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Homeless and Struggling With Credit Card Debt

Homelessness is a serious problem in big cities, especially for populations at risk such as single parents, low-income persons and those aged 64 and older.

Homelessness and Risk Factors

You have a good job and a decent paycheck, but there’s not enough in your bank account to pay for the monthly bills. The power and cable companies, the mortgage lender, and the credit card companies all come calling. You may feel like you’re the only person in the world who is having trouble making ends meet. It’s true, there are a lot of people who are going through what you’re going through. But you’re not alone. The vast majority of us are struggling with debt. Risk factors associated with homelessness include socioeconomic disadvantage, long-term unemployment, disruptive and traumatic events, and poor family functioning. Addiction and high debt load are also risk factors along with health problems, psychiatric disorders, and prior imprisonment. History of homelessness, abuse, and victimization are also predictors of homelessness.

Credit Card Debt When Homeless

Some people are homeless while paying loans and credit card debt. They sold everything they had, including their house, car, and belongings and still have debt to pay off. This is a difficult situation to be in, especially for borrowers in collections. Some people file for bankruptcy while others choose to have delinquent accounts. Bankruptcy is one solution for borrowers with unsecured debt such as auto and personal loans, credit cards, overdrafts, income taxes, etc. Bankruptcy does not deal with secured debt such as mortgages and secured lines of credit. People who have lost their homes to banks often choose to declare bankruptcy to deal with credit card balances and other types of unsecured debt.


Semiskilled and unskilled occupations and an extremely low income are associated with homelessness. One solution is to look for a second job to deal with credit card debt. Many businesses are hiring part-time and seasonal workers. Retail stores, for example, are hiring staff for the holiday season. A side job can be any job to earn extra income, from tutoring and cleaning homes to washing cars, running errands, signing up for tests, and developing applications and websites. If there is a free staffing agency or a local employment office, it is a good idea to visit and check what they have on offer. Obviously, a good resume can help you land a well-paid job. Finally, it is always better to hand resumes in person instead of applying online.

Payday Loans

Taking payday loans is what many homeless people do to make ends meet. Short-term loans allow borrowers to pay outstanding balances but the problem is that payday loan providers offer outrageous rates that lead to a spiral of debt.

Rent and Shared Living

Some people can't afford to rent, especially those working part-time and seasonal jobs and persons in the low-income bracket. In this case, moving with relatives, siblings, parents, or friends can help save money to pay credit card debt. While this is a temporary solution, rent is a major perk while struggling with debt at the same time. Another option is to find a cheap place and get a housemate to share rent and bills. Moving in with a few roomies is a good idea to share expenses such as gas, water, internet, electricity, and even food. Exchanging chores for a part of the rent or bills can be a solution as well. Once you find a place and a roommate, go through your budget, i.e. $500 for rent, $70 for gas, $100 - $120 for shared utilities, etc. Add your credit card debt as well. This way you will learn how much you are left with and whether you can pay more than the minimum. Get a cheap internet and cell phone plan and only shop at resale and second hand stores. You can even go without internet and use in cafes, the local library, and elsewhere.