This episode of Maxed Out is about Ron and Jennifer, a couple living on a single income and unsure of how they'll pay next month's mortgage. Ron has been unemployed for three months due to injury, but their financial problems began 10 years ago, mainly because of his inability to retain a job — Ron admits that he has quit between 50 and 100 jobs in just one decade. They have six credit cards, two mortgages, and an emergency line of credit they used to pay the past month's mortgage. Find out more about their situation when you read more.
Financial guru Allison Griffiths says their finances are about as bad as it gets. Ron has thrown a lot of money toward trying to become a self-employed supplement salesman and personal trainer, but without success. Both Ron and Jennifer habitually buy lottery tickets in hopes they will be able to pay their bills with the winnings. But there is no lucky pot in their foreseeable future, and Allison informs them that they have a monthly shortfall of $5,507!
A whopping 96.5 percent of Jennifer's monthly take-home pay goes to their first and second mortgage payments, leaving them only $127 for the remainder of the month. Their total debt, not counting their first mortgage, is $113,000, and at the rate they are going they'll owe $256,000 in just two years.
Allison gives them tools to form better financial habits, but this couple's situation is beyond her usual advice. She gives them an ultimatum: Ron must find a job with steady income, or they must sell their home. With such limited time, they make the decision to sell their house and use the money to pay down their debt.