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Maxed Out: $78,000 in Debt and No Mortgage

This episode of Maxed Out is about Christine and Ross, a couple in so much debt that it's extremely difficult for them to keep things afloat. Christine can't even speak without crying because she's so distraught and stressed over their financial situation. They are the only couple among their friends who are still renting, and their dream is to have a home and children.

Christine is taking fertility medication, which her doctors say isn't working because of her high stress levels, but their first priority should really be paying off the $78,000 in debt they have between them. None of that debt comes from student loans or a mortgage; it's all credit cards, credit lines, and a small car loan. Find out how financial guru Allison Griffiths intervenes when you


Allison discovers that every penny of Ross's income from the first seven days of each month goes toward the $1,157 monthly interest payments they're making. At this rate, it will take nearly eight years and $52,270 in interest until their debt is paid off. Allison instructs them to cut expenses to eliminate their $770 monthly shortfall, and by living within their means Christine and Ross will pay off their debt in half the time and with half the interest payments.

The couple doesn't proceed with Allison's instructions as quickly as she'd have liked, and they're hurting themselves by resisting to consolidate their 14 bank accounts. The $337 in bank fees they pay each month really add up — it's twice the amount they've been spending on entertainment. Eventually, Christine and Ross come around and get on the Maxed Out plan, but the one thing they'll never budge on is reducing their cable plan.


Join The Conversation
teperry3 teperry3 8 years
14 bank accounts? I had 2, one checking and savings and one just checking because the combined one was hacked. I had it opened for about 3 months to make sure a payment that I had sent out right before it was hacked cleared and it was not a priority to close, but that's REDIC! And I'm sorry of you're 78K in debt, there should be no cable/Internet, etc. It's all about living withing your means and that's insane
codewhiz codewhiz 8 years
It's fine to dream of owning a home, but isn't that what got us into this recession? If everyone who was renting just stayed where they were instead of buying houses using nontraditional and subprime mortgages, there would be no housing crisis and tanking economy.
Glittersniffer Glittersniffer 8 years
14 bank accounts is just insane. Especially considering they're probably all empty. I've become paranoid of debt...I've got $700 of debt, and it BUGS ME.
sundrops sundrops 8 years
At least they'll have good shows to watch when they go broke. Oh wait, maybe they won't when their electricity bill goes off because they paid the cable bill first. Oops, sorry, please ignore the dripping sarcasm.
outofhere outofhere 8 years
Wow. Just wow. Can't even fathom being in this situation.
RockAndRepublic RockAndRepublic 8 years
They should stop kidding themselves, 12 of those 14 bank accounts are empty.:P And bringing a kid into? So very bright.
hmcmcd hmcmcd 8 years
How the heck do they even have any money to put into 14 bank accounts? With that much debt I'm surprised they could keep a minimum balance in one.
RosaDilia RosaDilia 8 years
14 bank accounts?! I have two and my financial advisor just told me to get rid of one and track all my finances with one bank.
Smacks83 Smacks83 8 years
So essentially they are trying to keep up with the Joneses, right? "waaaa, all my friends have houses, waaaaah" "waaaaa, they have kids, i want one too, waaaaaaa" "waaaaa, I NEED my cable, waaaaaaaaa" Boo-freaking-hoo
psterling psterling 8 years
I can't believe they're trying to have a baby with all that debt. Her stress and their debt will both sky-rocket even more. My husband and I aren't even thinking about kids until the economy straightens out, and we're pretty lucky financially-speaking.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
you know, it's always interesting to me to see how people are sooo set in their ways on things that they have when they can't really afford them. the cable - get over it for a little while...all those accounts - COME ON
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 8 years
I have a hard time feeling sorry for these people, too. "They are the only couple among their friends who are still renting, and their dream is to have a home and children." And it seems like they compare themselves to others, too. Perhaps they have some sort of competition streak as well? Lovely.
bellaressa bellaressa 8 years
I am just floored. I can't believe this debt does not include student loans or a mortgage. I am just shocked.
karisaamy karisaamy 8 years
Ok they need to stop the fertility drugs now, wait until the debt is under control before even thinking about that
Spectra Spectra 8 years
See, these are the people that really DON'T need kids. Sorry, but I hate to break it are EXPENSIVE!! That's why my husband and I are sticking with furry kids only. I also don't get how people can get SO far into debt. I think our total debt INCLUDING our mortgage is less than $78K. Seriously, they need to drop the cable...that is definitely a luxury, not a necessity.
Shadowdamage Shadowdamage 8 years
I'm stunned that these people think they are in any condition to be raising kids when they seem to lack even the most basic level of personal responsibility and common economical sense. I wish it was harder for people to decide to make kids, to be blunt. At this point if they can't consolidate, or won't consolidate, and won't cancel their cable, then they aren't going to be in a position in the next several decades to buy anything, much less break even. Since they don't own a home, I'd tell them to cut up the cards, file bankruptcy, learn to use an ATM card and budget properly and start over again before it gets any worse. AND DO IT BEFORE YOU START MAKING KIDS. Irresponsible to do this when you can't even afford yourselves.
telewyo telewyo 8 years
Some can't even feel sorry for them! These people shouldn't have kids if they're not even willing to give up their cable subscription for them.
margokhal margokhal 8 years in hell do you rake up that kind of debt? It just doesn't "appear", you know. It's people with bad financial judgement making consistently bad choices. Fertility meds?! really?! Doesn't sound like a responsible idea anyway, considering that they can't even keep up with the debt they have now - and children are really expensive. Christine should cut that straight away, save her money and her health. [This isn't as bad as that couple on Dr. Phil 2 weeks ago - they were almost $600,000 in debt, can't keep up with their mortgage, and about to get a divorce. @_@ JUST MESSED UP. ]
Liss1 Liss1 8 years
Why the heck do you need 14 bank accounts? 78k is a lot of debt!
krae85 krae85 8 years
wow, I can't imagine having that kind of debt. We have school loans to pay back, but it's not near that amount. i don't understand what they spent all that money on? Didn't they realize they'd have to pay it back? I don't like spending money I don't have.
Beauty Beauty 8 years
I don't get this. If you are $78k in debt, I'm sorry, but LOSE THE CABLE PLAN. Arrrgghghghhh!
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
did you just say 14 bank accounts?
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