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Or consider another not-so-hypothetical situation. Someone has been employed for a fair amount of time and has work clothes that have the stains or wear from having done that job. Now that person has to go interviewing for a job. The typical recommendation is to dress a little better than someone employed in the target position, so this person needs "interview clothes" to help the odds of getting a job. Does that person spend some money up front for "interview clothes" (and a typewriter, resume copying and an answering machine) to improve the chances of getting a job, or skip these expenses because one doesn't have the cash handy?

I have an acquaintance who ran up a good-sized CC debt when she was traveling across the country examing graduate schools to decide where she was going to go. She had no other resources and it was a decision that would affect the course of her entire life. It took her a good deal of time to pay it off, but, IMHO, it was a wise thing to do.

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