $600 a month due to an interest-rate hike, that's all deductible and will give you an additional $7,200 tax write-off for a full year. That's a roughly $1,800 to $3,000 annual tax break -- depending on your bracket and state and local income taxes -- which means you could safely reduce your withholding $150 to $250 a month and boost your take-home pay that amount.

Adjust your tax withholding to stop overpaying if you typically get a filing refund. The IRS reported in April that refunds issued this year averaged $2,394. So taxpayers on average give the feds an interest-free loan of $200 cash a month. Since our tax exposure changes from year to year, Brian Pon, a tax adviser with Berkeley, Calif.-based Financial Connections Group, recommends consulting your tax preparer to determine how to bring your withholding in line with your anticipated liability.

2. Take a second job and send teenagers out to work. It seems like an obvious move, but many people under severe money stress freeze up like a deer caught in headlights and get run down financially. With the U.S. unemployment rate still below 5%, part-time positions are plentiful in most all job markets. The pay may be modest, but the added income could prove invaluable to your financial survival.

3. Sell your late-model car and buy a reliable older one. If you have an auto loan costing $350 a month (or worse yet, two loans), you could apply the difference in the price you get for your car and the balance you owe to the purchase of an older vehicle, many of which now still look good and perform well with 100,000-plus miles. Not only will you eliminate the monthly payment (which could cover a $500 jump in your mortgage payment due to the tax deduction), you also could drop collision and comprehensive insurance required by auto lenders if you can bear that risk, saving perhaps $50 a month more. If you own your late-model car outright, bank the money you raise after buying an older one and draw off it to steer through your cash-flow squeeze.

4. Get rid of your cell phones, high-speed Internet access and cable or satellite TV service. There was a time not long ago when we lived without these pricey nonessentials, for which many Americans pay $250 a month or more. If you're locked into a cell-phone contract, don't renew if it's soon to expire. If not, bite the bullet and pay the early-termination penalties. As for an Internet connection, default to a $9.95 a month dial-up plan until your fortunes improve.

5. Increase your insurance deductibles. Many auto lenders allow borrowers to maintain collision and comp deductibles of up to $1,000. And many mortgage lenders permit deductibles of $3,000 to $5,000 on homeowners insurance. You assume greater out-of-pocket risk, but you could save $100 a month or more by raising your deductibles.

Of course, the most immediate boost to your cash flow will come from curtailing your spending. Due to our vast use of hastily grabbed credit and debit cards to make purchases these days, Yeske says, many of us don't realize how large a percentage of our spending is a matter of choice and not absolute need.

"Few human beings are mentally and emotionally wired for budgeting because it requires a high level of concentration to track expenses, dollar-by-dollar, on a daily basis," Yeske says. "But just keeping a sustained focus on your spending can do your cash flow a world of good."

Copyrighted, MarketWatch. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of MarketWatch content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of MarketWatch. MarketWatch shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.T.

answers from St. Louis on

Have you ever heard of Suze Orman? She is like a God when it comes to knowing how to get out of debt. She has a website, it may have a charge if you want her specific help but she knows it all and may be able to help you find your way out. At least you should be able to find some tips there. Good luck with everything. I hope it all works out.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

T.L.

answers from Peoria on

Dear H.,
I suggest contact Consumer Credit Counseling in your area. They are a great way to get on top of your debt without paying interest on what you owe. There is a minimal fee each month for their services but it is way cheaper than any small amount of interest you would be paying. Also, while you are with the Consumer Credit Counselors, your creditors will not be able to contact you to bug you about what you owe them. Also when you go with this agency, your credit can essentially improve because you are taking the necessary steps to pay off your credit and bills owed. If you feel that you are too far in debt then you always have the option of filing bankruptcy. With the new laws these days, I am not sure what the details of filing would be so you would need to contact a lawyer regarding bankruptcy. I understand where you are and have used Consumer Credit Counseling in the past. They are usually very understanding of your situation and are helpful. Good luck with your situation! ~T.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

R.M.

answers from Kansas City on

Dave Ramsey! There are a number of local churches that offer Financial Peace University or you can find resources on his website.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.H.

answers from Tulsa on

You may try to contact some churches in your area. I know a lot of them will help you pay a mortgage or rent payment and also some utilities. DHS may have a list of some churches or other agencies that could help. Also your mortgage company most likely will work with you if you explain your situation. Do not "hide" from your creditors, they are more likely to work with you if you are up front with them. No one likes to make those calls, but sometimes when you tell them what is going on they can help or know someone who can.

As for the debt counseling, I don't recommend it. I worked in debt collections for a while and I heard nothing but bad things about them and customers saying they lied to them. They will tell you that if you are getting their help that the collection companies cannot call you, but that is not true. Some choose not to, but from a legal standpoint they can. At the company I worked for it was our policy to continue calling the customer, mostly because the debt counseling company was always late (which means more interest and late fees for you) or would skip months. Most debt counseling places claim to be not for profit, but actually keep your first months payment and some even keep a portion of your other payment. They claim that they are not profiting from you but they have to pay their bills and employees so they are actually profiting but using your money for them non the less. They also claim to eliminate the interest which is not true. In some cases they can get the companies to reduce the interest but mostly on credit cards and other small loan companies the companies have to agree to it. The company I worked for would not agree to reduce it for any reason. They would work with you on payments but that was about all. One of the many reasons I no longer work there.

And for the lady telling you your husband is working 80 hours and week because you won't and insinuating that you are going to cause him a heart attack, that was uncalled for. She sounds bitter. Don't listen to her. For one thing if your husband is like mine, he would rather work 2 jobs, not because he doesn't want me to work, but mostly because he doesn't want to be the one to take care of the kids. He says it is harder than working. He only has 1 job but when I was going to go to work to help out he said "no way" he would get a second before he had to stay home and keep the kids all day.

Good luck, I hope all works out.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.L.

answers from St. Louis on

H.,
I am not a financial counselor, but with the mortgage company I know they don't want to foreclose anymore than you do. They lose money. I would at least in that sector make sure you keep talking with them. Don't not call and think they will just forget or something. They have a loss mitigation department usually which will ask you to gather some of your financial info such as how much you spend on gas, car payments, utilities, etc. and then they will want you to write a hardship letter explaining what's going on. Usually, they will work with you. Same goes with utilities. They really just want a call. Now they may still call you about paying, but let everyone know that you are working with the billing departments to set-up a payment plan you can afford.
Be careful, as far as the home mortgage loss mitigation department is concerned, about telling them that what is going out is more than $400-$500 more than what is coming in. Be truthful, but I learned that sometimes saying you spend some huge amount on groceries or gas, say, which you think will make them more understanding backfires and they will say you aren't going to be able to pay what we need you to pay. Don't be too confused, just show them that you are serious about paying your loan back, and maybe they can spread it out over a longer period of time.
I also think, if I remember right, they don't get too serious about foreclosure until you are about 4-6 months behind, but just call them ahead of time.
Start maybe with calling the IRS and asking where you can go for financial counseling or assistance. (Beware of financial counselors that say they are with the government, but are really privately owned and will cost you.) If I remember right the government counselors are free and there are some programs that might be able to help out, too(HUD, maybe?).
Remember, you are not alone. There are many folks out there living in relative luxury, but are going to food pantries because they are unable to pay the bills or feed their families.
Not much, but I hope it helps or gives you some hope!

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.S.

answers from Lawrence on

Hey H.--

I work from home with a team and help other moms work from home to earn that extra income as well. If you are motivated and serious about making that money to pay off your debt we can help you. Visit our website and if you feel you are a good fit for our team, fill out the contact info. and I can call you and get you all of the details on what we do and see if you qualify to join our team. Hope this can help you out!

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.W.

answers from Kansas City on

H., Keeping looking up because you can beat this. I agree with everyone that has mentioned making a budget. My husband has one set up for us that lists ALL of our monthly needs, mortgage, utilities, food, Dr., etc. He as were his paycheck goes down to the last penny.

As far as your electric bill goes, I will tell you what we do. With all utilities we use moderation. If you aren't in a room, the light should not be on. Same with a TV. Just think common sense with all of it. My husband has even gone to the extremes of checking the electric meter, etc. to monitor how much we are using so that we know when to cut back.

At home day care is a great opportunity to bring in money as well. I do that and love it and it has allowed me to work from home while my daughters are not in school.

I also agree that you should call your mortgage company and elctric company etc to see how they can work with you on your bills. Good Luck.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.M.

answers from St. Louis on

It sounds like a debt consolidation program would be the best way to go. My husband and I did this about 6 years ago, and it was the best thing for us. It will roll all of your debts into one payment (which will be lower than all the other combined). The interest will be much lower also. You can probably combine everything into this except your house payment. This will help you to get back on track, and then you can slowly work on paying that bill down. One thing for sure, make sure you keep in contact with your mortgage company, and your car loan company. If they know that you are struggling, but are at least trying to make regular payments, they will be more understanding, and not so quick to file a reposession.
Hope this helps,
J.

1 mom found this helpful

W.Q.

answers from Tulsa on

Hi H.,

We went through bankruptcy about 5 years ago and almost everyone we owed, especially our motgage company, said we should have called them and worked out a smaller payment plan until we got back on our feet. My advice is bite the bullet and make those phone calls. You might be surprised how much they will do to try keeping you out of bankruptcy. The first call to make is your mortage company...we were 4 payments behind and they were willing to reduce our mothly payments until we got back on our feet.

Good luck,
W. Q

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.R.

answers from Oklahoma City on

I posted this in the past week to another message. Maybe it will give you some ideas & insight.

It's hard to support a family on one income. Have you made a monthly budget? Are you figuring enough for groceries, health care, gas, clothing, etc. Collect all of your bills & receipts for one month. At the end of it, total up each category to see if it's what you've got budgeted. Eating out quickly adds up - even just going to Chick~fil~a and other cheap places. Does your husband make enough to meet the budget? If not, you might need to get some part-time work while the kids are in school or when you husband is home so you can avoid daycare costs. How much is he paying for benefits? Perhaps your part-time job will have better benefits. You might just consider picking up a temporary job for the holidays. I think Dillard’s pays $10-12 an hour. And Macy's at Penn Square had signs up yesterday that they were hiring for the holidays. Or provide in-home daycare to other kids in your area (like someone else sugggested). You are going to HAVE to work to solve your problem unfortunately.

Okay moving on - You have several additional options. If you just need cash in general, you could do something like Payday loans, but expect to pay out the nose in interest. Even the government thinks you will get the shaft if you utilize a payday loan and has come up with some alternatives. Here is a link to a very good article published by the FTC:
http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/alerts/pdayalrt.shtm

Also, if you have a car that's got equity in it, sell it to get the cash out of it and keep part of it to buy a $2k used Honda which will run forever. Normally, I would suggest trying to refinance your home if you have any equity in it. This is usually a good option because you will have a lot longer repay term which will keep your monthly payment low. If your credit is so bad that your lender won't approve you, you can look at using a mortgage broker. They are easier to finance through but expect to pay more and have higher fees, but still it is an option. Again, it depends on how much $ you need & for how long you need it. Depending on your answers, this could end up being more expensive than payday loan in the long run. if things are really bad, you might need to consider selling your house and find free (shelter type housing like someone else mentioned) or cheaper housing. Also, if either you or your hubby have a 401k, then you might be able to borrow against it. It's not the most ideal, but it's money. If you absolutely must, you can cash out a 401k - but you will get taxed out the rear.

Figure out how much money you need, and determine if this is a one time thing to get caught up, and then look at all of your options to see which one is going to be the least expensive. Look at savings accounts, a garage sale, putting unused items on Ebay to generate some cash.

Overall on paper, the best economical solution to benefit your family would be to get a job. This involves no loans, paperwork, high interest rates and most importantly you are EARNING instead of BORROWING - which is really the ultimate solution. You need to bring money IN (income) instead of paying it OUT in the form of interest, etc. which puts you further and further behind. Borrowing just delays the inevitable - you lack income to pay cash for what you need or didn't expect (like an illness, job loss, etc.) and bringing money in is the only way you can break the cycle.

I don't know where you live, but I read an article I think it was in Metro Family Magazine. There is a food pantry in Bethany (I think it's Angelfood) and you can get a box of food that feeds a family of 4 for a week for $25. I don't think it gets any cheaper than that unless it's Ramen noodles, etc.

I know it's not easy and I hope you find a solution that works well for your family. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.K.

answers from Kansas City on

I'm sorry to hear about your debt situation. My husband and I are trying to get out of debt as well and have been following the Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey. You can go to daveramsey.com and learn all about him. You can email him questions and I know he will have sound advice for you.

Another piece of advice, get on your knees and pray! With God, ALL things are possible. He will see you through this. Good luck to you and your family!!

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.S.

answers from Peoria on

Contact Grace Presbyterian Church and inquire about the Crown Financial classes. It may be helpful. My expereince was to contact the creditors and arrange a smaller payment. Most would rather receive something in place of nothing. But you must make those payments each month. Good luck! Also, Riverside Community Church has the Dream Center food pantry. Check it out as it cost $25 a month but is will worth it. We use it every month. God Bless. You would be a good Food Basket Family. Contact Christian Union Church to inquire to contact person.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.I.

answers from St. Louis on

H., do you belong to a credit union? A lot of time credit unions that do mortgage lending can help a family out in hard times. I would call around to local credit unions, especially if you belong to one and tell them your story. I would do what ever you could to save your house. Stop paying your credit cards bills and just focus on your home and cars. I am in mortgage lending, I see this all of the time. You need to make your mortgage payment and forget about everything else. Luckily 12k in credit card debt is not that much just don't fall behind on your home. Your family needs someplace to live!

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

E.E.

answers from Springfield on

H., I can totally sympathize! My husband and I are working our way out of a pile of debt, too. We were introduced to a man by the name of Dave Ramsey. He has a plan for not only for debt reduction, but also for wealth building. You can get on his website at www.daveramsey.com. You can download worksheets to help you write a budget and keep track of what your indebtedness is.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

H.H.

answers from Champaign on

Have you gone to see a credit couselor? When we were truly in debt, we saw a credit counselor and they helped consolidate our debts and lower the payments. I hope this helps.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

G.N.

answers from St. Louis on

Hi, you didnt say how old your stepsons are, if they are old enough is it possible to have them babysit and you can get a job to help pay toward the debt. Do you have family around that could help babysit so you can get a job to help with the debt. Just a thought, hope you get some relief from your debt soon.

Good Luck
G.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

R.K.

answers from Rockford on

Consider yourself extremely lucky for not having ANY credit card debt! Keep it that way!

How many cars do you have? If you have 2, could you sell one? Do you have ANY expenses you could cut, like the cable bill or cell phones?

Be SURE to call the mortgage company to ask them what you can do to keep your house. Don't ignore them or neglect them....they are much more understanding than most people think. Also, you don't HAVE to pay your entire electric bill each month, but you should be paying a portion of it.

To save on groceries clip coupons and shop generic. You can also go down to the food pantry in your area for free food if you're hurting really bad.

I hope I could help somehow! Best of luck!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

F.M.

answers from Springfield on

declare bankruptcy That will give you a new start in life.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

R.

answers from Kansas City on

Check out Dave Ramsey (www.daveramsey.com). He is very good with debt resolution. And I know that you can get some of his books on tape at local libraries.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.

answers from Wichita on

I agree with Amy. Make sure your basic necessities are met first. Cut back on luxuries. This includes buying pre-packaged or prepared foods from the grocery store. Buy wisely and cook homemade meals instead. You will see the difference in how much it makes a dollar stretch. Also, it's the holiday season. Lots of retail shops are hiring seasonally. Like Amy suggested, do you think it might be beneficial for you to look for a seasonal job and put your daughter in daycare to see if it would help out temporarily? It might help. I'm sorry to hear that you're in such a tough situation. We wish you the best!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.D.

answers from Tulsa on

I suggest getting a job. My husband is the breadwinner in our family but I still work even though most of it goes towards child care that little bit helps out alot.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.L.

answers from Kansas City on

H.:
You need to make sure that your basic/living bills are paid first...home, food, electricity....Cut back everything (no eating out, entertainment...). If you can, sell your car, pay on what you owe, and buy a cheaper car. You may be able to consolidate your loans, into one, with one lower payment. As far as overdue bills, do you belong to a church that could help with that? If not, call the company and see if you can work out a plan. You mentioned that you are a SAHM. If your step-sons are in school, would it be beneficial for you to get a job (meaning, the cost of daycare would be lower than you working)?
Good luck.
A. L

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.T.

answers from Oklahoma City on

H.!!!! First of all, In your first part of your story, you stated that you have "2 car payments". Then on down into the story you say you and your husband only have "one car"!!! Which is it??? Anyway, I just want to also say, you should figure out how to make some cash, "yourself" If your husband already works 2 jobs then you need to figure out how to bring in some money to help with the bills!!!!! Life is not peaches and cream, trust me. Sometimes as you well know right now, we go down a hard road in life but what does not break us, makes us stronger!!!!!!!!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.W.

answers from Wichita on

Im not sure about the government grants but just keep your head up and pray. If god brought you to it, he WILL bring you through it.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

B.A.

answers from St. Louis on

I don't know a whole lot about this, but maybe you could use your internet service to look up debt consolidation services, I would look into a not-for-profit place. I remember hearing about something on the radio. I hope I could be of some help...?? Good luck, and God Bless

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.K.

answers from Kansas City on

Hi H.,

I know you probably don't want to but you could try finding a job to help out a little. You could work it around your husbands schedule so you wouldn't have to get daycare for the children.

Our finances were getting tight also so I got lucky and found a job at a gym daycare. I'm able to get a little extra money and bring my kids with me. It's [email protected]! Plus I get a free gym membership (which could help you relieve some stress). Or you could work the evenings when you hubby is home. I know it's not easy and it's very stressful but it's the only option I can think of.

Good Luck with everything!!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

T.D.

answers from Oklahoma City on

H., I am so sorry for all the bad luck that you and your family are having at this time. Have you checked into any of the Churches? Is there any way that you can work? That would help, if you had family that would help with the children , then you could get a job. It will all work out. I will keep you in my prayers.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

D.E.

answers from Houston on

We are giving Home Loans, Air Force Home Loans, Home Equity Loans, Military Loans, Business Loans, Real Estate Loans, Refinance Loans, Mortgage Loans and Educations Loans for all persons in Houston.

We are giving loans without

1. No Mortgage Insurance
2. Low Interest Rates
3. No Income Proofs

Want Loans with Low Interest and Very Fasten and in One day

Call ###-###-####

Want Loan Just Add your Registration

http://www.valoanshouston.com/index.html

Email: [email protected]____.com

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions

Related Searches