Not all the questions to Debt.com are easy to answer.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and/or policies of Debt.com.

If you had $18,000 to your name and had a credit card debt of $16,000 would you pay off the credit card?

— Matt in Michigan

Are there any grants to help me get out of credit card debt?

— David from South Carolina

I have three debts of $17,300, $4,500, and $4,000. Which one should I pay off first?

— Paula in New Mexico

How can I pay off $63,000 in credit card debt when my income is now 30 percent less than when I accrued that debt?

— Michael in Maryland

[Debt.com founder Howard Dvorkin] Every month on Debt.com, I answer questions from our readers, but some questions lack key details that would lead me to give an informed answer.

Sometimes I get asked, “How can I pay off $20,000 in credit card debt?” — and that’s the whole question! The answer depends on so many other factors. How much do you earn? How much other debt do you have? What are your other major expenses?

When there are so many questions, you really need a one on one consultation — and that is what Debt.com is for!

Debt.com can connect you with a vetted agency, where you’ll get an analysis of your situation. I urge you to do this — because here’s the good news. Whatever financial crisis you face, trust me – many others have stared down the same problems. And even better, many have triumphed over them. Because help is available. Right here at Debt.com.

Howard Dvorkin answers…

Four years ago, I began answering reader questions here at Debt.com. The very first one pitted a husband against a wife over the issue of paying down a mortgage faster to save money. Along the way, I’ve answered questions on topics ranging from credit cards to student loans to identity theft. There have also been offbeat questions like, Can I shop for Christmas presents on Dec. 26?

Sadly, I get many questions I can’t answer — not because I’m stumped, but because I don’t have enough information. Several recent ones are above. While I can’t specifically help these individuals, I can give them all some good advice, which I’ll mention at the very end…

If you had $18,000 to your name and had a credit card debt of $16,000 would you pay off the credit card?

The simple answer is: No way. Of course, I don’t know what your monthly income is. That affects the answer. Also, do you own a home? Is it mostly paid off? While Debt.com warns against a home equity loan to pay off credit card debt, it is an option of last resort.

(As we’ve reported, “Using home equity means the financing is secured using your home as collateral. If you fall behind and default, you risk foreclosure. Increasing your risk to lose your home just to pay off credit card debt usually isn’t worth it.”)

Are there any grants to help me get out of credit card debt?

No. You might be thinking of federal student loan programs, in which the government offers several ways to reduce your payments. However, the government has no plans to do that for credit card debt.

I have three debts of $17,300, $4,500, and $4,000. Which one should I pay off first?

All other factors being equal, you should pay off the debt with the highest interest rate first. That will save you the most in the long run. Whichever you pay off first, don’t miss any monthly payments. For a real solution, see below.

How can I pay off $63,000 in credit card debt when my income is now 30 percent less than when I accrued that debt?

I don’t know what your annual income is now, but unless it’s six figures, the answer is: You probably won’t be able to pay off this debt. For you and the others posing the questions above, the only truly helpful answer is credit counseling.

When you call a nonprofit credit counseling agency, a certified credit counselor will drill down on your personal situation and lay out all your options. Best of all, this debt analysis is totally free.

You might find that a debt management program will slash your monthly credit card payments by up to 30 or even 50 percent. You might even need to declare bankruptcy, which is scary, but there’s also counseling for that.

Here’s the big takeaway from today: Whatever your problem is, there’s an expert available to help you. It might not be me, if your question is too short — but it is someone here at Debt.com.

Have a debt question?

Email your question to editor@debt.com and Howard Dvorkin will review it. Dvorkin is a CPA, chairman of Debt.com, and author of two personal finance books, Credit Hell: How to Dig Yourself Out of Debt and Power Up: Taking Charge of Your Financial Destiny.

free debt analysis call 855-654-9191

Meet the Author

Howard Dvorkin, CPA

Howard Dvorkin

CPA and Chairman

Dvorkin is the author of Credit Hell and Power Up, founder of Consolidated Credit, and Chairman of Debt.com.

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Article last modified on May 30, 2018. Published by Debt.com, LLC . Mobile users may also access the AMP Version: Quirky Questions From Perplexed People In Debt - AMP.