About DebtKid.com My Story

From age 21-23 I accumulated day trading losses of over $250,000. I traded with money from loans as well as trading my mother’s account (to the tune of 150K in losses). Now I’m trying to get out of debt.

Current Debt - Feb 25th, 2011

Current Debt – Feb 25th, 2011

In other words, I was the stupidest kid ever.

I finally started getting my act together in Jan. of 2007, after a last ditch effort to convince my mother to let me trade more (with her money, not even using a free broker like Zecco)…I hit rock bottom. I confessed what I had done to my family, and started to clean up. I saw a counselor for some time, short sold my home, lived in my office for 2 months, declared bankruptcy and completely revamped my small business…and that was just the 2nd half of 2007.

I started this blog originally as just a journey to keep me on track, as well as have a place to process everything that was happening. That’s still pretty much the focus of the blog, though I do write some helpful posts like how to raise your credit score from time to time.

I don’t know what my future is going to look like. I do know that I’ve grown a ton in the past year, largely in part because of this blog. My readers keep me accountable and inspire me to keep going, even when I get overwhelmed with the enormity of the situation.

“a man must take responsibility for his actions” – Lee Adama ( Battlestar Gallactica, 1st Season)

Contact Info

You can also follow me on twitter or facebook

Press Requests

I’m open to interviews and I could talk for hours on the follow topics:

  • foreclosures, short sales (ie, how I short sold my home)
  • bankruptcy (I did a Chapter 7)
  • 20′s and money problems (I’m 27….)
  • day trading/forex trading losses
  • being frugal
  • dealing with debt

Networth Updates


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  • http://mevsdebt.blogspot.com Amanda @ Me vs Debt

    Oh my… I thought I was in deep. I’m really interested to keep up on your progress. Hang in there! Nice touch sinking subscribe deally – at least your sense of humor has remained in tact : )

  • Mike

    Good lord, dude! At 24 I was still in college… I didn’t get around to screwing up my financial future until atleast 26. I must be an underachiever.

    Seriously though, that’s a helluva story. I don’t know what you do for a living, but even a quarter-million down is do-able.

    I’m a quarter-mil down too, but only $150k is unsecure, the rest is mortgage… so I feel some of your pain.

    Good luck with the rest, I’ll definitely be following ;)

  • Dawn

    Debtkid: I love your blog. I am a geek too, but much older and also in DEBT! Stupid me, I let my husband do the bills. Bless his heart, he never really kept track of how much debt we owed. Once the monthly minimum payments increased last year, we were in serious trouble. In December, I took over the bill paying (and yes, creating a budget and following it). I am a few credits away from a MBA and have a MS in IT, so it just makes sense that I do the bills (duh!!!). We are debt $114,000 (counting my student loan), along with being parents to three small children from South Korea – ages 9, 7 and 4 years old – our oldest son just diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome (Autism). I am now trying to deal with the debt collectors (what fun!) and trying to convince the credit card companies to accept our low, affordable, monthly payments. I am also trying to start a small business (IT and accounting), along looking for a part-time job to pay off these debts quickly and selling our useless stuff on Ebay!! Hang in there! I appreciate your honesty! Good luck and keep posting your blog entries. You are an inspiration to us all! :)


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  • http://www.nodebtplan.net No Debt Plan

    Wow… impressive in the worst way possible. Best of luck with everything. I’ll definitely be watching via RSS!

  • lyza

    I thought I was in trouble with my $30,000 debt ( credit cards, car loan and personal loan) and a job loss, but this doesn’t compare with you. So I will be taking this journey with you. I hope I can be debt free by the end of this year. :)

  • http://www.LisaAbrams.com Lisa Abrams

    I love all your info on short sales and foreclosures. You are very well versed in it. As for the tax implecations on a short sale, President Bush signed in to effect a bill that provides tax forgivness on short sales, which should help short sale sellers somewhat.
    How do I become one of your recommended Realtors?
    I work in the Metro Washington DC area, licensed in Maryland, Virginia and Washington DC. I am very knowledgable and versed in short sales and foreclosures. I am honest and ethical and always educate my clients so that they may make an informed decision, not what I want them to do, but an educated decision on their own.
    I love your blog!

  • http://www.debtkid.com debt kid

    @ Lisa, I’ll add you to my spreadsheet. Thanks for the comment!

  • http://financialgab.com Zach

    Hey man,
    Love the blog – sorry to hear about your problems but it’s great to see your working hard. Im 23 and can’t imagine that stress. Keep going – it will work out

  • Bear

    Interesting story. It goes to show that you can’t dig yourself out of a hole.

    I am curious though, since I am a mildly successful day trader- Tell me, when you started losing money, why didn’t you adjust your trading strategy? Did you not learn from your loses, or were you convinced that you had it right and the market would eventually go your way?

    I have read many books on successful traders, and they are all different, but reach success all the same. I am very curious to hear about the mistakes you made in day trading, and why you continued to make those mistakes. Do you go too far out on margin, were you trading stocks, options, etc?

    I look forward to reading more.

  • http://SquikKid.org Katrina R.

    No, it is not a good figure. Yes, it is deeper than a lot. But there is always going to be someone else out there worse off than you.

    You are not alone, and amazing things are going to happen along the road to get you out of debt if you take advantage of this unfortunate situation in the right way. Remember that. I’m hear commenting. There will be others. They will inspire you. Think of Dave Ramsey … his failure paved the road to his success.

    You’ll learn how to achieve real wealth. I’m staying tuned to you …

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  • lyn

    sadly enough, its somewhat comforting knowing you are not alone. I’ve spent 50k on a wedding and completely regretting every penny of it. your journey came from high intentions of an actual investment…mine, not so much = ( I admire your maturity and your willingness to share openly. I’m on the verge of filing for bk13 and finding your blog today has shed some sanity on my situation, if that makes any sense. I’ve been completely depressed over some time now and have pretty much disappointed myself completely. I wish you the best and will be checking in every so often.

  • Mykan

    My profile is very similair to yours. I had a negative 60 K balance in my day trading account when I was 30 yrs old. Keep your spirits high because this experience is what transformed me. Now I have changed so much in life that my networth grows steadily every year, recession or not.

    Wealth is not the destination. It is the path to the destination.
    Atleast you are not shy to talk about this. I withdrew like a turtle.

  • John

    “I’ve spent 50k on a wedding and completely regretting every penny of it.”

    That must have been some wedding. Did you borrow money to pay for it?

  • Blake

    I really like in the audio clip where you and the host talk about “marketing with God”. I’ve never really known what to call it but nothing irritates me more than when people abuse that. It’s always made me avoid the topic for risk of unintentionally “marketing with God” myself.

    Best of luck.

  • http://engineeradebtfreelife.blogspot.com/ madsow


    Love the blog. Like yourself, I am a geek who is blogging for the inspiration to keep paying off the debt.

    Wow. That’s a lot of debt.

    Good luck to you and your endeavor.

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  • Jacqulene

    DK, I admire you for not blowing your brains out or jumping off a skyscraper. My aunt is comtemplating suicide right now because after years of being on top and laughing at how poor my family was, she just seem to handle being broke.

    Also, to the people considering bankruptcy (whatever chapter), really think about it before you royally screw yourself for the next decade+. My parents at 50 years old still can’t buy a home yet or co-sign for their daughters college loan. They chap13′d in 1998.

  • Blake

    @Jacqulene – I know from experiences with many many people that the problem lies with what they hear. It’s great (depending on how you look at it) when people are able to recover quickly from a bankruptcy, but it is such a dangerous thing to count on the possibility it work out the same way for them. I can’t tell you how many times I have begged people not to file when they have better options. Unfortunately, they have a buddy that has a buddy that was able to buy a house a couple years after bankruptcy. Sometimes it’s a sad shame.

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  • Nia

    Dude, you are amazing for coming forward with this candid info. I applaud your efforts. good luck. i know you can do it just stay focused

  • Ken

    Carrying credit card debt is crazy. I collect interest. I don’t pay interest. You pay for everything with cash or debit card. No credit cards. Only disciplined people can use credit cards and pay them off every month.No loans. If you don’t have the cash, you can’t buy it. Get a second job. Get a third job. Keep a daily diary. Write down every penny you spend. Use the diary to figure your monthly fixed expenses. Make a game of it. How much fat can I cut from my budget? How much money can I make with a 2nd job? … I have worked a 2nd part-time job for 21 years. It is 40 extra hours per month. I have invested that extra money. I have never spent any of it. How much have I saved? $396,127.23. What did I miss out on? I have never watched American Idol. I have never watched Dancing with the Has Beens. Obviously, I have not missed anything.

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  • http://liberta.co.za Francois Viljoen

    Dude, incredible.

    If you can get out of this, anybody can! I’ll be following.

  • http://www.eminiaddict.com/ EminiAddict

    I’m really impressed. I look forward to watching you grow though this. I went though something similar, but not as bad. I can tell you from experience that you will look back at these tough times and smile about them someday.

  • Savannah Realtor

    I like the responsibility of your site. Add me to your list. Realtor in Savannah, GA. Just helped my first shortsale client to a successful closing – big pain! Not a great way to get rich, but as a Realtor, I find it to be the responsible action – especially after our industry talked people into buying more than they could afford for a decade. I’m a new agent, but I look at the shortsale process as penance for sins.

    Great job! Good luck.

  • http://www.amillionindebt.blogspot.com/ Mike

    The purpose of your debt and how you manage it determine the outcome. I am 25 years old and over one million dollars in debt. However, I don’t let it stress me out or bring negative energy into my life. I am young, successful and determined to live the lifestyle I have envisioned for myself by the age of 30. I am using leverage and maximizing the use of the great credit I have earned through consistent payments on mortgages, auto loans and credit cards. I have been blogging for the past two months on some of the current things I am involved in. Please check it out and leave your comments at: http://www.amillionindebt.blogspot.com/

  • willpower

    I have over 1.394 million in debt.

    544 from a 1st and 2nd mortgage which is current . I am on the mortgage but not on the title.

    400k from an investment property that I signed over to a real estate company that would manage it. They paid me a 10k option. After 1 year they stopped paying the mortgage. The bank foreclosed but the sale is in two months

    350k was from a business. I had two businesses and one of them I could not sell and the debt flowed to me personally. Most of it from a lease and sba loans and credit lines.

    100k was personal of which some of that was used as advances to the business. Some of it was supporting household shortfal. I was current with this debt until the business debt flowed to me.

  • willpower

    More from willpower
    I went to debt elimination but they seem more skilled in unsecured debt that in hindsight I could have dealt with myself if I had money. My credit was over 750 score until about 9 months ago when collections and judgments started. The debt elim center claimed they needed money to settle debts which I understand but they didnt say by the way you may not be able to get a job. Getting a job is difficult with bad credit. I also have 2 kids I was taking care of and my wife works full time. We want to downsize the expensive house but cannot in this economy without a 50k loss and needing money to move. Her salary is over the chapter 7 limit for a family of 4 but still not enough for the expensive house. Lawyers seem reluctant to help. Maybe because its such a voluminous amount of debt with sba loans etc. I have had job offers of about 90k but they may get rescinded due to bad credit.

  • Willpower

    More from Will Power

    I know once I do get a job just about all of it will have to go to creditors but the amount is so high and because it was a business I would rather it be cleared in a bankruptcy or perhaps negotiations with the ones that have went to judgment and collections or have been written off. Its difficult to come up with that much money. Even taking out the personal residence and the real estate property which may cover itself I am still looking at a foreclosure on my credit for at least 10 years and 450k in debt. Employers do not care that I had great credit for 30 years or that I was honarably discharged or have my masters or that I dont drink and that Im a model citizen with one traffic ticket in 45 years, they just figure you have bad credit so goodbye we are not hiring you. Why does the govt push for people to try to have their own business knowing that most people fail in the first 5 years then end up with bad credit and unemployed

  • Shelomech

    I love your blog!! I WANT HAVE ONE TOO!!! Hear my story. So sad. I was and still am a church going woman. At my church I was friends with a woman I met there over 10 years ago. I signed for furniture for my girlfriend and her new husband in August 2001 b/c she said she wanted to decorate her new house with her husband. A year later. She bullshitted me to tell me she might pay me and up to this day she hasn't I had 10000 in debt already and when she asked me I had already a house as an asset. She divorced her husband and walked away from our friendship and her committment to help me. I am now in massive debt with accruing, skyrocketiing interest. I am just trying to get a lump sum for my consumer proposal and I have
    had such problems trying to get. My only prayer is that I can very soon get out of this mess. It happened in my young 20's and I am now 30. Not married, overweight, stressed out, under paid, no children. feeling hopeless, helpless and needing my own [email protected]#$%^ economic bailout to secure my future. I just pray that I can find a solution and that the new year will bring many more blessings instead of so much more challenges.

  • Nia

    Hey Willpower, do you have a blog?

  • http://www.financialsamurai.com Financial Samurai

    Holy moly! $250,000 in losses at 21-23 years old?

    The good thing is, in order to lose $250,000, you must have much more than $250,000 in the bank right?

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  • http://drlawcenter.com Mary Hall

    Half of your original total debt in under two years, you’re doing a really good job :) Really brilliant posts too — direct and utterly honest. Def subscribing :)

  • Derrick Evans

    Great info on your blog. I can relate; dropped a pretty penny trading the dotcom era, still paying back the losses. I am a Real Estate Broker serving San Diego County, CA – how can I get on your short sale list of recomended Realtors.

    Keep the faith.

  • http://www.kickdebtoff.com joseph Mwangi

    That is sure young age for that kind of debt! but you were trending on highly risky grounds….. but keep focuss and be consistent you will kick it off in a matter of time

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  • Ronnie

    Wow, you manage to not make me feel bad about my $240,000 in debt! At least that’s primarily from student loans. I congratulate you on your progress!

  • bigalice

    While I certainly am sorry about your situation – I also have to say that I really appreciate the inspiration you offer. I’m attempting to hack my way out of 1ooK – no easy feat. In my case – it wasn’t even because of extravagant spending – I simply had a dead end job and spent years holding out hopes of my hard work and dedication being recognized. Needless to say – never happened and when I began looking for a new position the economy tanked making my situation even worse. I managed to accumulate the bulk of my debt in a 4 year period always justifying the excessive $$$blob with “I’ll be getting a better paying position and will be able to easily pay it off.”

    The biggest mistake I made – beyond allowing my debt to balloon – was in sticking my head in the sand and refusing to deal with it. The end result is that I’m now having to deal with some very nasty collectors. Fortunately, I am educated and do know what my rights are as well as the rules that the collectors have to abide but I do feel especially bad for people who don’t know how to deal with them. It can be overwhelming and I can certainly see how easy it would be to reach a point of absolute despair.

  • http://www.foreignersfinances.com Austin

    Wow! I respect your honesty and wish you luck on your journey. I’ll definitely be checking in.

    Austin @ Foreigner’s Finances

  • int

    Hi . Hope u will be get out of debt soon . mine is similar 40,000 debt and a car loan . getting married soon used to live like a king . i am 27 i make good money and thinking to pay off that soon . good luck on your journey . i am pretty impressed with the debt you have on how much you already paid off . good luck

  • Lakermiss

    You inspire me!! !!

    I have $15k in loans (but a 600 FICO cuz of how far behing I’d gotten) and I thought I was in a bad situation. If you can do this, anyone can! I’ll be following and would appreciate any tips on how I can raise my score.

    Best of luck!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • http://www.thunderdrake.com/blog/ Aury (Thunderdrake)

    Talk about an inspiring premise to base your blog around! You left me browsing around this place big time!

    Being a dividend investor, I have to be baffled at how you ran 250K in debt. That’s… mind boggling. Absolutely mind boggling.

    You shaved off a good half of your debt now. So quickly as well. You certainly give this dragon a big smile across his muzzle.

    But.. Don’t let the stock market avert you on the mistakes you made here. There are indeed ways to obtain and grow wealth with no speculation of gambling. But for now.. Focus on those debts. Your resolve is undeniably admirable.

  • http://www.jan-leasure.com Jan Leasure

    Good morning! I just blundered across your blog and I want to tell you I LOVE IT! I have been a financial consumer journalist for more years than I want to admit–I could be your mom–but the thing that I love about your blog is the HONESTY that is spilled all over it! Your articles are interesting, informative and crisp but seriously, the best part is that your posts just OOZE honesty! I have been in some capacity where you have been. I think your greatest asset is to look your mistakes in the eye and say to yourself and everyone else, “I was the stupidest kid ever!” (You were not for the record of course, but you cannot resolve a problem unless you admit you have one, and you did that fabulously! ) Thank you for the information and a smile! -Jan Leasure, $uper $aver http://www.jan-leasure.com Good Luck!!!

  • De Jah

    wow and i thought i was in the gutter with my $48k debt i have in credit cards, car loan, and student loan. im 27yrs old and feel like i pretty much screwed my life up with this debt i have and wont be getting out of my folks house until i pay this off :( i have a pretty crappy sales job so it may take me a long ass time to pay this off unless i find a better paying job, but with this crappy economy and never received my college degree, i guess things dont look so good. i have no technical skills and its hard for me to get my degree because im so bad at college algebra, so my profesional future seems uncertain. well i guess thats life for me. i wish u luck and alot of success.

  • jay

    The link you posted regarding your “video interview with Geezeo” does not work. It’s a dead link.

  • http://smomdiaries.blogspot.com SuperMom Diaries

    Wow, what story. Just found your blog… I’ll be checking back often! Good Luck!!

  • http://www.pacrin.com Shawn Whitmore

    I am a graduate student at the University of Hawaii conducting a research survey on credit card debt and advertising. I am attempting to obtain as many volunteers as possible and was hoping to post a link on your site. The survey is completely anonymous, takes around 10-15 minutes. I will post the data on my website after the collection is complete this September for anyone who might be curious about this type of research. The address is http://www.pacrin.com works best in Internet Explorer, (or www(dot)pacrin(dot)com.)
    Thank you–Shawn

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  • http://www.stock-market-education.com Stock Market Education

    Hi Scott, I do need to read more of your blog to get a better picture of what your doing now, but seems like the bear did not kick you when you were down and you have a bull inside you!!

  • http://www.stock-market-strategy.com Stock Market Education

    Hi Scott, I do need to read more of your blog to get a better picture of what your doing now, but seems like the bear did not kick you when you were down and you have a bull inside you!!

    Sorry this is amended!

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