Need advice- re: debt snowball and job


hi all- what a year it’s been. i would like to thank everybody that prayed so hard for us last summer when DH lost his teaching job. by the grace of God he got another, better job- we are so blessed…

anyway, we’ve had a great year and will be finalizing an adoption soon. (we had planned on this in a year or two but our agency called and we decided to move forward). we had to stop our Debt Snowball and save like crazy for the time off i’ll take after the baby arrives.

we are hoping and praying that DH will retain his current job. but we’re also realistic- he’s a first year teacher in his new district and while he’s doing great and LOVES it, we know that with the current economy in our mid-west state, many teachers will again lose their jobs this school year. he’s sort of inquired with his administrators about his chance of retention but they won’t comment to ANYBODY yet…

so here’s my question: we would like to restart our debt snowball now but wondering if we should wait until we get a callback for him? we KNOW that if he loses his job we will have NO other option but to file bankruptcy (we have 70k in debt). i would hate to hit the snowball hard and then have to file 3 months later.

if it were you, would you take the chance and restart the snowball or wait until we’ve got a callback? if he get’s the callback for next school year, then he’ll be tenure-eligible next year. we’ll find out by mid-late May if he’s going back or not…would love your opinions…


twkoo1:Dont start your debtsnow yet.Your HD’s job security is still at risk.


In general, I would say that you really ought to pay all of your debts that you can. Even if you later declare bankruptcy, it is better to have returned as much of the money lent to you as possible. It’s not like, “Darn, we wasted money, paying it when we could legally have got out of it.” Because morally, if you have borrowed money, you should repay it if you can, and only avoid paying (through bankruptcy) those amounts that you really can’t pay (like after your husband loses his job and can’t get another).

However, in your situation, I would think that you would need more of an emergency fund (because of the baby) than you would have needed before, and your “extra” money should probably go there for a while. (I’m not talking about the money you saved for when you are off work, but the permanent emergency fund that you should have even if you are both working.)

However, I am not a professional financial person by any means. This is just my gut-level reaction as someone who used to be very much in debt, but by the grace of God has managed to reduce the debt to about 25% (and dropping, yay!) of its former level. Your mileage may vary. :slight_smile:

I’ll pray for your husband to get to keep his job, too!



It's my understanding that after declaring bankruptcy, you can always go back and pay in full anyone you like. Check into that. I don't know if there are legal issues about that.

But for example, if you ended up filing, and a person as opposed to a corporation endured your bankruptcy... you might pay them back...

Or you could choose to pay them NOW... so they are never involved.

Regardless, you should talk with a bankruptcy lawyer to see what chapter you are likely to end up in... and how that will impact any savings and such...

Good luck, I know this is a hard thing to do!


I believe that Dave Ramsey would recommend building up your emergency fund in anticipating of hard times, rather than paying your debt snowball. Once it’s certain your DH’s job is more secure then start tackling that snowball again.


No, you really need to wait until your job is more secure before you work on your debts. Start putting aside cash, but don't use any bank you owe money to. :p


Pay the minimums on your debts right now and build your emergency fund like crazy in anticipation for the new baby. Sell anything that isn't nailed down and absolutely necessary. Keep on track with what Dave Ramsey suggests. He has been in massive debt before and he can help you through it.


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