Get Out of Debt Guy

I'm 22. Is There Any Hope for Me?

Posted August 11, 2013

WRAL Reader Question

Dear Steve,

I have medical bills, student bills and loans, overwhelmingly burdening me financially. I need help and advice of what to do right now at this moment, i'm only 22!

What can I do do build back my credit and eventually erase my medical and student debts?


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Dear Shanaya,

I know it feels like you are financially buried and there is no way out. Don't give up hope. The big tragedy here would be if you felt this was going to be the norm and you would never be able to do well.

The reality is you can take action and find yourself in a better financial spot in the future. But in order to do that we need two things.

1. We need to know what your financial goals are and what you want to achieve.

2. We need to build a map on how to get there.

Some people say to me "I want to be out of debt and the most important thing to me is I have to never be late on any of my bills and I have to make all my payments."

Other people say, "I've made some financial mistakes, I've learned a lesson and it's more important for me to start doing better financially as soon as possible."

The difference in the two approaches is the first one wants to do what it take to try and fix the past regardless of the future cost and the second one wants to learn from the situation and do better moving forward.

Debt comes with all sorts of emotional baggage attached and underneath all of that is the simple reality of math. To get out of debt and do better you need to have enough income to meet your monthly obligations and if you don't we can either reduce the debt or increase the income to make the math work.

Credit is actually crazy easy to rebuild and at your age we really must start focusing on beginning to save for retirement so if you have to take some credit lumps to get back to saving, it's not the worst thing in the world.  I know retirement doesn't feel important right now but every dollar you save now will magnify many times over when you need it most in your older years.

So let's start your get out of debt journey started.

I'd suggest you first read 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.

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.

Steve Rhode

WRAL Get Out of Debt Guy

If you have a credit or debt question you'd like to ask about, how to get out of debt, just click here and ask away.

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I'd love to meet you at the next local Raleigh meeting of the Get Out of Debt Guy Meetup Group. Everyone is welcome.


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About this Blog:

Steve Rhode has had careers in opthalmology, real estate and as the head of a nonprofit debt counseling firm. On his blog, he offers hard-won, free advice about getting out of debt, consolidation and making the right choices as you manage your money.