DEAR ABBY: I am a 24-year-old guy who recently faced a big decision. Two years ago, I decided to move away from home and start my own life away from my parents. This was the most fun time of my whole life - dating, parties and the general good time that comes from living with friends. Well, things started to change shortly after I moved. I was not really prepared financially at the time I moved out. I went deeper and deeper into debt.

I will not give you the exact amount except to tell you that it went well above $10,000, not including my car loan. I asked myself, "How did I let this happen?"There were no answers. It was plain stupidity. I considered bankruptcy because I couldn't pay all of my bills with my salary, and it seemed like a good way out.

My parents wanted me to move back home with them and pay my bills back. Abby, bankruptcy seems so simple - an easy way out. The lawyers will tell you that it will be on your record for only 10 years. But this is not the whole truth. When you fill out a credit application, it asks, "Have you ever filed bankruptcy?'

If you say, "Yes," you really don't have too good a chance. If you say "No," that's fraud.

Abby, please tell other young people that they shouldn't file Chapter VII. Tell them, instead, to swallow their pride and go back home if they can, because the long-term effect on their credit rating is devastating. - HUMBLED IN SAN DIEGO

DEAR HUMBLED: I am printing your letter because I think the message it carries could be valuable to everyone, regardless of age. Credit counseling is available for people who find themselves in over their heads. For the location of a local credit bureau, people with a debt and budgeting problem should send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to: The National Foundation for Consumer Credit, 8611 Second Ave., Suite 100, Silver Spring, MD 20910; or call (toll-free) 800-388-CCCS.

DEAR ABBY: In a recent issue of Parade magazine, I saw a brief article (enclosed) that disturbed me greatly. It details a parent granting permission for his 6-year-old child to donate a kidney to a CHIMPANZEE suffering from simian nephritis!

The item read, "The father of little Brandy Oxenrider visited the ailing primate in his cage at the Perkins Animal Clinic in Atlanta, bearing a large bunch of bananas.

"`As a family, we are 100 percent committed to animal welfare,' said the father, a 40-year-old health food store owner, `but sometimes it can be kind of frustrating. I heard about a laboratory rat out in California who needs a heart transplant. I'd really like to donate mine, but how will it fit into that tiny little chest cavity?' "

Abby, removing a kidney from a 6-year-old child for donation to a chimpanzee is outrageous! It's one thing for an adult to make an informed decision based on facts and potential risks, but a child obviously does not understand the risks of going through life with only one kidney.

Unless this child were terminally ill with no hope for recovery, this is outright child abuse!

Although I am not an expert on inter-species transplants, as a physician who has some knowledge of human-to-human transplants, I believe the chances for success are far greater in twins or siblings. Even the chimp would be better served if it were to receive a donor kidney from another chimp - and preferably a blood relative. Quite frankly, I am at a loss to understand why there are ANY transplants from human to animals at all! - JOE WEINSTEIN, M.D., SOMERVILLE, N.J.

DEAR DR. WEINSTEIN: As much as I love animals, I, too, was at a loss to understand why, when humans are on waiting lists for organ transplants, a chimpanzee would take preference over a child for a kidney transplant.

I telephoned Information in Atlanta and asked for the telephone number of the Perkins Animal Clinic. I was told that there was no animal clinic listed under that name.

I then called Parade magazine and asked for the source of the item concerning the kidney transplant from child to chimp. I was told that that item was meant to be a joke!

Perhaps I've lost my sense of humor, but in my opinion no kind of organ transplant is a joke.