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25 Years Old, 52k in Debt

September 12th, 2011 at 04:32 pm

I have a client. She's 25, three kids, no job, no child support, on public assistance, living with mom. She's trying to get her own apartment through subsidized housing. She wants to get a job but I can't imagine what she'll end up with because she doesn't have any solid employment history. At least landing a job that will be able to support herself and her three children. She's trying to finish her degree but approx $25k of her $27k in student loans is in collections and she will need to establish a payment arrangement and be on time for at least 9 months before she can get them deferred and finish school. This on top of trying to hold down a job to cover basic necessities.

I know what kind of plan she needs outlined in order to move forward and she does too but she isn't motivated to do anything. At this time she's content with being on welfare and living the life that an assistance check can provide. Despite the fact she has 36 months and then welfare will cut her off for life.

I'm at a total loss. I've never met someone so obstinate. She wants to go back to school but doesn't want to make any of the changes I've suggested to get her on that track. The steps I suggested she follow are:
1. Find Employment
2. Come back for a budget review so we can set up a payment arrangement for your student loans
3. Talk with a bankruptcy attorney if your employment doesn't leave you with enough income to sustain repayments to the remaining $25,000 in debt (which includes two buy here pay here cars that have been repossessed, various credit cards, and a $1200 utility bill.)

I feel like she's wasted my time…her time. I mean…Why did she come here? Was it that someone finally pulled the covers off and exposed the truth of her situation and now she doesn't want to face it?

I don't know. Just thought I'd share.

6 Responses to “25 Years Old, 52k in Debt”

  1. baselle Says:

    Could it be depression talking?

    All I know is that for any real change to occur, the light has to go on for that person. All an intervention or a referral does is mean that the light went off amongst the people around her. If I give her the benefit of the doubt, I'd say that even amongst the battle-hardened unemployed grownups around here (frugal in texas, patient saver), finding a job requires every skill in the book. For someone too depressed or unmotivated, it would be darn near miraculous.

  2. SarahJ Says:

    Wow, I know many young adults just like this one. It really all comes down to how she was raised. Being a single parent of 3 at 25 years old could be a motivation killer or a reason to jump start motivation. She tried school but didn't finish, she contacted you but is not willing to change.. Sounds like were she needs to start is to commit to actually following through with something. A great idea for employment without a solid work history could be to offer child care to friends and family for pay. Or think of some kind of way to work for herself... I think if she files bankruptcy now, she will have to file again later.. She needs to be educated on how to manage money and live within her means and to become more independent.

  3. Jerry Says:

    Ugh, how frustrating. People can be that way a lot, and it is frustrating to see persistent behaviors that will only lead to more problems and misery, but they refuse to change them. Sometimes you have to remember that you can only help people who want to be helped, and you can't force changes. There is no insurance that people are going to listen to logic and reason... at least you are telling the truth.
    Jerry

  4. SarahJ Says:

    I completely agree Jerry, it's like forcing someone into rehab that doesn't want to be helped. It just doesn't work. Hopefully with age will come wisdom and she will learn from her mistakes.

  5. photo Says:

    But a recent "New York Times" article stated that Bill Clinton "abolished" welfare....

    Why should the woman care? If you try to make her responsible, then you'll be accused of trying to starve babies and being unsympathetic because you haven't been in her shoes.

    Dependence on government is a cancer that is eating us alive, and it's only getting worse.

  6. fe2o3ez Says:

    Where does the Mom sit with this situation? ("...living with mom") Has she attended your sessions as well? If not, she should. I would bet that the girl's behavior has been taught, or at least enabled by her mother. As others have stated, if the woman doesn't want to be helped, then there is nothing you can do; however, if mom is there around every turn, this girl will never hit rock bottom and never see a need to change. The mom needs to be there for the grandchildren, but needs to give the girl a reality check.

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