They'll park some corporate jets, cut executive pay and serve up concessions from the United Auto Workers, but Ford Motor Co., General Motors Corp. and perhaps Chrysler LLC also will have to address massive debts to persuade a skeptical Congress to loan them money.

As the CEOs of all three companies prepare for a return trip to Washington this week seeking $25 billion in government loans to help them survive a worldwide economic slump, their debt likely will be scrutinized as Congress decides if they can once again become viable with help from the government.

GM alone spent $847 million on debt payments in the first nine months of the year.

"There's no guarantee these guys will make it" even with government help, said Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, one of Detroit's critics who advocates letting them go into bankruptcy. "It's also why we have bankruptcy courts, so these businesses get reorganized and the resources are used in a better way ultimately to benefit our society."

Automakers argue that bankruptcy isn't an option, maintaining that no one will buy a car from a company that may not be around for the life of the vehicle. With sales at their lowest point in 25 years and no other options to borrow more cash, GM and Chrysler say government help is essential.

Cash stockpiles at GM and Chrysler are dangerously close to the minimum amount required to run the company, meaning they could have trouble paying all their bills by the end of the year. Ford, although burning cash at an alarming rate, borrowed more than $20 billion last year and says it can last at least through 2010.

GM, according to its quarterly report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, already owes creditors a staggering $45 billion, plus it must pay more than $7.5 billion early in 2010 to a United Auto Workers trust fund that will take over retiree health care payments. Ford owes more than $26 billion, with $6.3 billion due to its UAW trust fund at the end of 2009.

Chrysler, a private company, does not have to open its books, but its CEO, Robert Nardelli, has said it would be difficult for the company to make it without federal aid. All three likely are negotiating with the UAW for delays in payments to the trusts.