I am so happy I found this board. Background - I am 27 years old, I live in the USA (midwest), and I have suffered from severe depression for most of my life which hit particularly hard in my early 20s.
During my 20s I screwed my credit up royally. Suffering from depression and anxiety, I just never paid bills (credit cards, loans, etc) and have let my debt rack up to the point where I have creditors calling my cell phone and my parent's house daily and I receive mail that I just throw away because I already know it's a debt collection letter. I have about $40K in student loans and I never graduated. I am 4 classes away from finishing college but I stopped attending in 2011 because I couldn't afford it and without a college degree, I have not been able to find a job that pays more than $40K a year. I have been unemployed on and off due to my depression but I thankfully found a stable salaried Executive Assistant job in October that pays $38K with benefits so I can start getting help with my mental illness.
Anyway, I didn't pay my federal student loans and now they have been in default since 2012. I have about $7K in credit card bills that have gone into collections, about $1K in medical debt that is also in collections, and a few other blemishes on my credit score. Last time I checked my credit score it was below 500 and I'm sure it's even lower now. I am thinking of filing for bankruptcy because I am drowning and I don't know where to start. I barely make enough money to survive on my own let alone pay down this massive debt but I need to try. I want to finish college and get my degree - first and foremost but I owe my school about $2500 before I can even re-enroll and then I probably don't qualify for student loans because I'm in default. I am trying to move out of my parents home but I can't get qualified for an apartment because of my credit score and poor financial history. I don't have any assets and I can't get any type of loan because of my credit. My car is probably one month away from breaking down and I desperately need to get another car (used of course) but can't qualify for anything but shady super high interest auto loans.
Over the summer I tried to commit suicide because of my debt issues but was unsuccessful. The stress in my life is so enormous I just don't know how or where to start to even fix this. Any tips are much appreciated. I am currently reading through all the newbie threads but I also wanted to make this thread. I have never told anyone but my parents about my debt issues and it feels oddly cathartic to finally type out all of my problems. My friends and extended family all think I graduated (I did the ceremony because I only had 4 classes left and my college adviser assumed I would finish over the summer) and have a great job and live this great life but I am just living a life. I am 27 and will be 28 in August 2015 and I just want to end my 20's and enter my 30's without this terrible burden.