Financial Concerns And Your Health
You're losing sleep. You can't eat, or maybe you're eating too much. Your relationships, both personal and professional are suffering because you're moody and/or depressed. Simply stated, my friend, if you're in debt and finding it difficult to pay your bills each month, there's a very good chance you may be suffering from chronic stress due to your financial worries. Chronic stress can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and several other health problems.
All of the concern, worry, lost sleep and potential health problems just aren't worth it. It's time to take a serious look at what your options are to get out of debt once and for all.
There's a good chance that you've considered a loan to consolidate your credit card debt. While debt consolidation is certainly an option for many people, it's important to remember that you will still owe 100% of the money you've borrowed. Instead of paying several creditors each month, you'll instead make one large monthly payment. When applying for a debt consolidation loan, it's quite likely that the creditor considering lending you the money will request some type of collateral, usually the equity in your home. As stated earlier, you'll still be in debt, but if you're absolutely certain you can easily make your new monthly payment, and there's no chance of a reduction in income in the foreseeable future, this may be the way to go. Use caution, however, and confirm that the interest rate is fixed and not variable; the last thing you want is a sudden increase in the payment amount, as this could put you right back to where you were when your debt consolidation loan was originated. And finally, a few more words of caution regarding debt consolidation: Cut up your credit cards! You may say "I'll never be in debt again," yet so many people find that they end up owing credit card companies all over again, as well as the creditor holding the mortgage for the debt consolidation loan. If you must, keep one credit card for emergency use only.
It's unfortunate, but many people have no alternative; they must file personal bankruptcy. You may be one of those people, but if there's another avenue open to you, consider taking it and avoid a bankruptcy filing. Just as many people find that they have no choice other than to file bankruptcy, still others have found that they don't qualify for Chapter 7 status (whereby the debtor receives a discharge of all dischargeable debts) due to the new bankruptcy law that went into effect in October 2005. In order to qualify for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy under the new law, your income must not exceed your state's median income level. Also, if you're able to pay back a minimum of $100 per month toward your overall debt, you will not qualify for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. You will instead need to file Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, whereby you'll re-pay a portion of what is owed over a five-year period. It's also crucial to understand that a bankruptcy filing is public record, so everybody and anybody has access to this information. Bankruptcy also stays on your credit report for 7-10 years, another fact you may want to take into consideration while contemplating this option.
If neither of the aforementioned options are available to you, debt settlement may be a viable alternative. Debt settlement is a process by which the amount of money you owe is negotiated with your various creditors, potentially reducing your debt by 30%-70%. Unlike, bankruptcy, debt settlement is not a matter of public record, so you're able to maintain your privacy. Also unlike bankruptcy and debt consolidation, if you should decide to enter a debt settlement program, chances are you'll be debt-free in two or three years, and very possibly even sooner.
Finally, put your money worries behind you. No matter what avenue you choose, it's time to be stress-free and start enjoying life again. Most people, at some point in their lives, face financial challenges. These challenges, however, are not worth bad health and ruined relationships. It's likely that once you decide to tackle your finances you'll find your level of stress will drop significantly and you'll have the energy and enthusiasm for life you so desire.