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Bankruptcy: This may or may not be the answer for you

No one takes on debt thinking that they'll be unable to pay it. Whether debt is accumulated because of a medical emergency that is out of their control or because they have enough of an income to justify it, most people have a plan for paying it back. Even if they pay just a small amount monthly, they make ends meet.

Unfortunately, some debts do accumulate quickly and may feel overwhelming. For example, that medical emergency that a person thought would be covered by insurance might become quickly overwhelming when they discover that some of it was performed by out-of-network providers and billed at high rates.

What should you do if you can't handle the amount of debt you have?

There are options if you feel that you can't handle the amount of debt you have right now. Bankruptcy is just one possibility. Bankruptcy is good for large, unsecured debts, like medical debt or credit card debt. It can be damaging to your credit score, though, so if you're still making on-time payments, bankruptcy may not be the right choice yet.

Other potential options are to negotiate down the debts you have, to get on a payment plan or even to take on a little extra work to help you pay down what you owe faster. When you're struggling to pay, the goal should be to find ways to reduce what you owe, minimize monthly payments and consolidate debts, so you can afford to pay them back. If they are still too overwhelming, then it may be time to talk to your attorney.

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