Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Credit and Suicide

Senior Contributor

Credit and Suicide,1,6493204.story


Credit problems not just users' addiction
By Carolyn Bigda
Your Money staff reporter
Posted March 11, 2007


When you watch Janne O'Donnell and Trisha Johnson talk, you almost vow on the spot to never use a credit card again. Each is a mom with a college-age child who committed suicide while loaded with credit-card debt.


Give Them Some Credit
"Sarah" and "Megan" (their names have been changed) are not alone. The average college student carries a debt of $2,226, and in 1999 a record 100,000 Americans under 25 declared bankruptcy. Others take more drastic measures — some have even committed suicide because of credit card debt.


Navigating student credit problems
By: Jacob Moon
Issue date: 10/3/01
Section: Features


The study reported these large debts carry a variety of costs for the students. In some cases, students are forced to drop out of school and work full time, but even more devastating are the psychological troubles resulting from unsustainable debts. These problems can even result in suicide such was the case with Sean Moyer.

Message 1 of 11
Moderator Emeritus

Re: Credit and Suicide

Very sad.
Message 2 of 11
Established Contributor

Re: Credit and Suicide

Just when I thought I'd read it all.
Message 3 of 11
Senior Contributor

Re: Credit and Suicide

A Horror Movie For Our Times

Sunday, March 4, 2007; Page F01

For this month's Color of Money Book Club selection, I'm doing something a little different.


I'm recommending both a movie and a book. And trust me: Both will have you rethinking the deep dependence so many of us have on credit.


The twofer this month is the feature-length documentary "Maxed Out" and a companion book, "Maxed Out: Hard Times, Easy Credit and the Era of Predatory Lenders" (Scribner, $24).


I was most moved by two mothers, Janne O'Donnell and Trisha Johnson, who sit side-by-side and talk about their children -- college students -- who committed suicide largely because of credit card debts. O'Donnell's son had amassed a debt of $12,000 on 10 credit cards. Johnson's daughter was a freshman when she spread her credit card bills on her bed and then hanged herself. She owed $2,500.

Message 4 of 11
Regular Contributor

Re: Credit and Suicide

Thanks, very useful links I'm sure, but I can't make myself open the links and read them.  Just too sad.   I have two kids in college and have been talking to them about credit since they both recently started using credit cards.  
It does make sense tho, I have been saddled with debt myself and been overwhelmed (as an adult), I can't imagine what it would do to a kid.    
Thanks Noah
Message 5 of 11
Frequent Contributor

Re: Credit and Suicide

This so sad. This is why it is important for families and colleges and communities to offer education on handling credit and how to plow through the difficult times. We really need to band together to make sure these things don't happen. Life is so precious to be given up for a loan.
Message 6 of 11
Regular Contributor

Re: Credit and Suicide

This is one of the reasons why I've made the decision never to use credit cards again. The companies are in it only for the money. They don't care about the consumer.
The Federal Reserve has set interest rates at about 7 percent....any company that charges anything over 9 percent is a bandit.
Pure and simple.
Message 7 of 11
Established Member

Re: Credit and Suicide

That is really sad. Credit companies don't care about anyone, they just want your money and to h*** with you.
Message 8 of 11
Senior Contributor

Re: Credit and Suicide

JuliaPR wrote:
That is really sad. Credit companies don't care about anyone, they just want your money and to h*** with you.

Harvard Law Professor Liz Warren talked about this in Maxed Out. For me, it was the most chilling moment when she was spoke about a lecture she was giving to a group of bankers. She was advising them how they could reduce the number of BKed accounts by filtering out the people most on the edge and at risk. Not sure if that was the exact term she used, but it was the gist.
Someone in the back spoke up, and when he said, "Professor Warren", a hush fell over the room so she knew this was one of the really powerful guys. He retorted that they make such a huge amount of money off those who are most at risk, it would cut out the heart of their profits.
The term suicide by cop has gained notoriety in recent years.
Seems we need to add the term suicide by credit card or suicide by collections. Jack Kevorkian went to jail for assisted suicide because he helped people who willingly wanted to die because of a terminal disease and intense pain, but it seems that bank assisted suicide ain't a violation of law.
Message 9 of 11
Senior Contributor

Re: Credit and Suicide

Several other people in Maxed Out expressed a feeling at times of wanting to die or commit suicide. More than one had obviously given this considerable thought.
A caller to Dave Ramsey said she was considering BK because her husband was expressing suicidal feelings to her over their debt.
Message 10 of 11