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The options when debt spirals out of control

When you find yourself in a difficult financial situation, it is important to understand your options. Before you gain a sense of clarity, it is not uncommon to let your worries spiral out of control.

In this way, you can actually make the situation worse than it is.

Holding the line

Each person’s situation is different, but in some cases, you have some power over your options even when you have an unsupportable debt load. CNBC highlights a couple of financial strategies worth trying to right your monetary ship. The first is to pay the minimum on all your bills to keep you in good standing. This allows you to hope for better days in terms of getting a raise, finding a better job or improving your financial situation.

A second option involves contacting your lenders and trying to reach an agreement on payments. This process should begin before you incur late fees and other punitive measures such as the raising of your interest rate. In today’s environment, many lenders have hardship programs that offer some level of relief. In some cases, a forbearance agreement could allow you to make other payments to less forgiving lenders.

Filing bankruptcy

Deciding to file for bankruptcy is never an easy choice, but sometimes it remains your best option. For individuals that means either a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

It is important to consider the timing of your filing as a limit exists on how often you can file for each bankruptcy type. If you file at an inappropriate time, you could soon incur more debt. Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows for a new filing after eight years. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy has a waiting period of two years to refile, but you cannot pursue a Chapter 7 bankruptcy for six years.


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