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Ruth Gretzinger: Trapped by plastic
Ruth Gretzinger: Trapped by plastic
Like many Americans, Ruth Gretzinger is caught in an endless cycle of credit card debt.
Writer/project manager, 54, Ann Arbor, Mich.

I am a 54-year-old single mother living in southeast Michigan -- one of the worst places in the country right now financially.

I have a good, secure job, but the costs of raising a kid on my own have meant that my credit card debts are taking all my "disposal income."

I don't have enough money to live on because I have to pay my minimum monthly payments -- and then, since I don't have money, I have to use my cards to buy food and medicine. (I had a severe illness last year that really put me over the edge money-wise.)

Although I've been able to pay my mortgage payments, I no longer have any equity in my house because of the awful housing market. And I've already got two mortgages.

My daughter is going to be going to college in the fall, but at this point I don't know where the tuition money is going to come from. I am now looking into filing for bankruptcy as one of my last options.

NEXT: Carmela Brader: Debt begets debt
Last updated January 29 2010: 2:33 PM ET
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