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Long Island Bankruptcy Law Blog

How can you avoid credit card debt?

As a resident of New York who has struggled with credit card debt, you know that one of the best things you can do is to prevent yourself from falling back into debt once you're out. With the right tools, you can create and maintain the habits you need to make that happen.

FindLaw provides a close look at what you should and shouldn't do in order to avoid falling back into credit card debt. You should be doing things like:

  • Paying the balance in full every month to avoid interest
  • Creating and sticking to a budget
  • Recording all of your purchases
  • Limit your credit cards

How can you prevent credit card debt?

New York residents just like you may have fallen into credit card debt before. It can unfortunately be easy to make mistakes that land you in financial hot water. However, getting out of debt isn't enough. Once you've freed yourself from debt, you have to then create the habits necessary to keep you from falling back into it again.

FindLaw takes a look at the best ways to avoid credit card debt. One of the first tips is to avoid paying for disposable items on your credit card. This includes things like meals out, groceries, drinks, and other food sources. It's easy for items like that to stack up without you realizing just how much you're spending, since the item itself is long gone before you even get the bill. Solid physical purchases that last are easier to keep track of.

3 signs that usually point to bankruptcy

It does not take much for people to suddenly find themselves drowning in debt. A job loss, pay cut or unexpected medical bills are enough to destroy a comfortable financial position. Furthermore, high debt levels can sneak up on people from all income levels. While you have been struggling to make ends meet, the chances are good that one of your Long Island neighbors has also been dealing with debt issues.

For some people, a credit counseling program might be enough to help them get back on track. For others, this may not be enough. While bankruptcy seems like a bad word for many people, in reality, it is actually a very effective tool that might be able to help you reorganize your finances and escape heavy debt. If any of the following debt situations apply to you, it might be time to take a look at bankruptcy.

Factors behind credit card debt

New York residents with credit card debt may sometimes wonder how this debt piled up. While each person's situation is different, there are several common factors behind most credit card debt.

Many people easily amass debt when they do not use their credit cards responsibly. Pocket Sense says that some people make expensive purchases that they cannot afford because they think that putting the item on their credit card means they will have plenty of time to pay it off. Many people do not consider their other expenses, though, and it is easy for a large purchase to become unmanageable. Some people also do not realize that failing to pay or paying late can raise their interest rate. This can quickly increase the amount of money a person needs to pay each month in order to pay off the credit card.

Why are people still ashamed of filing for bankruptcy?

You have been struggling with your finances for some time now, but the main thing holding you back from filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the stigma you believe is attached to those who go bankrupt. The thought of filing for bankruptcy may raise your anxiety level, as well as instill numerous other negative feelings. However, you are not alone if you feel embarrassed or ashamed to admit you need help. Other New Yorkers are struggling with their perceptions of a social and financial stigma surrounding bankruptcy.

As The Balance explains, most people who are ashamed to file for bankruptcy worry about how their peers or family members will see them if they find out. They may be concerned that a bankruptcy could affect their employment prospects or that they will be unable to get loans in the future. You may be relieved to learn that bankruptcy no longer carries the stigma it once did. In fact, there are many lenders that will offer lines of credit to those who are just out of a bankruptcy, knowing that they will likely borrow carefully and pay their creditors responsibly while they rebuild their credit scores.

Understanding Chapter 13

When you are considering filing for bankruptcy in New York, you usually need to decide what kind of bankruptcy will be best for your situation. At Macco and Stern, LLP, we know it is important for you to understand the fine details about Chapter 13 bankruptcy so you can make an informed decision.

There are many benefits to filing for Chapter 13. The United States Courts says that this kind of bankruptcy allows you to repay your debt over a period of time. You typically still need to pay your mortgage. However, your creditors generally cannot contact you to collect money. Additionally, your secured debts can usually be rescheduled so you can repay them while your bankruptcy is in place. Sometimes this may result in lower payments each month so your payments are more manageable.

Best ways to pay off your credit card debt

It's not uncommon for residents of New York to suffer from credit card debt to some degree. There are many options out there when it comes to paying off these debts, but what works best can differ from person to person depending on their needs and situation.

CNN.com shows that if a person wants to pay off credit card debt smartly, there are several actions they can take. Some include paying off the balance and keeping it below 30 percent of the credit line. Overspending is a huge issue with credit cards and an equally large contributor to debt. Only making minimum payments every month can also add up quickly. Avoiding these two common mistakes is a step forward in debt management. People are also encouraged to experiment with what methods work best for them personally. Deciding whether to pay off credit cards by balance or by interest rate depends on what someone is looking for in their debt relief.

Bankruptcy is meant to help you regain control of your finances

Your finances shouldn't be the top stressor in your life. When they are, you need evaluate the circumstances to determine what you need to do. You might be tired of always worrying about how you are going to pay bills. You may dread the thought of hearing the phone ring or of getting the mail. You could be losing sleep because of all of this.

When you feel like you are drowning in debt, you may want to find out if you might be able to file for bankruptcy. Bankruptcy is actually a tool that can sometimes help people regain control of their finances. Below is some important information for those considering filing for bankruptcy protection.

Feds begin discussion about student loan debt

Student loan debt is a known problem that sets many young people back as they enter the workforce. With debts of $30,000 and more, the monthly payment on these loans can make or break a budget, which limits spending power, increases the dependence on credit cards, and has other wide reaching effects on personal budgets and the greater economy. The payments last for years, which makes it feel as though no end is in sight.

Student loans were a frequent talking point in the last election and education costs continue to rise. Sometimes student loan payments make or break a budget. While we’ve previously discussed the challenge of bankruptcy and student loans, the federal government is gathering information. In late February, the federal register requested public comments about claims of undue hardship.

Job loss: what you need to know

The economy with all its ups and downs can affect your company—and your continued employment. If you’ve ever lived through a company layoff, you know how it can shake you to your very foundation. It’s been said that over half of us get our sense of identity from our jobs. When job loss happens, it can hurt.

How do you know if your company is struggling and is contemplating layoffs? Experts say there are warning signs to watch for that should trigger the updating of your résumé and your LinkedIn profile. Some warning signs include:

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