What to Do When You’re Broke and In Debt

If you’re like pretty much every other American, you’re in debt. You took out loans for school, bought a car and got a bunch of credit cards too. Problem is, maybe your post-graduation salary isn’t quite what you thought it’d be. Or worse, maybe you’re even unemployed. You probably feel like you’re going to end up homeless, destitute and imprisoned by debt. But you won’t. Because like Tupac, Credit Card Assist cares if don’t nobody else care, and we’ve come up with a helpful guide to get you through this rough time. Check out our “What to Do When You’re Broke and In Debt” checklist.

  • Cut it out. It’s time to cut your expenses down to only what’s truly necessary. Why keep paying for cable when you can watch pretty much any show online for free? And we know your life is really hard right now, but drowning your sorrows at your local dive five nights a week is not helping. Put all the money you’d spend on this stuff toward paying off your debt. You’ll be surprised by how fast it adds up.
  • Negotiate with terrorists. The U.S. government may not negotiate with terrorists, but you should. By this we mean that you should talk to your creditors if you aren’t going to be able to meet your obligations. If you’re out of work, tell them your situation and see if you can negotiate some better interest rates or a deferred payment schedule. It may work or it may not, but it’s definitely worth a shot.
  • Get thrifty. Whether you’re in dire need of some “business casual” clothes for an upcoming job interview or you’re just not willing to let your mountain of debt and crappy salary stifle your style, thrift stores are a sartorial godsend. We know you might think of them as musty old places full of grandma clothes, but thrift stores abound with apparel that is both cheap and chic – and besides, dressing like your grandma is super “in”  right now. You don’t even have to tell anyone where you got your awesome new top. When you get a compliment, just smile coyly and say, “Thanks. It’s vintage.”
  • Pick your poison. There are two main ways to manage your debt when you’re extra pinched. The first option is to figure out which of your debts has the highest interest rate – usually credit cards – and focus on paying that off first. Alternatively, you can pick the one with the smallest amount remaining and pay that off first. That can give you the psychological boost you need to get it together.
  • Get creative. Just because you’re out of a day job doesn’t mean you can’t make any money. You totally can. You just have to get creative. Good with animals? Start a dog-walking business in your neighborhood. Got a bunch of stuff you never use that’s been cluttering up your apartment? Sell it on Craigslist. Live near a university? Often, you can participate in studies for a little extra cash. Usually this involves things like testing out skin creams, or sleep tests where they pay you to eat pizza and watch movies until you zonk out.

These five tips aren’t a magic cure-all that will land you your dream job and eliminate your debt overnight. But they’ll definitely help get you started – and in your sticky situation, any little bit of helps. Have you successfully pulled yourself out of a dismal debt situation in the past? Let us know how you did it in the comment section.