Most people want to avoid bankruptcy if it’s at all possible. They worry about the damage to their credit score, losing property, and what others will think if they find out. It’s always wise to consider all the alternatives before taking a big step such as filing bankruptcy. Sometimes it’s not only the only solution but also the one that will set you up for the best financial future.
Some Red Flags
If you’re uncertain if its time to file for bankruptcy, below are a few green light signs:
- Are you only able to make minimum payments on credit cards? – Making only minimum payments means your debt may be with you for many years. Every month you carry a balance, you’re also paying interest. You will end up paying much more than you originally borrowed.
- If you need to rely on credit to make ends meet, you’re probably living beyond your means. It’s time to make some big changes, which could include the clean slate of bankruptcy.
- Are you missing or making late payments? – Late and missed payments are reported to the credit reporting agencies and will lower your credit score.
- Are you in danger of losing your car or home? – If you miss a car or mortgage payment, your creditors will be contacting you. The procedures vary by company and loan type, but missed payments could mean repossession or foreclosure, which is a huge ding to your credit.
- Are your wages being garnished? – If your debt has become so out of control that you’ve been sued for collections or have had your wages garnished, you need to take a close, hard look at your financial situation.
Look Before You Leap
Having a bankruptcy on your credit report can make it more difficult to get credit in the future, so it’s nothing to be taken lightly. The first step is always to look at your budget to see what can be cut; strip things down to just the minimum you need to survive, and cut out the luxuries for now.
Work with your creditors to negotiate reduced interest rates or payments. If you owe medical bills, the hospital or company may have funds set aside to reduce your payments or even write off your balance. If you can chip away at your debt and eventually pay it off, it may be worth the hard work and sacrifice to preserve your credit score.
On the other hand, after looking at the facts, you may realize that your debt is at the point where it’s impossible to ever pay it off, and it’s time to file bankruptcy. This isn’t a failure, put a proactive step to taking control of your finances and making a new start. There is freedom from debt, and I can help you take the steps to get there.