Asked by Ursula  |  Submitted January 17, 2015

Is it better to file for bankruptcy or try to make arrangements to pay off existing debt, if it's really out of control?

I owe about $15,000 in credit card debt, mostly interest now, from about 6 years ago. Should I make arrangements to pay this off, or would I be better off filing for bankruptcy?

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  Answers  |  1

January 17, 2015

Hi Ursula. Pay it off. Bankruptcy is not a fun process and it sticks with you for far longer than it should take to pay off $15k. Bankruptcy affects everything from employment and housing opportunities to getting a new cell phone carrier and auto insurance. It won't be easy, but you need to hunker down, cut your expenses to the bare necessities, and put everything you can into that debt. Sell things you may have acquired with that debt that you don't need. Get a side hustle as a coach, tutor, freelance writer, etc. to make some additional cash to pay it down. Rent out your car or a room in your house for extra money. Get creative, earn cash elsewhere, and make sure your spending is under control so you're not acquiring any new debt - now or in the future.

And tell those around you (family and friends) what you're working towards so they can help you. Rather than buying gifts for holidays, they'll understand you're putting those monies to better use paying off that debt. You'll be SO thankful when it's all done!

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