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Get Out of Debt

How I Overcame Debt That Left Me Depressed, Destitute and Divorced – A Success Story

I thought myself extremely lucky when I was in my early twenties. I was able to go to a good university without worrying about money thanks to the college fund my parents had started the day I was born.

As soon as I graduated with a bachelor’s in science, I got accepted to a highly sought after internship program with a big-name company in New York.

On my 25th birthday, I got married to the man of my dreams (at least that’s what I thought at the time), whom I’ve been dating since my freshman year.

Everything was going well, at least until I decided to get a graduate degree.

I wanted to get a master’s degree so bad because I thought it would give me a leg-up in the competitive field of work I’m in. I also thought it would open up amazing opportunities for networking and research. So, imagine my elation when I got accepted to a top-tier university on the west coast.

The only problem was, the tuition was way above the pittance I was earning as an entry-level employee. It was way beyond the financial capabilities of my parents at the time. So, I thought it was perfectly fine for me to take out a student loan. By the time I finally got my dream degree, I was over $100,000 in debt.

How To Overcome Debt During A Recession?

The master’s degree didn’t help me secure a six-figure job right away as I had hoped. It was also after the Great Recession, and jobs were scarce. Around the same time, my husband and I had taken out car loans and a mortgage for a four-bedroom house. About two years into our marriage, we had borrowed so much for our future, but our income had barely budged from what it was when we graduated. Regardless, the loan bills kept coming.

They say the early years are a crucial time for a marriage. When we were dating, my husband and I got along well, and we never had a serious fight. It all changed as our marriage matured. We found out that we couldn’t really agree on anything regarding managing our finances. We couldn’t agree on how to pay the mortgage, and we certainly failed to pool our resources together to get out of the debt we were in. My husband blamed me for taking out a huge student loan. I blamed him for the mortgage (I insisted that we should rent until we were more financially secure). My marriage fell apart little by little, and I was divorced before my thirtieth birthday.

Depression And Alcohol Went Hand In Hand

I fell into a deep depression. Nothing was working out. My career was going nowhere, I was neck-deep in debt and my happily-ever-after was ruined. During these days, I had only Jack Daniels to rely on. I ended up missing loan payments, and red notices and late fees were common in the mail I received. I was too embarrassed to ask my parents for help. It was a dark, dark time. And I really wanted everything to be better like it used to.

So, one day, I got off my couch, rid the fridge of all the beer bottles, and called my mother. I spilled everything to her, and she drove across state lines right away to help. We were going to put everything back together, she said. Over the course of several months, my mother helped me make a budget plan to put my finances back in shape. We hired a lawyer to advise me on negotiating overdue payments. I managed to get a loan extension and save myself from bankruptcy.

Today, my career and love life may still be in shambles, but I can ecstatically say that I’m debt free, all thanks to my mother. This is a piece of advice on how to overcome debt most people don’t get —talk about it with someone you trust and get help. Nothing in human existence was achieved without help. If your debt has become too much to bear, do what I did, and find someone to help you with it.

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Erin Thompson

Erin Thompson spent years managing her own blog about budgeting and debt. Because of that, she has great insights not only about managing spending and borrowing but also about running websites profitably. When she's not writing articles for us, she's traveling and looking for new types of wines to try.
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