Bankruptcy is a very powerful tool for getting rid of debt, but it's not always the right solution. If you’re considering bankruptcy, make sure you consider your other options as well.
When you are in debt and the bills keep piling up, it can seem like you have nowhere to turn. In fact, there are numerous options available to help you find relief from your debts, but not all of these options are the best choice. Since each person's debt is symptomatic of a unique financial situation, there is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to finding debt relief. Before filing for bankruptcy, consider the following options.
Many people have the financial ability to get out of debt on their own, they just lack the knowledge of how to go about it. There are numerous sources of information that can teach anyone how to get themselves out of debt with an organized plan. Credit counseling companies offer debtor education courses that teach budgeting, money management, debt repayment strategies and how to use credit wisely. The information gained through these courses can help you develop a plan to get out of debt, without the help of a third party.
Most of the time, creditors are willing to negotiate debt repayment terms with borrowers. The problem is, many people never ask. If you contact your creditor to explain your financial hardship and show them you have the ability to make a payment each month, even if it is less than the minimum payment, they may be willing to arrange a deal. In some cases, you may be able to have your interest rate lowered or have delinquency and penalty fees waived. Most people find that they are able to obtain a lowered monthly payment that allows them to continue to work towards repaying their debts in a way that suits their current budget.
If you do not have the financial means to repay your debts in full, you may be able to have your creditor agree to reduce the amount owed on the account. Creditors are out to obtain the full amount owed on the debt, however, they risk losing more money through options like bankruptcy. Debt settlements can be tricky and require direct communication between you and the creditor. In general, it is best to obtain a written agreement of the settlement and make payments to your creditor directly, rather than through a third party debt settlement company.