Welcome D.A. NYC Newcomers

A word to newcomers

If you are having problems with money and debt and think you may be a compulsive debtor, you have come to the right place. Debtors Anonymous can help you.

We offer face-to-face, telephone, and virtual meetings, and we suggest attending at least six meetings to have an opportunity to identify with the speakers and become familiar with D.A. before deciding whether or not this program is for you.

If you identify with some or all aspects of compulsive debting, we hope you will join us on the path of recovery and find the peace, joy and love that we have found in Debtors Anonymous. See our welcome video.


Get to Know Debtors Anoynmous

This welcome video is provided by Debtors Anonymous Council. A quick overview of who the program helps. (1minute 14 seconds with sound)


Getting Started with D.A.

Join us on the path of recovery and find the peace, joy and love with DANYC.

Is your life unmanageable because of credit card debt and overspending?

No situation is hopeless. We, too, were lonely and frustrated, but in D.A. we have found a solution which leads to solvency and serenity.

The program of Debtors Anonymous is based on the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. Here you can find a new way of living that offers recovery from compulsive debting and hope for a healthier, happier, more prosperous life. The most important thing is to keep coming back.

Most compulsive debtors will answer yes to at least eight of the following 15 questions:

  1. Are your debts making your home life unhappy?
  2. Does the pressure of your debts distract you from your daily work?
  3. Are your debts affecting your reputation?
  4. Do your debts cause you to think less of yourself?
  5. Have you ever given false information in order to obtain credit?
  6. Have you ever made unrealistic promises to your creditors?
  7. Does the pressure of your debts make you careless of the welfare of your family?
  8. Do you ever fear that your employer, family or friends will learn the extent of your total indebtedness?
  9. When faced with a difficult financial situation, does the prospect of borrowing give you an inordinate feeling of relief?
  10. Does the pressure of your debts cause you to have difficulty sleeping?
  11. Has the pressure of your debts ever caused you to consider getting drunk?
  12. Have you ever borrowed money without giving adequate consideration to the rate of interest you are required to pay?
  13. Do you usually expect a negative response when you are subject to a credit investigation?
  14. Have you ever developed a strict regimen for paying off your debts, only to break it under pressure?
  15. Do you justify your debts by telling yourself that you are superior to the “other” people, and when you get your “break” you’ll be out of debt overnight?

How did you score?

If you answered yes to eight or more of these questions, then chances are that you have a problem with compulsive debt, or are well on your way to having one.

If this is the case, today can be a turning point in your life.

We have all arrived at this crossroad. One road, a soft road, lures you on to further despair, illness, ruin, and in some cases, mental institutions, prison, or suicide.

The other road, a more challenging road, leads to self-respect, solvency, healing, and personal fulfillment. We urge you to take the first difficult step onto the more solid road now.

Still have questions about D.A.? Contact us for help.

Debtors Anonymous offers hope for people whose use of unsecured debt causes problems and suffering. We come to learn that compulsive debting is a spiritual problem with a spiritual solution, and we find relief by working the D.A. recovery program based on the Twelve-Step principles.

The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop incurring unsecured debt. Even if members are not in debt, they are welcome in D.A. Our Fellowship is supported solely through contributions made by members; there are no dues or fees.

Debtors Anonymous is not affiliated with any financial, legal, political, or religious entities, and we avoid controversy by not discussing outside issues.  By sharing our experience, strength, and hope, and by carrying the message to those who still suffer, we find joy, clarity, and serenity as we recover together.

The Preamble of Debtors Anonymous

Debtors Anonymous (D.A.) is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with one another that they may solve their common problem and help others recover from compulsive debting. The only requirement for membership in Debtors Anonymous is a desire to stop incurring unsecured debt. There are no dues or fees for D.A. membership; we are self-supporting through our own contributions. D.A. is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution; does not wish to engage in any controversy; neither endorses nor opposes any causes. Our primary purpose is to stop debting one day at a time and to help other compulsive debtors to stop incurring unsecured debt.

Revised and approved August 2003

The History of D.A.

Debtors Anonymous started in 1968 when a core group of recovery members from Alcoholics Anonymous held their first meeting to discuss the problems they were experiencing with money. They first called themselves the “Penny Pinchers” and later “Capital Builders”. The members of this group made daily deposits of their funds into savings accounts because they believed that their financial problems stemmed from an inability to save money.

As days and months passed, the group’s members began to understand that their monetary problems did not stem from an inability to save, but rather from the inability to become solvent. By 1971, the essence of the D.A. Program unfolded in the discovery and understanding that the act of debting itself was the threshold of this disease, and the only solution was to use the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous.

After two years the group of recovering A.A. members disbanded. Meetings came and went. D.A. reemerged in 1976 when two or three people began meeting on Wednesday evenings at St. Stephen’s Rectory in New York. Within the year, a second meeting was organized, and Debtors Anonymous was reborn. Today, there are over 500 meetings in the United States and in 13 countries throughout the world.

We have all arrived at this crossroad. One road, a soft road, lures you on to further despair, illness, ruin, and in some cases, mental institutions, prison, or suicide.

The other road, a more challenging road, leads to self-respect, solvency, healing, and personal fulfillment.

We urge you to take the first difficult step onto the more solid road now.

Twelve Signs of Compulsive Debting

  1. Being unclear about your financial situation. Not knowing account balances, monthly expenses, loan interest rates, fees, fines, or contractual obligations.
  2. Frequently “borrowing” items such as books, pens, or small amounts of money from friends and others, and failing to return them.
  3. Poor saving habits. Not planning for taxes, retirement or other not-recurring but predictable items, and then feeling surprised when they come due; a “live for today, don’t worry about tomorrow” attitude.
  4. Compulsive shopping: Being unable to pass up a “good deal”; making impulsive purchases; leaving price tags on clothes so they can be returned; not using items you’ve purchased.
  5. Difficulty in meeting basic financial or personal obligations, and/or an inordinate sense of accomplishment when such obligations are met.
  6. A different feeling when buying things on credit than when paying cash, a feeling of being in the club, of being accepted, of being grown up.
  7. Living in chaos and drama around money: Using one credit card to pay another; bouncing checks; always having a financial crisis to contend with.
  8. A tendency to live on the edge: Living paycheck to paycheck; taking risks with health and car insurance coverage; writing checks hoping money will appear to cover them.
  9. Unwarranted inhibition and embarrassment in what should be a normal discussion of money.
  10. Overworking or underearning: Working extra hours to earn money to pay creditors; using time inefficiently; taking jobs below your skill and education level.
  11. An unwillingness to care for and value yourself: Living in self-imposed deprivation; denying your basic needs in order to pay your creditors.
  12. A feeling or hope that someone will take care of you if necessary, so that you won’t really get into serious financial trouble, that there will always be someone you can turn to.

© 2001 Debtors Anonymous General Service Board, Inc. Registered D.A. groups have permission to copy this page for distribution to its members.

Join a Debtor’s Anonymous face-to-face, telephone, or virtual meetings in the New York City area.