Being in debt against your will


I know debt is an issure that most of us all deal with but what about going into to debt against your will. Example. I just found out my car is going to cost me over $1,000 in repairs and that …after I just put out $400 on it last month. I still have 2 years of car payments to make so I can’t sell it for something better. I was looking at a senario where if I followed through on a deal I would be debt free but this $1,000 repair is putting that in jeopardy. The repair has to be done so the car will pass inspection next month so I don’t have a choice. I’d love to just ride my bike to work but there are certain chores that I have to do for my job during the day which would make that impossible. Plus there are no buses that run close to my place of work or home for that matter. Sorry this sounds so winny but I’m just very frustrated. I can pay off the repairs in couple months but this comes at the worst possible time. I’m ok with giving up my vacation I can handle that but this seems to happen everytime I’m within reach of getting out of debt. I live as cheaply as I can and work two jobs…I don’t have a computer, my tv is 20 years old, my car is 6 years old, I do a lot of free stuff and manage to get and keep busy but I don’t eat out a lot or shop alot. So why does it always work out that I’m in debt. I feel like God is letting me down. All my debt is either car repairs or health issue…no big ticket items. Anyway say a prayer for me this is mostly frustration talking. :shrug: :blush:


Frustration is understandable - unexpected large bills will do that to most of us. And we’ve all had those periods where it feels like we’re working awfully hard but getting nowhere financially.

St Anne is invoked as a patroness against poverty and St Joseph as patron of workers - pray to them about your financil situation and see what happens. I don’t think Our Lord could say no easily when Grandma and stepdad get on the case :wink:


Hi Sierrah,

It is good to vent…I hope you feel better!

You do not say how you were going to be debt free with a “deal” and how this $1000 set back impacted that…and you mentioned 2 more years of car payments…you do not mention any credit card debt-------that is very good!

Let me just offer this…It is good that you do not waste your funds with ***lots ***of eating out and shopping…

Look real hard at your income and expenses.

Fixing a car for $1000 is better [and cheaper] than buying a new car. A 6 year old car should still have value…my car is 10 years old. Properly maintained a car can last but it does need the occasional repair…I have probably spent $1000 this year on mine…people think it is much newer than it is and it gets many compliments!

Look at some of your other expenses and ways you might cut back…if you have cable…look at the plan and cut back or stop the cable for a time.

Shop for car insurance…sometimes after a car has aged [or even the driver - if you are very young] or your credit has improved car insurance might be cheaper. Phones, do you have home and cell; consider just the cell phone. Need the land line consider giving up the cell…

Have a yard sale to turn unused items into cash…

Also, a car payment [if it is your only debt] is not bad…once you get through the $1000 set back, AND YOU WILL :thumbsup: start an emergency fund…

This emergency fund should be just that …for emergencies. Start saving as much as your budget allows…typically you should have about 3 months expenses saved in an emergency fund. You can leverage some additional breathing space with a line of credit BUT credit is something that only disiplined people should ‘bank’ on…

Now car maintenance and repairs should typically not be an emergency but a budgeted item, like groceries…some budgeted items are monthly some like car repairs come at various times…you should have a savings account to cover this type of spending too.

So a savings for routine expenses like car repairs and an emergency fund account [and I recommend two seperate accounts] should be a goal, not just being debt free…

Also, when you pay that car off in two years, keep maintaing it and keep making the payments - only now you will make them into a “car savings account” so when you do go buy another car you will have enough to pay for it [best scenario] or a healthy down payment with the payment already in your budget [because you have been making the payment to yourself!]


Thanks for the advice Yada,

Mainly what started all this was two sick cats a couple thousand alone in vet bills…one of them I had to have put down last year. The rest of my debt is all car related …it’s a long boring story of pricy repairs the last couple of years…but anyway I waited too long to get a 2nd job and everytime I get to a point where I can start paying off the old debt I end up in more debt due to cercumstances beyond my control. At one time I spent 3 yrs paying a hospital bill because I couldn’t afford insurance and got sick…(.I didn’t think I would get sick at 23). It’s just the continuing cycle of falling into to debt. I’m poor…I admit that…I’ll probably always will be that’s fine but I just wish I could break even once in awhile. The deal I was talking about was house related. I had preapproval financing set up so I could buy a house. Taking on more debt may effect that. Right now the amount I’m paying in rent is the equivilent of a house payment so why not be paying on a house instead of having it all go out the window to someone else. Maybe it’s all for the best…I’m just despondent right now. Just a note …I had found a house close to work… with a few improvements on my part and a little time I could sell it in a few years and that would have made me free of debt. Anyway we’ll see…it’s up to GOD he has to help me out here I’ve done all I can do. I’m even working all weekend buy it just seems I working for everyone but me…with nothing to show for it. :blush: :shrug: :eek:


Hang in there…lots of people have been [and are] where you are.

My husband and I just bought a house with my daughter [her husband and the 2.5 children :smiley: ] It was the only way we could afford to buy [they were looking for a three bedroom when the house we were renting was sold and we had to move]. We combined our resources and bought a four bedroom that works for us.

My daughter likes it because if we are home, she can get away for spontaneous outings [like the other evening when someone called and wanted her and her husband to go to the movies, last minute]. The built in babysitter…

The kids love it, lots of options for attention…

We llove it, the kids are great to be around…

It may not be ideal but the pluses outway the minuses…

I am sure that a person as dedicated as you are [working two jobs] will be very successful…

God does bless you :slight_smile:


How can one be in debt against thier will? Are you in the United States? If you mean you don’t want to be in debt… well then join the rest of us. :slight_smile: Cars, Homes, repairs, vet bills, these are all choices that we make. and with these choices can sometimes come unexpected bills. I hope that things go better for you, sometimes it sem when it rains it poors when it comes to money troubles. Pray about it, maybe get with a debt counselor or a “pro bono” finacial advisor. even just making nice with bank managers can get you some free knowledge that can help you make prudent choices.



That’s great. I wish I could live with my sister or we could share a place but when we did she liked to run off with my stuff or leave me with the bills. We would just about kill each other…:rolleyes:


The best advice I have for you is to have faith. God will get you through. He does not promise to give you riches but he will provide for your survival. Sometimes there are not many extras - but you probably do not go without the basic needs.


And make sure when you are feeling the pangs of frustration and despair, there is never a sure fire quick and easy way of making money.

You alluded to a scenario that could get you debt free…well be on guard to avoid being taken. There is no such thing as quick easy money.


Your car is old. A six year old car will usually need some expensive repairs. You will have to “baby” it until it is paid off than the for some time after. You need to factor this into your budget.


Buying a house right now could just make your problems worse. Homes are more than the mortgage payment… don’t forget the school taxes, county and town taxes, and insurance… as well as the cost of upkeep (if you think a car can throw unexpected repairs bills at you, think of what a house can do). Don’t despair… God isn’t letting you down. Stay prayerful, but remember to pray that HIS will be done, not your own. He may have very different ideas for you. Just like a human parent,
God doesn’t always say “yes” to our prayers. He knows what’s best for us, even if we can’t see it. Be open to His leading in all things. Bless you.


Ugh! So sorry about that. What about a different roommate? Maybe a trusted friend? Just make sure you have an iron-clad lease.

I understand what you’re saying about debt! Sometimes it so unfair. When I got divorced, we split the bills down the middle. I worked with a credit concellor and got all mine paid off. In the mean time the car that my ex fought so hard to get, was repo’d. Yes, the idiot had ONE payment left and he blew the money on alcohol! Anyway… in the state of Arizona everything is Community Property. Even though the judge gave the car to my ex, the bank could still come after me for it! Well… being stubborn, I refused to pay. After making the collection’s person deaf (she was a witch. She deserved it.) I ended up having that hang over my credit report forEVER.

When my new dh and I bought a house, I couldn’t put my name on it. My debt, because of my ex, would keep us from getting the loan. It’s taken us a few years, but dh and I are finally doing ok. You’ll get there too. Just be paitent. It blows that your car needed this work, but, hey, you may never have to buy a new car again :shrug: I knew there was a silver lining in there somewhere.



You don’t say how many miles the car has on it. In my book a six year old car is not that old. A car new in 2001 should be good for at least 10 years and 200,000 miles. I just gave my old Taurus to a charity; it had about 202,000 miles on it and ran great but my wife didn’t like me driving it anymore. But, all cars require maintenance. Look at it this way, even if your car was paid off, what then? You are going to have to come up with thousands to buy a reliable used car. Obviously you don’t have the cash or you wouldn’t be strapped now. The only way to calculate car expense is how much it costs you to drive every mile considering everything: cost of car, insurance, title, registration, license, taxes, gas, oil and repairs. If you don’t pay cash you have to add financing fees and interest. Your goal is to get from one place to another with minimum expenditure. If you get the pencil out I think you will find that you are better off making necessary repairs than you would be buying a new car.

BTW, don’t feel alone. Lot’s of people are in the same boat and are “upside down” on their cars.


Look at is as an opportunity to trust God :slight_smile: .

You’re doing your best financially, but sometimes things come up. Do what needs to be done, keep tithing and God will take care of the rest. —KCT


Hi Sierrah,

I, too, have struggled with debt and hardship more than once in my life, and I will definitely pray for you!

Here’s a website with money-saving tips:

Lots of good advice has been given on this thread … especially about putting money aside for the future, although I know how hard it is when you’re barely able to cover expenses! Still, even if you can only save a tiny amount (a few dollars here and there), it can help to build the habit of saving, and give you a feeling of accomplishment and hopefulness as you see your savings amount growing over time.

If you have a cell phone, you might consider switching to a prepaid plan. My plan allows me to put $20 on the phone, and if I’m careful, I can make it last up to 90 days (the maximum that you can keep the money without losing it). This comes out to less than $7/month. Sure beats $50/month for “regular” cell service! This may not be a viable option for everyone, but I mainly have my cell for emergency reasons, so if you’re like me, this might be a good way to go.

Now I’d like to ask one small favor of you, if possible. My car is 17 years old, and I’m soon planning to get a new one. I’m concerned when you say that your car is only 6 years old and you’re having to invest such a considerable amount of money on repairs, for what I consider to be a fairly “young” car. Would you mind sharing the make and model of your car? You can PM me if you don’t want to post it on the forum. I would be very grateful for this information, as it would help me in making a good decision.

If you’re not comfortable sharing, that’s ok too :slight_smile:

I will be praying for a good outcome to your situation!



I have a Sunfire with only 53,000 miles on it. So whatever you do don’t buy a pontiac or ford…I’ve always had problems with both makes…especially at 50,000 miles. :shrug:

I got to the to repair shop yesterday…the car was in for two days (they had to take the engine apart to repair an oil leak) and it cost about 3 times what I thought it would initially…right now I’m resigned to it…I just hope it passes inspection or I’ll be working 2 jobs the rest of my life…at least that’s what it feels like. Anyway I’ve had to give up the house idea up for the present. Right now my goal is just to pay everything off and save as much as I can. I had a little bit of savings but the repairs ate that up in about five minutes :shrug: :eek:
Say a prayer for me right now I’m kind of depressed. :frowning:


Have you posted on sites such as asking for a mechanic to quote you a better cost?

If you’re saying $1000, I’d bet the actual materials cost 1/3 of that at least. Do you have any friends who are good at working on cars?

I own two cars, both paid in cash. I maintain them myself. It is a very proactive situation.


I hate it when money troubles get me down. It can feel like there is no way out or if there is it is a long hard road ahead. I will pray for you. You should pray just that God comforts you.


Yep the parts were cheap but they had to take the engine apart to get to them. :mad: Unfortunately I don’t know anyone who works on cars anymore. My dad gave it up when he moved and doesn’t have the equipment to do it anymore. He still checks it for me once in awhile and I always ask his opinion on the importance of the repairs but so far it hasn’t helped all that much. :rolleyes:
I think the best thing I can do right now is save an try to pay the car off as soon as possible. It has to get inspected next month and I just pray that nothing else needs work. If it does I’ll definately get a second opinion before I have anything done. :shrug:


You can definitly have a good Pontiac. I started driving 5 years ago with an 89 with well over 200,000 on it.


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