Hi all. I'm sought out this forum on google because I really need advice on what I can do to get myself out of this debt trap I'm in.

I didn't get any credit until a few years ago because I was afraid of it. I was always worried I'd get into trouble with it. So when my father finally, at age 39, trusted me enough to co-sign on a personal loan from our common credit union in order to buy a car. I was very, very careful to pay the debt off.

After paying the debt off I decided to get a single starter credit card. Over time with doing the usual good debt practices. I managed to turn a $500 credit limit into an $7300 credit limit. I never borrowed more than I could pay off in a single month, etc.

Then I lost my job for 6 months and wound up maxing out that single credit card in order to survive. I also had a second personal loan at the time, which I managed to get paid off. I also ended up with a minor medical problem and wound up with about $800 in doctor bills which I couldn't pay at the time and have no gone into collections.

So, I have right around $8000 in debt and a credit score of 600.

I make 32,000 a year.

The problem is that just before I lost my job, I had met a girl and moved out of my tiny breadbox apartment into a house. Which rose my rent from 450 a month to 700. It also doubled my usual utility bills. My girlfriend, unfortunately only makes about 10 bucks an hour and has her own car payments, cell phone and insurance bills which eat up virtually all of her income. So she provides for the food shopping bill.

The problem is that in the final weeks of my unemployment, I totally ran out of credit and ran 1 month behind in my bills.