‘My debt is out of control’

Photo: H. Armstrong Roberts / Getty Images

I’m 28 years old and I was fired from my job at a real estate company in April, once it was obvious that COVID stayed for a while. I applied for unemployment, but it took about six weeks to arrive. Meanwhile, I basically lived off my credit card, which already had a balance of about $ 5,000 since I moved to New York two years ago. Now that balance is almost $ 8,000, and I still don’t have any income other than unemployment, which is about $ 850 per week. I’ve used that money to cover my rent ($ 1,600 a month), Cobra health insurance ($ 600 a month, Jesus) and student loan bills (about $ 400 a month), plus food, the internet, my phone bill, etc. I also had to buy a new laptop because I was previously using my work computer for everything.

My debt is now starting to scare me, and it’s only getting worse. I consolidated my student loans a few years back, making it a private lender and offering no leniency or anything (I still owe around $ 30,000 the last time I checked). My old employer is still in bad shape, so I have no idea when I will get a new job or a previous one. And I know that by the end of July, my unemployment checks will drop to $ 250 a week, in which case I will be totally screwed.