Breaking the Shackles: How to Escape from Minimum Wage

Earlier today I provided a statistical snapshot of minimum wage earners. The numbers indicate that in the United States:

  • Most minimum wage earners are young.
  • Most minimum wage earners work in food service.
  • Most minimum wage earners have never attended college.

Statistics are one thing, but real-life is another. There are still millions of older college-educated Americans who earn minimum wage in jobs outside the food service industry. Many of these people want to escape their situation, but don't know how.

More than pinching pennies
Over the weekend, Trent at The Simple Dollar shared ten steps to financial success for a minimum wage earner. His advice is excellent, but emphasizes frugality and cutting costs. I want to look at another approach to escaping minimum wage — earning more money.

Here's what one minimum wage earner once wrote at Get Rich Slowly:

There are definitely [minimum wage earners] who casually spend beyond their means without regard to or serious consideration of consequences. There are also those who are living frugally yet are squeezed financially, perhaps by high rents and utilities (the homeownership rate of the working poor is close to zero), falling real wages, or health and medical expenses…I make minimum wage and have student loan debt. I can't think of any spending I can cut out without feeling deprived.

The fundamental law of money still applies to those who make minimum wage: to gain wealth, you must spend less than you earn. But it's more difficult for a person making minimum wage to spend less than she earns. Even after cutting luxuries — cable television, eating out, etc. — there are certain minimum costs associated with living in our culture. If you're in a situation where you've reduced expenses as far as they will go, it's time to focus on the other component of the wealth equation: increasing your income.

Breaking free from minimum wage
A minimum wage job can seem like a prison — you can't imagine you'll ever break free. You can't imagine you'll ever earn more money. However, opportunities do exist. Here are several approaches to escaping the shackles of a low-wage job:

  • Work two jobs. If debt or living expenses are keeping you down, take a second job. This may not help you escape from minimum wage in the short-term, but it will alleviate some of the financial pressure you're facing, which will eventually allow you to focus on long-terms solutions.
  • Seek a promotion. Find a way to advance in your current job. What would it take for you to move into some sort of management position? What about moving to another department where the pay is better? Be the sort of employee that managers can't live without: show up on time, be efficient, do quality work. Watch for advancement opportunities with your current employer.
  • Change companies. If there's no path to higher income at your current job, what about a similar job with another company? Not all employers have the same pay structure. Scout the competition, and see if they can offer a better opportunity.
  • Change professions. You may need to leave your current field altogether. If you're working at the counter in a convenience store, you're better off taking another line of work. What sorts of jobs are you qualified for? “None,” you might say, but many employers need unskilled laborers. An unskilled laborer who shows up for work on time, is agreeable, and makes an effort will usually be earning more than minimum wage in just a few months.
  • Steer clear of corporate giants. As a small business owner, I'm biased against big corporations. Publicly held companies have huge motivations to keep worker wages and benefits low. It's true that your top-end advancement may be limited with a small business, but they're generally more flexible than corporate giants. Many small business owners go out of their way to look out for their best employees.
  • Educate yourself. Finally — and most importantly — do what you can to increase your education and marketability. Make yourself appealing to employers. Develop skills that they can use.

In fact, education is so vital to escaping minimum wage that it deserves a closer look.

The importance of education
Education makes a huge difference in your earning potential. The median income for a U.S. male who dropped out of high school is $18,990. The median income for a high school graduate is $28,763. The median income for a man with even some college is $35,073. Education opens doors. And it's not just about the piece of paper — if you take practical classes, you can learn skills that will have a direct effect on how much you can earn.

I am a huge fan of community colleges. They're an excellent place to pick up additional training. What can you learn at a community college? Here are a handful of the programs that my local community college offers:

  • Alcohol and drug counseling
  • Automotive service and repair
  • Business administration
  • Computer programming
  • Construction
  • Dental hygiene
  • Electrical trades
  • Graphic design
  • Landscaping
  • Real estate
  • And much, much more

Make no mistake: these classes will not get you a top-paying job in the field. They will, however, help you land entry-level positions, positions that will pay more than the minimum wage, positions that will help you find a career path with advancement opportunities. It might take you a couple years to reach this point, but you can reach it. How do I know? Because I did it myself.

In 1998, I was fed up with working for the box factory. I decided to become a computer programmer. While still working full-time, I began to take classes at the local community college. Most of the time I could only afford one class per term, but sometimes I squeezed in two. Within eighteen months I had developed the skills to be hired as an entry-level computer programmer. My pay was $25 an hour, which was at the low end of the spectrum for that kind of job (but appropriate for the skill-set I had acquired).

If you decide to use education to break free from minimum wage, be sure to choose practical classes in order to increase your earning potential. A philosophy class might sound cool, but it's not going to get you a job. Nor will creative writing.

Don't forget that school is an excellent place to make contacts with people who might serve as references for future job applications. Most community college instructors have connections in their fields. Make a good impression, and follow through with class requirements. Meet deadlines. Take pride in your work. People will notice.

Ask yourself the hard questions
If you're in a minimum wage job and would like to escape, it's important to ask yourself why you're in a minimum wage job. Are the reasons obvious? Is it because you're young? If you're just out of school, minimum wage is a rite of passage. It's something most people experience. Keep moving in the right direction and you will leave it behind.

Are you in a minimum wage job because you lack education? Make education a priority. Pick a career that interests you and is in demand. Obtain the skills necessary to enter the field.

But if you don't know why you're in a minimum wage job, or if your answer is that your boss, co-workers, or life won't give you a break, then you may need to look inward. I had a friend who was trapped in a low-paying job that he hated. He had a long list of external forces that kept him stuck there (and in the crummy jobs he'd had before). He couldn't understand why he wasn't able to break free. To everyone around him, the reasons were obvious, but he didn't want to hear them. He's still trapped in a low-paying job.

Final thoughts
Perhaps I'm naive, but I believe most minimum wage earners can find a path out of their plight. In most instances, hard work, patience, and education can counter the forces of history and bad luck.

I'd love to hear how former minimum wage earners managed to graduate to higher incomes. (Or how they didn't, if that's the case.) If I collect enough stories, I'll post them in a separate entry. If you'd like to share your story, please drop me a line, or post it in this forum thread.

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sir jorge
sir jorge
12 years ago

I work 2 jobs, run blogs, and still am barely making it to pay off my student loans.

I have a degree in interactive media design, and work for a small company and it’s hell.

Mrs. Micah
Mrs. Micah
12 years ago

I think, for example, anyone who knows an average amount about computers–how to use Word & Excel, could do my job (if they were hired). If you’re of an older generation, this might require taking a computer skills class. A lot of the rest of the stuff–how to work our particular phone, putting postage on envelopes, faxing, and our particular filing system I’ve mostly learned about since getting here. There’s also lots of opportunity for self-education and advancement. I read leases and tenant files in some of my spare time, it helps me know the business. At least two building… Read more »

maxconfus
maxconfus
12 years ago

I think it is hilarious that there is a minimum wage meme going around the p.f. blogs today because of the minimumwage meme commenter that has been posting how do I save when I only make minimum wage and you are affluent p.f. blog owners… 🙂 So in the spirit of minimum wage commenter, I ask, because I truly want to know, how does one save for retirement when they are a minister and make minimum wage? Also, please don’t bother with one of those in your spare time you could start a part-time ebay dvd business garbage either because… Read more »

J.D.
J.D.
12 years ago

I think it is hilarious that there is a minimum wage meme going around the p.f. blogs today because of the minimumwage meme commenter that has been posting how do I save when I only make minimum wage and you are affluent p.f. blog owners… I don’t know about *hilarious*, but it I do like it. It’s an issue that doesn’t often get discussed. The thing that many people are missing, though, is that not all pfbloggers have always been affluent. From what I’ve read, Trent at The Simple Dollar grew up poor. I *know* that I grew up poor… Read more »

P
P
8 years ago
Reply to  J.D.

I worked a min wage job for about 2 years giving it (what i thought was my best) pretty darn good work ethic, (thou a fatal tardyness flaw killed any progress i was making). people pay attention when u mess up not nessarily when your doing great. I met a new friend and he provided me with a high paying job close to 30$ hour for labor. after working with him in the summer, i had gained some nice insight on work. later when he no longer required my assistance due to seasonal changes, he advised me to pick up… Read more »

Gregory
Gregory
12 years ago

I think there is a lot of great stuff here. As a former minimum wage employee, who has gone down the road of working multiple jobs I have to disagree with one comment from the piece. While big companies may offer lower wages and less benefits the do offer some things that small companies can’t. However, you have to find the right company. A great resource is Money’s “Best Companies to Work For”. Large companies give you experience, training, and credibility that transfers well to a small company. Think of it as a better paying stepping stone to a greater… Read more »

Anne
Anne
12 years ago

For those who live in cities, one approach would be to identify a company (a big company, most likely) that plans to open several locations in your city. Get an entry-level position at the first, work hard, then try to get promoted when the next location opens. This way you don’t have to wait as long for an opening. Prove yourself at the first location, and move up at the next.

SJ
SJ
12 years ago

Another opportunity, if you live near a college or university, is to look for jobs there – most will offer some tuition rebates that can help you move onward and upward without paying out of pocket. And there are usually many per-hour jobs doing a variety of tasks.

plonkee
plonkee
12 years ago

One of the things that strikes me is that most of the comments are aimed at the relatively young on minimum wage. It becomes much harder to work up as you get older, because you have less time to play with. At some point, it may stop being cost-effective to pursue education particularly if your budget doesn’t leave any room for manouever. Similarly, if you have poor health then you’ll find it difficult to work at multiple jobs or go to college at the same time as going to work. You need to weigh up the overall costs and benefits… Read more »

Ashley
Ashley
12 years ago

So, this might be rude, but I’ll just say it. Maybe the ones who keep complaining that they are only making minimum wage should stop playing around on the internet and be looking for a second job?

If they have time to harass all the pf bloggers, maybe they could use that time for something else?

I’m just saying! 😀

caitlin
caitlin
7 years ago
Reply to  Ashley

I have to say, I make 8.50 an hour and work full time and also go to college. How dare you tell people on a low income what they should do! The real question is, why should someone work a full time job (I make $800 less than I would need to to get food stamps. I make 1060 a month people who make 1800 a month in my state are eligible)have to struggle to meet their bare necessities of living (shelter, utilities, food, and clothing)? Isn’t this a moral problem. The higher ups would not have any income if… Read more »

David
David
12 years ago

I definitely agree with going the community college route especially if you’re trying to break away from minimun wage. Also, the comment about landing a university job to gain tuition rebates is great too. Be very careful when you’re taking the student loan plunge. There are many horror stories out there of people being in $100K+ student loan debt.

Sam
Sam
12 years ago

I agree with your advice on getting additional education via the local community college. I would add to that advice and suggest that in most situations that community college is a much better “buy” than your local vocational college (which can be very expensive). I would also suggest that if you are a working parent/single parent in a low paying field (i.e. your child qualifies for assistance in one form or another or you qualify for assistance) that you probably can qualify for some type of tuition assistance so do some research and ask for help (financial aid, grants, etc.… Read more »

Minimum Wage
Minimum Wage
12 years ago

A creditor is squeezing me for $200/mo, I can’t even afford to take community college classes.

Tim
Tim
12 years ago

moot point Minimum Wage, but who got you into the position where your creditor wants $200/mo? The creditor didn’t rack up the bills. Hey, I’ve been there with $90k in unsecured debt. fear is a big motivating factor, and many people just can’t get away from it. there is no difference between two people other than one made steps to improve his/her situation, while the other did not. there are plenty of people who work 1-2 jobs working through school. some are even married and have kids, too. it’s about improving your situation and taking the risk. people simply do… Read more »

Minimum Wage
Minimum Wage
12 years ago

An extended uninsured illness got me there. The bill is padded with a ton of junk fees, what did I get for those fees?

icup
icup
12 years ago

I have 2 points. 1.) I disagree that its not worthwhile to take some courses because they are ‘worthless’ like philosophy. I have been in the position to hire people, and know others who have been too, and given the same skillset, I might prefer the person who took a few philosophy classes on the basis that they might be more ‘well rounded’. Granted, your mileage totally varies on this one, but I’m just saying I don’t think its an automatic dream killer. Also, such classes might expand your mind in such a way that you discover something about yourself… Read more »

Mrs. Micah
Mrs. Micah
12 years ago

MW it would be really interesting if you started your own blog. On living on the minimum wage, how you get by, what frustrations you encounter, positive steps you take, how your balance is (maybe use Networth IQ and update it every time the balance goes down), that kind of thing. I’m sure you’d get a lot of traffic–you’re rather famous in the pf blogging world. 🙂

If you can find a sponsor (perhaps one of the better-known bloggers could help you with that) you could make some extra money.

icup
icup
12 years ago

RE: University jobs, it depends highly on the university. At mine, we get 75% tuition reimbursement, which sounds pretty good, but since you are paying by the credit and can only take 1 or 2 classes at a time, you actually end up paying quite a bit out of pocket. When I was taking 2 classes per semester in 2003, it was something like $800 per semester just for tuition and fees. Although I did make out better on my taxes that year because that is totally deductible. That said, even those few classes helped me land a promotion that… Read more »

Michelle
Michelle
12 years ago

I’m one of those who went the community college route to get out of the minimum wage route. I was a young, single parent when I decided that working minimum wage jobs would not ensure a secure future for my daughter and I. I decided to go to community colege and earn my licensed vocational nurse certificate, a one year program. My husband and I married right before I started back to school and he worked 6 days a week at a service station while I attended classes full time. It was difficult, but it was the best thing I… Read more »

Peachy
Peachy
12 years ago

I’m an engineer, and I still found time to take classes at the community college. I am now a certified pharmacy technician (if I ever need it), and I have taken classes in anatomy, microbiology and accounting. The community college offers great classes with great costs, and is helping me broaden my horizons. I was unemployed for 3 months, and instead of spending money on taking classes, I volunteered in a math class. The teacher thought I was a wonderful volunteer and asked why I wasn’t teaching. I told him that I didn’t know anything about teaching. He put me… Read more »

J.D.
J.D.
12 years ago

MW it would be really interesting if you started your own blog. On living on the minimum wage, how you get by, what frustrations you encounter, positive steps you take, etc.

Minimum Wage, I would gladly host and maintain such a blog for you, as well as provide advice as needed. Seriously. No strings attached. We even live in the same city, so if we needed to meet up, we could. Just say the word. I’m easy to contact.

SusanO
SusanO
12 years ago

Peachy, you make a great point. Volunteering is a wonderful way to
* gain experience, possibly marketable
* make valuable contacts
* improve and maintain emotional/spiritual health

Congratulations on your teaching job!

JenK
JenK
12 years ago

As an aside: If you’re young and working minimum wage, it’s easier to move on if you don’t acquire expensive accouterments like:

* Cable
* Car payments
* Smoking or drinking habit

Also, it can really pay to delay childbearing. Every girl I knew from high school / college who got pregnant before age 20 and kept the kid? Did not get a non-retail job for 10 years. Seriously.

Money Socket
Money Socket
12 years ago

The minimum wage blog idea just might work! Seriously, MW is becoming quite popular.

Great post by the way JD, for minimum wage earners its likely better to aim to earn more than to spend less.

Tim
Tim
12 years ago

MW, having had plenty of various fees (and no I never read those terms and conditions) in my $90k credit debt, it’s personal responsibility for taking on the debt no matter what got you there. what did you get for the fees? You got the credit you wanted, the overdraft, the late payment, the over credit limit, etc, and without knowing what you consider “junk fees”, I can only presume they are the standard fees that every creditor informs you about. Can they be high, yes, but you do know about them. Do I feel for you and you uninsured… Read more »

Steve
Steve
12 years ago

“Steer clear of corporate giants….Many small business owners go out of their way to look out for their best employees.”

I’d say the opposite is true.

J.D.
J.D.
12 years ago

Interesting, Steve. I’d love to hear more about your experiences. Though my own experience led me to make this claim, it’s possible I’m way off base. My family owns a small business. We consider our best employees to be gold. We do whatever we need in order to keep them happy. I have many friends who also own small businesses. They, too, report the same thing: when you have an employee that makes life easier for you, you’ll do whatever you can to keep her. Obviously, you’re not going to offer a million dollar salary, but I’m certainly not opposed… Read more »

toes
toes
12 years ago

Another good resource for people earning minimum wage are temp agencies. Some temp agencies give basic computer classes to make their people more attractive to employers. A good skill to have that can pretty much be self taught is typing. 5 years ago, I was working for a printing company making about $7 an hour. The job sucked and I hated it. I went to a temp agency and they told that they had a great job but that I had to be able to type 70 WPM to get it. They tested me and I only typed 50 WPM.… Read more »

BG
BG
12 years ago

I suppose learning to live in the underground economy is an option. Not nice to the IRS, but whatever. If you are that hard down, you need to do whatever it takes. Take cash only jobs and do just enough over the table jobs to keep the IRS off your back. Barter, trade and use as much as possible given to you. If you have access to a facility that has frequent luncheons, eat for free. Dumpster dive, give blood, semen, plasma, be a guinea pig. Nothing I’ve said is particularly original. They have been mentioned here many a time.… Read more »

Minimum Wage
Minimum Wage
12 years ago

Actually, FWIW, it was the extended uninsured illness which brought me cross-country, as I was unable to work and had no income and family (which had moved out here earlier) took me in until I could go back to work. I was in hospital the first two months and needed a walker for about a year after that.

Oh, and since I have nothing to wear to an interview, temp agencies won’t send me to an office and all I could get are janitot or industrial type jobs.

Skellie
Skellie
12 years ago

I’d recommend Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich to anyone wanting to learn more about life on minimum wage. The crux of the problem is that so much time and energy is devoted to working long hours, or multiple jobs, that there’s little time/energy/money left over to invest in self-improvement.

The real answer would be for minimum wage to be raised to a decent level!

RJ
RJ
12 years ago

“If you decide to use education to break free from minimum wage, be sure to choose practical classes in order to increase your earning potential. A philosophy class might sound cool, but it’s not going to get you a job. Nor will creative writing.” Like ICUP, I believe that courses in subjects such as philosophy can be beneficial to students with utilitarian ends. A major goal of such courses is to get students to develop analytical skills as well as communications skills. Skills such as these not only can help a student snag a job in his/her new field, but… Read more »

Jon
Jon
12 years ago

I have a Bachelor’s in History, and did not go beyond that because I hated college. After school, I couldn’t find anything besides minimum wage jobs. I have been at my retail job for close to four years, started at minimum and now am over 11 an hour. I love my job even though it doesn’t pay well. I have decided I can have whatever I want if I am frugal. I don’t spend unless it is absolutely necessary. I have no debt and actually have a lot saved up.

mapgirl
mapgirl
12 years ago

Even cheaper than community colleges are adult education classes. Often they are run by the school district. Where I live there are a great many practical courses like ESL and cooking as well as serious vocational courses like cosmetology, MS Office, IT, Food and Nutrition, Housekeeping, business networking/interviewing, Myers-Briggs testing. They are short term courses, like only 1-6 weeks long so you can make a small commitment to them. Discounts to county residents, but all are welcome for a slightly higher price. Even when you work a white collar day job on salary, sometimes you have to suck it up… Read more »

Andrea >> Become a Consultant
Andrea >> Become a Consultant
12 years ago

Here’s a real minimum wage profile. 50-y-old woman. Grade 9 education. Severe dyslexia. IQ probably around 90. Unable to read more than simple text. Unable to do simple math. Unable to write even notes that are understandable. Unable to learn to read. Kind guidance counsellor got her into a job training program usually designated for mentally challenged. She learned to work in a cafeteria, institutional laundry and janitorial work. After 30 years working at a hospital for, at most, $14 an hour, she was laid off as part of massive downsizing. Now she makes around minimum wage for a cleaning… Read more »

Rika
Rika
12 years ago

“You can really go places by being nice (and networking).”

Peachy, these are such wise words! Thank you.

plonkee
plonkee
12 years ago

@Andrea: That’s one of the things that bothers me. I reckon that most of the suggestions so far work well for people of at least average intelligence and health. But what if you’re below average in either? Most bright people do in fact get out of minimum wage, but if they are above average, that implies that there are people who are below average who might not be capable of pulling themselves out of minimum wage hell. And to those who are criticising Minimum Wage for being in debt, and pointing out that he is likely to have contributed to… Read more »

MossySF
MossySF
12 years ago

Interesting how in Trent’s blog, you posted that you couldn’t do anything because a creditor was slurping $300/mo out of your pocket. But here, you say it’s only $200. I personally would think someone making $1250 a month before taxes would be right on the dot considering what a huge percentage that is of your salary. The strange thing is why you would even pay this bill. From your postings, it sounds like it’s either a medical bill or credit card bill to pay medical. As such, these can be eliminated with bankruptcy. If you can’t afford bankruptcy (although there… Read more »

Ben
Ben
12 years ago

My first job paid $4.75/hr after taxes I would net $50-$60 a week. I now make $56.89/hr. This amount excludes other benefits such as health insurance, paid sick leave, etc. A long, long time ago for a few weeks all I had was rice and tomatoe paste in the house and I ate only once a day. I swear that’s what I had to do to survive. After getting food stamps I found a better job and worked my way up from there. The biggest leap was a college degree. All paid for with night jobs and side work. Anyone… Read more »

Dave
Dave
12 years ago

For those who may be looking for a way to move up from the basic minimum wage job, particularly if you have any type of customer service or cash handling experience (which covers a pretty big chunk of minimum wage jobs), look for jobs at banks. Teller positions pay more than you might think, and the qualifications are pretty low as far as experience and education are concerned, and there are clear job advancement opportunities if you perform. Office managers who started as tellers are common. Banks generally have decent benefits, often including some form of tuition reimbursement. As a… Read more »

Cat
Cat
12 years ago

I’d like to reiterate what toes said about temp agencies and office work. Not only is the work easier on the body than most retail/fast food/etc. jobs, the ability to move ahead by developing skills/contacts is (imho) better. If you don’t have the clothes for it, go to a second hand store – for most jobs all you need is a couple pair of dress slacks and dress shirts (buy the best ones you can find/afford). If you are reliable, personable (smile, don’t whine, etc.) and can type, you’ll be an asset to most temp agencies. And, in most offices,… Read more »

Jordan
Jordan
12 years ago

great post.It is great hearing ways to save money and spend smarter, but sometimes you really do need to just earn more. And I like that you mentioned getting a second job. Where I live, having 2 jobs is almost a necessity Fortunately for us we also have a 2% unemployment rate so getting those jobs (or 1 good job) isn’t that hard.

bethh
bethh
12 years ago

Looking for a job at a bank is a great idea; I would add looking at a hotel, especially if it has local operations offices. My sister started at the front desk of a hotel and is now at a high level in the corporate office.

It seems to me that any company that is decent-sized and works with the general public is going to have a range of openings from entry-level (front desk, teller, college) up to more corporate-level jobs.

Beth
Beth
12 years ago

J.D., I’ll e-mail you with my story. Short version: 1.) education, education, education. 2.) after way too many years in food service, I got my foot into a professional door via a volunteer position and subsequently moved to working twelve hours a week at fifty cents above minimum wage, with nowhere to go but up. On the job training works, especially when paired with education!

bob
bob
12 years ago

Ben what did you get a degree in?

maxconfus
maxconfus
12 years ago

trent, I am not missing any points, it’s just hard to make everyone in a blog comment. 🙂

I asked you an impossible question. One that I knew there was no answer. The result though I am certain of in that the idea of the minister who sacrifices a lifetime of pay to provide critical social services to a community will go the way of the buggy whip manufacturer as fewer are likely to take this path due to the resulting hardships later in life.

pam munro
pam munro
12 years ago

Using your wits it’s easier to get out of a minimum wage trap – I agree that with a below-average degree of wits, it’s much more difficult. However, I would like to note that there are adjustments that can be made even at the college level for those with learning disabilities. That should be definitely looked into by any advocate. I, too, learned on the job while working as a temp, and taught myself multiple computer programs from on-the-job training and computer manuals, and I couldn’t have afforded to take anly classes at that point in my life. Even now,… Read more »

Minimum Wage
Minimum Wage
12 years ago

FREAKING SIGH!!!!!

To be freaking specific, a creditor is slurping $250 and I am also paying $44 on student loans. Now are you freaking happy? Do I have to be freaking specific about everything???

Tim
Tim
12 years ago

MW, lots of anger there. This is the first I’ve seen of you, but it sounds like you’ve been around. I don’t know your whole story or if you posted every detail about your financial situation and asked for help in how to manage your situation; however, getting angry about your situation rather than doing something about it is rather off base, especially when Mossy brought up some good suggestions. Moreover, being specific, completely honest, and open are very important if you want other people to help you out of your situation.. Presumably you are posting and reading PF blogs,… Read more »

Minimum Wage
Minimum Wage
12 years ago

How on earth could credit counseling help now? I am being squeezed by lawyers who specialize in squeezing. I don’t think they are amenable to negotiation. Right now I’d say bankruptcy is more likely than full collection. They are not slurping money yet, I am delivering it to them every month. If I ever stop then they will slurp it out of my account.I probably should have done bankruptcy last year when I would have been able to discharge my student loans as well as this debt.

Minimum Wage
Minimum Wage
12 years ago

I could have used a lawyer to seal with the other lawyers, but I couldn’t afford my own lawyer (you can be assured I am paying for their lawyers) so I guess I got hosed. Just part of the price of being poor.

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