The debt trap: Too busy making a living that you don’t have a life?

THIS week, the truth of this statement struck a chord with a prospective client who came to me for debt help. Keep reading as this may be the most important article you’ve ever read.
Prospective client is seriously in debt, something in the neighborhood of $80,000, mostly credit cards. She is a single mother with 3 children and has never received child or spousal support from her ex-husband since they got divorced more than 8 years ago (Apparently, ex-husband has been in and out of jail and doesn’t work). After her divorce, she went to nursing school, got her license and is now working as a registered nurse.  She owns a home, has a car payment and makes more than 100K per year. However, the income is from 2 jobs- a full-time job hospital job and a second job of 6 hours in the evenings.  Thus, she works 14 hours per day! When does she ever sleep?
She came to me because the minimum payments on her credit cards add up to $1,800 per month which is about the same amount she makes from her second job. As a matter of fact, she said that she needs this second job precisely for that reason- to be able to at least make the minimum payments every single month.
The problem is that even with all the income she has, she is barely surviving. She never has any extra money for emergencies or for recreation. She has no retirement plans and has zero savings. She juggles her credit cards by doing balance transfers.  I warned her that if she keeps borrowing, she’ll never get out of debt. And what if she loses her second job? This actually happened a year ago when she lost her then second job and it took more than 4 months to get another one. She fell behind in her mortgage payments and hadn’t it been for a loan modification granted by her lender, her home would have been lost through foreclosure.
The average interest rate on her credit cards is 24%. At that interest rate, if she only made her usual minimum payments of $1800 per month, it would take her 111 months or 9 years and 3 months to be debt-free. But that’s not the worst part. Over that period of time, she would have paid her creditors $119,722 in interest alone- which is even more than the $80,000 that she owes! So basically, she will spend the next 10 years of her life making the banks richer while she works herself to death every month just to survive.
After speaking with me, she realized that it will take her more than a decade working 2 jobs to pay her debts. In the meantime, she can’t even save a penny for retirement or for her children’s college education.  Most days, she said she feels like a “zombie” just walking around, always dead tired from working too much. She said she actually hates working 2 jobs because her kids are growing up fast and she rarely spends time with them. She knows that one day, she will wake up and realize that life has passed her by and that she has missed out on the precious times she could have spent with her loved ones. Is there anything she can do to turn her life around before it’s too late?
Unfortunately, she is not alone. This is a common situation. If you are buried in debt and it takes you more than a decade to find financial freedom (if you even live that long with all the financial stress that your debts are causing you), shouldn’t you make it a priority to do something about it as if your life depended on it? You should because it does.. If the only reason you’re forced to work two jobs is to pay your debts, make sure that you’re not too busy making a living that you forget to have a life.
If this article has spoken to you because you or someone you know is in this situation, I’d like to help you. For a free consultation,  call Toll-Free 1-866-477-7772 to schedule a free consultation. I have offices in Los Angeles, Pasadena, Cerritos and Valencia.

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None of the information herein is intended to give legal advice for any specific situation.  Atty. Ray Bulaon has successfully helped thousands of clients in getting out of debt. For a free attorney evaluation of your situation, please call  Ray Bulaon Law Offices at  TOLL FREE 1 (866) 477-7772. 

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