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I'm not at the point where I am getting calls from collection agencies (yet), but things are so tight, and my life is so consumed with debt. How incredibly bad is it to consider bankruptcy? And how much does it truly affect my credit, and my risk? Am I doomed, or does a bankruptcy not look as bad as it used to? Would I ever be able to get credit again?
There are so many bankruptcy cases right now that it seems to not be as bad as it used to. However it still affects your credit for 7 years as far as I know. It's a very personal choice. I would do your research before you make a final decision.
Keep in mind too it costs money to file for bankruptcy. That should be at the bottom of your list of options, i.e. when all else fails. Bankruptcy will look far worse than paying off the debt. And yes it affects your credit greatly. I would do everything else you can, even if that means taking a weekend job delivering pizzas to help pay off your debt, before you even contemplate filing bankruptcy.
I know what you mean, it sounds like such an easy way out. I was talking to a friend today, who filed 4 years ago, and he was trying to help his daughter out with college loans. They told him no, even though he and his wife have a combined income of upwards of 80 or 90 K a year. I definitely need to get things figured out. Bankruptcy will be my last resort....