Corey and Shawna live in New York City. He is a computer security analyst, and she is a human resources specialist. Shawna is six and a half months pregnant. And they are nearly $300,000 in debt$230,000 in student loans and $60,000 in credit card debt.
They pay more than $1,300 a month for two luxury cars. Corey calls his car his "baby." He loves movies and has 900 DVDs in his collection and a plasma television. Shawna has a thing for expensive purses and shoes. "I have the baby's furniture on layaway, but I have these shoes that are worth nothing sitting in the closet collecting dust," she says. "I just felt so ashamed."
Just five years ago they were debt-free. Now they find themselves ducking loan collectors who call six to eight times a day. "We are late every month, so they're going to call," Corey says. "It's very stressful. Sometimes you don't even sleep."
"I'd hate to have the baby and put the baby into a situation where we are struggling because we made poor choices," Shawna says.