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Women with heavy debt share their stories

People from all walks of life end up needing debt relief, but a recent article focuses on women whose debt problems have spiraled out of control for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is student loan debt.

Unfortunately, many parents in Tennessee can relate with one woman's struggle. At the time she was interviewed, she was in her ninth month of pregnancy. Her debt problems came from an underwater mortgage, loans for graduate school and what she characterized as "uninformed" spending on her credit card when she was younger.

Now she says that she and her husband are "filing for bankruptcy while [they're] setting up the nursery."

One woman said that, when she was a child, she was so ashamed of not having nice clothes and a nice house that she would lie about where she lived. But when she went to college, she received student loans and started using a credit card. She said this new ability to purchase made her go "bananas," and she subsequently overspent.

She was left with $100,000 in high-interest student-loan debt, along with $40,000 in credit card debt. Eventually, to temporarily escape from creditor harassment, she had to change her phone number. Luckily, she got a job in the finance industry to pay her bills, and a minor breakdown at work led to the company's CEO offering for the firm to pay her monthly student-loan bills.

Not everyone, however, has a financial benefactor suddenly offer help.

One woman was unexpectedly hospitalized before her new insurance took effect. The hospital told her she needed to be airlifted, which sent her mind into a frenzy about medical costs. In fact, she was hit with $50,000 of medical debt. The hospital made an arrangement with a donor, and part of the bills were covered, but not all of them.

These are just a few examples of how women -- and anyone else, for that matter -- can find themselves with a mountain of debt. To become fully aware of their debt relief options, readers in Cleveland, Tennessee, would do well to consult with a bankruptcy attorney.

Source: New York Magazine, "16 Women on How They're Dealing With Debt," Meaghan Winter, April 15, 2013

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