It is worthwhile to examine your bankruptcy alternatives because filing for bankruptcy is a last resort that people usually have to take if they have absolutely no way of getting over the debt they have accumulated over the years.
While this can help reduce your worries about finding money to pay your bills, bankruptcy does leave a permanent bad mark on your record, preventing you from being able to get good rates on your future credit cards among other things.
Fortunately, there are a few bankruptcy alternatives you can consider if you want to avoid having to file for bankruptcy, such as credit counseling.
Credit counseling is one alternative to bankruptcy
Credit counseling is most useful if you have been unable to pay your bills for some reason but actually have the income to do it. Basically, what a credit counseling organization will do is help you sort out your finances and create a plan that will allow you to pay your bills on time.
You do have to be careful in hiring a credit counselor because some of them charge unreasonably high fees and actually take advantage of their clients’ lack of information to make money for themselves.
Bankruptcy lawyers recommend bankruptcy alternatives
The safest and most practical way of finding a good credit counselor is to approach your bankruptcy lawyer and ask for a recommendation. Take note however, that not all people will be able to avoid bankruptcy by using these services — you first have to pass a couple of requirements:
- One is that it must be mathematically possible to make your payments, given your current income,
- and another is that there must be a way to reduce the interest rates on your unsecured debt.
Before meeting with your credit counselor regarding your best options for bankruptcy alternatives, you must list down all your secured and unsecured debt, as well as all your current income. When making your list, you should indicate the interest rates that are in place on each of your accounts.
With the help of your credit counseling organization, you should be able to negotiate with your lenders so they would reduce the rates on your debt. This is easier than you might think because believe it or not, lenders would rather be paid at a lower interest rate than not to be paid at all.
Upon doing this, the agency will then consolidate all your debt into a single account with only one interest rate, giving you only one monthly payment to worry about.
Bankruptcy options do not damage your credit
Bankruptcy reflects very poorly indeed on anyone’s credit records, at least for ten years, so you should do everything you can in order to avoid having to go down this path. For many people, credit counseling has proven to be the best bankruptcy alternative indeed.
With lower interest rates and fewer payments to make, this is usually enough to put a delinquent spender back on track with his finances. In order to determine the most efficient way for you to deal with the prospect of bankruptcy alternatives, the best move is to see a bankruptcy lawyer and ask for advice.