The loss of your job can feel like a devastating blow to you and your family. You will be without an income to support your loved ones, and you may not be sure what you will do to make ends meet. As a result, you could find yourself depending on your credit cards as a way to pay for your most basic needs, such as food, clothing, medical bills and more. This can quickly lead to overwhelming balances that you may not be able to manage on your own.
If you are struggling with a significant amount of credit card debt after a layoff, you are not alone. Many Pennsylvania consumers must rely on their credit cards to get them through a difficult financial stage, but there are things you can do that will allow you to regain control of your financial life. For individuals who struggle with a significant amount of unsecured debt, such as credit card balances, bankruptcy is an option.
A reliance on credit cards
Your layoff may have come as a surprise to you, and even if you have savings set aside for contingencies, it may not be enough to cover your long-term needs. Studies find that most consumers have multiple credit cards, and you may be rotating which ones you use in an effort to keep your balances from growing beyond your control. If you find yourself in a place where credit cards are your best option, the following tips may be helpful for you:
- See if you can secure lower monthly payments, even on a temporary basis, by reaching out to your lenders.
- Find out if you have the option to consolidate your balances into one personal loan, making it simpler to pay.
- Consider transferring balances to a credit card that comes with an introductory 0% interest rate.
These strategies may provide you with enough margin so that you could pay your bills each month. However, any of these may not be a long-term debt solution. For individuals with large amounts of credit card debt, Chapter 7 bankruptcy could provide a reasonable solution.
A better future
Through Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you may be able to secure a better financial future. This process allows applicants to deal with certain types of debt while protected from the efforts of debt collectors. If you are unsure of how bankruptcy works or how it could benefit you, you may find it helpful to seek an understanding of your legal options.