Get Out of Debt Guy

My Pay Has Been Cut and I'm Struggling

Posted May 30, 2013

Reader Question

Dear Steve,

I am a 60 Year old single women worked for the same job for 30 years took 10% paycut with school district struggling to make credit card payments!

I have acquired $40.000 in credit card debth!!! can I find a debt consolidation firm, my credit score is fair.


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Dear Kathy,

Thank you so much for writing to me for help.

It's obvious at this point you've probably been using the credit cards for some period of time to help make ends meet. 

If your pay was just recently cut I would bet your monthly expenses have exceeded your income and the reality of that situation was masked by the credit card use.

Now that your pay has been cut it makes it worse and much tougher to find a way out of this spot.

The basic ways you solve a shortfall each month are to increase your income, reduce your expenses or a combination of the both.

You can do the obvious things like cut out cable, find a cheaper cell phone plan, and start being more aware and introspective about every dollar you are spending. Cut where you can.

But if you find yourself in a spot where you are even thinking of robbing your retirement plan of money or you don't have retirement savings already, then you need to read The Saddest Avoidable Mistake People Make When Getting Out of Debt.

The goal now is first and foremost to get you to find a way to live within your income. You absolutely must stop taking on new debt every month and if you are going to get out of this spot without some intervention like bankruptcy, then we need to see if the math is even possible for you to do it.

The reality is it might just not be.

So let's deal with the facts and not put off till tomorrow what we can face and deal with today. By having some clarity about your income and expenses, and considering your current saving strategy, then we can make the best decision about how to deal with the debt.

You might want to use my How to Get Out of Debt Calculator to review the most common ways to tackle the debt.

Steve Rhode
WRAL Get Out of Debt Guy

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  • steverhode Jun 3, 2013

    @Terkel If the lender is willing to accept the risk, all of them.

  • Terkel Jun 3, 2013

    What bank allows a poorly educated "women" to rack up $40,000 in credit card debt?

  • Squirreling Dervish Jun 2, 2013

    my question is, how could she "have acquired $40.000 in credit card debth"...did she inherit it, or did she accumulate it?

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.