by Heather, March 19, 2012
While the economy does its rock and rolling trying to get back to a normal equilibrium, there are thousands of people still struggling to find work. So many people are still facing the loss of their homes and any normal lifestyle they were accustomed to. How many people do you know that are looking to bankruptcy as a solution? If you are one of those individuals, there are some options that you can try first.
Bankruptcy should be a last effort to keep your head above water and not the only effort. It is an expensive legal process that will discharge your debts that you owe creating a loss to those you owe and giving you negative credit for many years. Here are some options to look at before deciding to file for bankruptcy.
• Negotiate with your lenders for reduced fees and payment plans. Many lenders are willing to work with you by agreeing to repayment plans that will halt excessive late fees and high interest rates. You must agree to be on time and pay as agreed for the repayment plan to stay in force.
• If you cannot commit yourself to a repayment plan, look at debt consolidation companies that for a nominal fee will help you consolidate your unsecured debts into one payment monthly that you pay the company. They in turn pay your creditors a negotiated rate. Worth mentioning is to make sure that the company you choose for the consolidation is a company that is well known and has a proven track record. Most of them are non profits and will charge you a flat rate of $20-$40 a month or so.
• Use a process of snowballing your payments. Made popular by financial expert Dave Ramsey, this is a procedure where you focus your payments on one bill and get that paid off by making much larger than minimum payments. You then take the amount of the payment you were paying on that bill and add it to the next bill payment and get that one paid off. And so on. This works great for credit cards, car loans, mortgages etc.
Do some research on bankruptcy and the effects of it on your credit and future before making that decision. There is help out there for alternative methods, if you ask.
Have you found debt relief from any of the options> If so, share what worked for you.