Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Ryan Bell, a single mother of a 4-year-old, is currently $43,000 in debt. "I'm just in over my head," she says.
Ryan says her financial woes started back in college when she took out loans. After college, Ryan got a job, got pregnant and got married. To cope with the new bills, the couple opened more credit cards, and Ryan helped put her husband through school. Then the unthinkable happened: She and her husband got divorced—and Ryan's debt worsened. "I went from living on two incomes to living on one income, but I kept the same bills," Ryan says.
To support herself and her daughter, Ryan works long hours at a high-end clothing store. After her daughter goes to bed, Ryan works at her second job, a home-based Internet business. "It could be huge, but I can't spend the amount of time on it that I need to to make it successful," she says.
Now, Ryan sees every day as a struggle and won't even go to the mailbox because she knows there are bills waiting for her. "I'm sick and tired of being a victim," Ryan says. "How do I get out of this endless cycle of debt?"
Ryan's choices have attracted debt to her, the panel says. To attract a solution, Jack says Ryan should turn her focus from her debt to what she knows her life will be like when she's financially free.