People in Virginia who are struggling with student loan debt might be considering filing for bankruptcy. However, even though Americans have a cumulative student loan debt that is more than $1.5 trillion, most student loan obligations cannot be discharged in bankruptcy.
Medical bills are a common reason why individuals throughout Virginia and the rest of the country file for bankruptcy. A TD Ameritrade study found that it was the most common reason why a person may consider liquidating a retirement account. However, it may not be wise to take a loan or withdrawal from such an account. This is because individuals could have to pay off the balance of their loans if they lose their jobs or switch employers for any reason.
It isn't uncommon for Virginia residents and others to do the bulk of their holiday shopping in the first few days after Thanksgiving. This is a time when retailers throughout the nation offer discounted prices and other deals designed to get people to spend money. Those who are planning to buy gifts this holiday season are encouraged to create a budget before they start shopping. They are also encouraged to take into account fees or taxes that may be added to a transaction.
Virginia residents may not necessarily be against using a credit card to fund their holiday shopping. A study from Creditcards.com found that 51% of respondents who had credit card debt were willing to go deeper into debt during the holidays. It also found that 50% of male respondents who had credit cards had no problem spending more on gifts and other related seasonal expenses. Only 41% of female respondents who had credit cards said the same thing.
Many people living in Virginia and around the country struggle with high levels of debt. While most people genuinely want to pay their creditors, the level of debt could be out of control, and an individual or couple may not be able to ever repay what they owe. In such cases, bankruptcy is an option.
For some Virginia residents, filing for bankruptcy can be a drastic step. For others, though, it can be a tool that will help them get back on their feet and start over with a clean slate. In addition to finding out if a person actually qualifies for bankruptcy, there are other things to consider when deciding if this is the right choice.
Bankruptcy could be an effective way for individuals in Virginia and elsewhere to get a handle on their finances. However, there are many factors an individual should consider before doing so. For instance, the type of debt a person has may determine if bankruptcy is right for that individual. If a person is unable to cover basic expenses each month, it may be time to file for protection from creditors.
Debt seems to be a way of life for many Virginia residents. In a perfect world, it would be better to first earn the money before spending it, but there is a general concept of what is considered "good" debt. A mortgage on a home, for instance, falls into that category because it is a long-term investment that not only is tax deductible but may be instrumental in earning money if the house appreciates in value over time. Student loan debt is also typically a positive debt but not if it becomes overwhelming to the debtor.
The effect that filing for bankruptcy has on a credit report varies based on the type of bankruptcy that is filed. For individuals who live in Virginia, the most common bankruptcy filings are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. A bankruptcy filing under Chapter 7 might stay on a credit report for up to 10 years while a Chapter 13 filing might be reported for seven years. However, the effect on the credit score will diminish as time goes on.
Military veterans in Virginia may face a difficult time adjusting to their time after service, especially when it comes to financial issues. As a result, many veterans face escalating debt and may be forced to file for bankruptcy. Under a 2019 federal law, the Honoring American Veterans in Extreme Need Act -- the HAVEN Act -- disabled military veterans receive some additional protections during the bankruptcy process. This can be important in helping people decide to file and seek debt relief.