Being in debt can be like having an old fashioned ball and chain attached to your leg. Everywhere you go, you are reminded of this enormous weight you have to drag around with you. Regardless of how you got in debt in the first place though, it really is possible to pull yourself out of the hole you dug for yourself in the first place.
Bankruptcy, Consolidation or what?
One of the first and most obvious ways of getting out of the debt you find yourself in is to declare bankruptcy. For most people though, this should be the last thing they consider. Getting free from debt using bankruptcy carries a high price. First, you will most likely have to give up your home, your cars and even your furniture in some cases. Second, you get an ugly mark against your credit rating that can take years to overcome. Thirdly, not all debt will be eligible to get wiped out by the bankruptcy. This third fact could leave you still owing thousands of dollars and a bad credit rating!
When does it make sense to declare bankruptcy?
If you've amassed a very large debt load, beyond your ability to pay even the interest payments, bankruptcy should be considered. If your home life is in shambles due to the high stress involved with creditors calling and constant fighting with your significant other, it may be time to consider bankruptcy. Before you decide to take this drastic step though, make sure you have exhausted all of your other options.
Credit Counseling Services
A less drastic step to declaring bankruptcy is to go to a credit counseling service. You can usually find these listed in your local telephone directory in the yellow pages. These agencies specialize in helping you to call your creditors, make arrangements you can afford and to consolidate your debt into a more manageable monthly payment. They can also help you form a personal budget that could help prevent you from getting further in debt. Consolidating your loans can be one sensible way to bring your debt under control.
Keep in mind with consolidating your loans however that you will have to make an effort to change your money habits if consolidating is going to have any positive long term effect. Consolidating your loans and then going out to borrow more money with the breathing room is a sure path to bankruptcy.
Self Disciplined approach
This approach is less likely to succeed for most people. If you got yourself deeply in debt in the first place, it is usually very difficult to change your habits on your own. With professional help however, you can have a handle on your debt in no time at all!
Lucila Duchesne is the webmaster for bootdebt.com A website dedicated to teaching debt management to ordinary people. Reprint freely as long as you maintain the live links found in this resource box.