If you weren’t aware, the majority of Americans today are in debt. While some owe in mortgage or student loans, others carry “credit card, auto, and medical debt, the latter of which is the No. 1 cause of personal bankruptcy filings in the country” [Source: USA Today]. The fact is, it costs a significant amount of money to attend college and even to own a home, and because many people strive to have the lifestyle they want, some fall into the debt trap and can’t find their way out. While many eventually choose to file for bankruptcy as they are too far in, there are a few options to consider if you aren’t quite ready to hit the bankruptcy button.
Here are a few tips to help get your debt under control provided by USA Today.
- Get yourself organized. After a person falls into debt, they often owe more than they can pay and tend to lose track. So, the first thing you may want to consider doing is get a hold on what you owe and how often is it due. Now, if you owe money to various credit card companies, you may want to look into “rolling those debts onto a single card via a balance transfer.” If you happen to owe money to different sources, you may also want to consider consolidating your debt into a personal loan in the event you qualify for one.
- Look into refinancing your mortgage or auto loan. To help lower the amount of debt you have, you may also want to look into refinancing your mortgage or car loan, which means you would “swap your existing loan for a new one with better terms.” There are certain terms you must meet to qualify for this but in the event you do, you could be looking at a lower monthly payment which means more money in your pocket.
- Find out if you qualify for a break on your student loans. Student loan payments can be rather expensive. But, there are ways to get this payment reduced. For instance, if you are a “low to middle-earner, you might get the option to switch over to an income-based repayment plan, which calculates your monthly loan payment as a percentage of your earnings rather than a preset amount.” You may also qualify to have a portion of your loans forgiven in the event you meet certain criteria.
- Settle your debt with lenders. If you have fallen behind on your credit card payments or feel you can no longer afford to pay, you may consider asking your lenders to settle. When a lender settles, they often agree to accept a lesser amount than the total amount that is owed to them. An important point the news outlet highlighted is that if you were to file for bankruptcy, your lenders risk getting nothing so sometimes, it is in their best interest to settle.
If you aren’t sure whether filing for bankruptcy is your best option to reduce your debt, speak with a Livingston, NJ bankruptcy attorney who can explain what the pros and cons are with filing.
Now, if you simply cannot manage your debt and cannot afford to repay the lenders you owe, consider speaking with a Livingston, NJ bankruptcy attorney. Attorney Stuart M. Nachbar has helped past and present clients determine if bankruptcy was the best option for them as well as the other options that may be available to them. So, if you are interested in learning whether your situation qualifies you to file for bankruptcy in New Jersey or what your other alternatives may be, contact The Law Office of Stuart M. Nachbar, P.C. today by calling 973-567-0954.
You can also visit The Law Office of Stuart M. Nachbar, P.C.:
354 Eisenhower Parkway, Suite 2025
PO Box 2205
Livingston, NJ 07039