As we head into another potential recession, many Americans are living with staggering amounts of debt. Combined credit card debt alone is nearly $931 billion in the USA. Veterans are more at risk to encounter debt problems than civilians according to an analysis by the FINRA Investor Education Foundation. Dealing with debt can be very overwhelming, often leaving a veteran unsure of which route of debt relief to pursue. Debt consolidation loans, debt consolidation companies, and debt settlement plans are often viable options as is a bankruptcy filing that can help you get rid of many of your unsecured debts while also offering your income some protection.
Bankruptcy legally affords discharge from your responsibility to settle certain debts. To declare bankruptcy is without a doubt one of the most severe financial choices an individual will ever have to make. It is, however, often the only way a veteran who has excessive debt can make a fresh start. Despite this, bankruptcy does have a downside. Depending on where you live, and your exact financial situation, you may be required to liquidate some of your property and other fixed assets. A bankruptcy filing will furthermore also be displayed on your credit record for up to 10 years which can have a direct influence on your capacity to buy or rent cars and property.
It is very important to seek out professional financial advice before making any decisions pertaining to bankruptcy. A financial advisor will be able to suggest various routes to take, such as debt consolidation and a debt management plan, that will address the debt concern effectively. Bankruptcy should only ever be considered as a last resort after all other options have been exhausted. Always weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of bankruptcy and consider making use of your pension or home equity to pay off your debt.
Apart from private financial advisors, there are also a number of other organizations that focus their efforts on assisting veterans with financial concerns. MilitaryOneSource is an organization of the Department of Defense that offers free financial counseling to both active and retired military members as well as their families. There are a number of organizations such as The Coalition to Salute American Heroes and Operation First Response that step in during emergency situations and assist veterans facing foreclosure or eviction and utility shutoffs or who are in desperate need of food. Post 9/11 veterans can reach out to USA Cares which strives to keep veterans in their homes and has already allocated in excess of $10 million in grants.
Filing for bankruptcy will never be an easy decision to make. Before making any pertinent financial decisions it is important to weigh up all your options, seek out sound advice and then choose a way forward that will be of most benefit to your unique situation.
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By Lucy Wyndham