5 Tips for Dealing With Debt Before You Declare Bankruptcy

It's no secret that balancing your budget can be tricky. This article covers tips and tricks for managing your money and avoiding bankruptcy when possible.

If you've been dealing with seemingly impossible debt, you might be feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, or anxious. Dealing with debt is rarely a simple process. Maybe you used your credit cards to pay for new tires for your car. Perhaps you had an unexpected medical emergency. Maybe your home's roof was damaged and you had to get a new one. Debt can appear in many ways; however, you don't need to feel anxious. If you've been considering bankruptcy, there are a few things you should do before you finalize your decision to file. Here's what you need to know.

1. Identify your debts

Sometimes, dealing with bills and debts can be so emotionally challenging that you might be tempted to just ignore your debts. Don't do this! Make sure you understand exactly how much debt you have. You need to know how much money you owe and to which lenders. If you aren't sure what your current balances are, you can generally check this online or simply call and ask your lender to send you a statement that details how much you owe.

2. Talk with lenders

Sometimes, talking with lenders enables you to modify your payment arrangements. If you're struggling to make your payments, call your lenders and ask what other repayment options they have. In some cases, they may be able to help work out a payment schedule that works for you. Medical companies may also be able to reduce the amount that you owe, in some cases, but you have to call and ask.

3. Report fraudulent activity

It's important to check your credit report regularly to check for inconsistencies or fraudulent activity. Identity theft is a serious issue that can greatly affect your credit score, so if you suspect someone has been using your identity to open credit card accounts, it's important that you identity this activity as quickly as possible.

4. Reduce your spending

While creating a budget isn't always fun, consider looking for ways to reduce your spending. Eating at home instead of restaurants can make a big difference in your spending. Additionally, consider calling your phone or even your Internet companies to find out if they offer discounted rates or lower options that may be more affordable for you at this time.

5. Talk with an attorney

Finally, make sure you reach out and speak with a lawyer if you begin to have serious financial problems and you're thinking about filing for bankruptcy. An attorney can answer your questions, but they can also analyze your financial situation to help you find ways you may be able to get ahead without filing.

No matter what kind of debt you're dealing with, the right lawyer can help. Reach out to schedule an appointment as soon as possible to talk about your options. In some cases, reducing your debt through non-bankruptcy methods may be the best choice, but sometimes, filing for bankruptcy may be just what you need to get a fresh start.