If you're struggling with debt and wondering how, or even if, you will ever pay if off, please know that you're not alone. As the contributors here attest, there is hope. Sometimes it requires making tough choices, sometimes it requires asking for help, and sometimes it may actually mean considering personal bankruptcy and the chance to start over.
The stories that follow are here to give you hope, comfort, guidance, and even inspiration. But mostly they're here to remind you that many, many others have been exactly where you are now.
I Was Over My Head in Debt
It started when I was 18 years old and able to get my first credit card.
Debt Out Of College
The story of my problems with debt started when I was getting out of college.
Job Loss and New Baby
A little over two years ago I lost my job as a retail manager. The worst part of it all is that this was 5 days after my first born came into this world. My wife and I had just finished racking up a large chunk of bills for all new baby things, including furniture, clothing, toys, and diapers.
Don't Let Debt Stress Stop You
I came to Maryland from New York with the hopes of finding my calling my "thing" if you will. I've been out in Maryland for 3 years now and up until 1 year ago everything was so hard. I have a beautiful son and of course I was a single mother, a fate shared by most young mothers.
Plagued by Debt
I'm from a small rural area where the cost of living is relatively high. Debt was a word I never thought I would be plagued by but as a young college student working two full time jobs and going to school full time it was something I was overwhelmed by.
The Urge to Spend
I had a very good job that paid very well. I received many credit offers which I accepted. Some of these offers were absolutely crazy! I'm talking about $20,000 worth of unsecured credit from a single source. I used my credits cards and charged way too much useless stuff.
We Were Able to Keep Our Credit Intact
My husband and I have always been very financially responsible. So much so that at an early age we were able to purchase our first home. Unfortunately we bought our home at the peak of the housing market and paid tens of thousands of dollars more than what it would be worth in the coming years.
Aggressively Paying Down Debt
A couple of years ago I had over $3000 in credit card debt, $2000 left on my car payments, and very little money in savings.
Ridiculous Adventure with Debt
It has been a few years since I experienced problems with debt but it was a ridiculous adventure. I was in graduate school and getting close to the end.
Credit Card Offers Like Crazy
I began my first job at a local university at the age of 16. Soon after, credit card offers were coming in the mail like crazy. Without spending and budgeting techniques, I quickly racked up my credit cards to $22,000. Eventually, the interest rates caught up to me and it felt impossible to pay the debt off.
Unmanaged Credit Card Debt
Before I left for college in the mid '90s, my mother sat down and had "the talk" with me. Do not rack up credit card debt. Do not even think about getting credit cards.
Divorce and Bankruptcy
My story began with my marriage to my then wife in 2003. I had managed to save about $100,000 at that point through dollar-cost averaging into a mutual fund. I had a steady job, and did my best to progress at work, eventually taking a management position in 2005.
Debt and Contemplating Suicide
No one thinks they're going to need to file bankruptcy until they do. At least, I didn't. This is how I clawed my way out of a terrible situation that was, sadly, of my own making.
Words of Encouragement About Debt
I decided to share my experiences because I feel that my situation is more common than people who are in it realize and because I know how overwhelming it can be. Hopefully, someone can learn from my experiences or at least be comforted.
Paying Minimum Payments and Barely Surviving
My husband and I got engaged and married young. I was 19 he was 18. Both of us came from upper middle class so we were used to a certain standard of living. But what we didn't take in account how long and how hard it was for our parents to get to that point in their lives.
Medical Issue and Bankruptcy
As a 36 year old father of four, and husband to an energetic wife, I never had reason to believe my life would turn the way it has . . . Things were progressing smoothly until about two years ago when I started to develop cognitive dysfunction. I was seeing doctors and managing my symptoms through vacation days and working from home when available.
No Choice But To File Bankruptcy
When I was younger, I made the big mistake of moving in with a guy I thought was going to be my forever.
Digging Ourselves Out of Our Mountain of Debt
My husband and I struggled with debt the first two years of our marriage. When we married, we both were only working part time and soon found out that I was pregnant. We turned to credit cards and loans to help up pay all our bills and buy things for the new baby.
Credit Counseling Help
I grew up in a household that placed a lot of emphasis on saving money and only spending what you had. Living within your means was the family motto. It was something I really took to heart.
My Struggle with Debt
My struggle with debt began about five years ago, which included late mortgage payments and overdrawn credit cards. At the height of my debt struggles I had almost $15,000 worth of debt.
I Am Not Debt Free
I am not debt free. In fact I am very far from it. Remembering back to when I was seems like a thousand years ago. I was 19, getting ready to move to a big city for college, and was living a debt free life.
USA Bankruptcy Guide : Getting Out of Debt Stories