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Question for the Money Doctors

Question submitted on Jul 28, 2011.

Question

My family is in bad financial shape. We bring in a total of 2128 net. My husband and I don''t use credit cards, don''t dine out, don''t smoke, don''t fill our tanks up; have shut off notices for everything because of the way bills come due compared to pay cycle and we can''t seem to get on top and stay on top. I have student loans in forebarence, car insurance, car payment, electric and phone shut off notices. Can you please help us organize our payments so we constantly don''t fall behind. I want to be able to enjoy living instead of never having enough to live on.

Answer

I would suggest a couple of things 1) Do a very detailed buget that breaks your expenses down between committed and discretionary or contact a CPA/PFS financial planner that works on a fee-only basis who has experience preparing budgets for clients. 2) If you find that most of your expenses are committed (required) you may want to contact Consumer Credit Counseling Services - they may be able to restructure some of your debt with your creditors and bring your cash outflows in line with monthly inflows. They can''t work miracles but I have sent clients there before with some success. I think it''s worth checking out.

Concerning student loans: You can apply for undue hardshop petition. It sound like you already looked into this since your loans are in forebearance. You can also talk to the Federal Student Aid Ombudsman and perhaps they can work something out with you: http://www.ombudsman.ed.gov/


For additional information visit http://www.360financialliteracy.org/