Unemployement, illness, famiy problems and careless spending may cause you to become in over your head in debt. Some lifesaving financial actions to consider:
1. Admit you have a problem
2. Discuss the problem with your family. Call a family meeting and explain the situation. everyone will have to pull together to get out of the "deep water". It won't be easy to say "we don't have the money to..." but saying it, and everyone recognizing the situation, is a big first step.
3. Stop spending. Limit all spending to items basic to survival. Food, shelter and essential medical treatment
4. Stop using your credit cards. Consider cutting them up. And remember destroying the cards does not eliminate the debt nor does it close the account.
5. Return unused items you have purchased for which you can receive a full refund and apply that refund to your debt.
6. Sell items you can live without and apply the money toward your debt. A garage sale, a consignment shop or an online selling service can be a source of funds to pay off debt.
7. Open all mail from creditors and read the statements carefully. Make a list to help you know exactly what you owe.
8. Contact creditors. Don't ignore bills or other communication. Explain the situation and send them a written summary of what actions you are taking to deal with your debt. Don't promise what you can't deliver.