How to Avoid Bankruptcy - Learn Now

Many people think bankruptcy is a good solution when they are in trouble with their money. In some cases, this is true, but many times, there are ways to avoid bankruptcy. Refinancing, debt consolidation, negotiations, and credit counseling are a few ways to save your credit, reputation, and the long lasting effects of filing bankruptcy. While negotiations and credit counseling can still have negative impacts on your credit report, they are at least better than filing bankruptcy.

The first thing that should be considered before filing bankruptcy is determining how much equity you have in your home. You might be able to get a loan with a reasonable interest rate because it's tied to your mortgage. This loan can be used toward debt consolidation. When you do this, the mortgage company will probably have the debts paid off through escrow instead of giving you the money directly. Then you will only have to worry about making your mortgage payment each month. The monthly payment will be less than what you have been paying since you are piling everything together with a lower rate and financing it over a longer period of time.

If refinancing your mortgage is out of the question, try getting a debt consolidation loan. This is typically an unsecured loan, so it would have a higher interest rate than a home equity loan, but will still be better than trying to pay all the bills separately. You may need to offer the title to a vehicle as collateral for this loan to get the amount you need. If your credit is not outstanding, you may end up needing to go to a B lending institution and pay a higher percentage. Your monthly payment will still probably be better than what you're paying now.

The above two options are better to do before you get behind on payments because you'll need to have at least some measure of credit worthiness to get anyone else to lend to you. If you're already behind on payments, I still recommend you try those options before moving to the next options. You may find someone who can help you get caught up and into a position that you can get the loan you need.

If you've tried the above options and have still found no relief it's time to change the game a little. These next options will have a negative impact on your credit report, but will be less of an impact than a bankruptcy will be.

Debt negotiation is the next option to consider. It requires you to call up each of your creditors and let them know you're having trouble making payments and that you're considering bankruptcy, but you want to exhaust all options first. Your job is to try to get them to lower your interest rate and establish a payment plan that will work for you. Remember, these people want you to pay them back, so they will be willing to work with you as long as they're convinced you can't pay as agreed. Ask for as many things as you can think of that would help you make your payments, reduced late fees, longer payment period, whatever. If you don't ask, you definitely won't get it, and if they say no, perhaps they will have some other suggestions for you.

Lastly consider debt settlement. Using this method you will be able to settle for less than the amount you owe your creditors. Be warned, however, this notice will be placed on your credit report and it will lower your credit score until you are able to re-establish credit. You may be surprised to hear that companies will accept less than the amount you owe, but remember, they're going to try to do everything they can to get you to pay as much as they think they can get so you don't go into bankruptcy. If you file bankruptcy, they know they will get much less money than through settlement, so they're willing to take what they can get. Look into some companies that do debt settlement. You may be able to find someone who can do this for you with the least amount of adverse reporting on your credit. Before settling on a company be sure to check out their standing with the Better Business Bureau and do as much research as you can to ensure they are a reputable company.

Consumer Credit Counseling is a way to have your debts settled by another company. They have some very strict rules you'll have to follow (like no new debt), but they'll come up with a very manageable solution for you. Your credit report will be noted that you are in Consumer Credit Counseling and you will not be able to get a loan until you have completed it, but if you file bankruptcy, you won't be able to get a loan until that's completed either.

If after exhausting all these options, you still feel you need to file bankruptcy, just be sure to come up with a plan to keep yourself out of this situation in the future. The worst thing you can do for your credit report is to have late payments or other negative notations on your report that occur after a bankruptcy. This will show people that you have not learned how to manage your debt and they will be extremely reluctant to lend to you again.