Pay Off Your Credit Card Debt in a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy and Save Thousands


Credit card debt is the worst. They are designed to keep you in debt for the better part of your life. If you carry a balance on your credit cards and are just making the minimum monthly payments, it will take you years, if not decades, to pay off the debt. Also, you'll be paying thousands of dollars in interest. For example, if you have $50,000 in credit card debt, an APR of 16.9%, and a $1,000 minimum monthly payment, it will take you 62 years to pay the debt off and cost you $117,376 in interest. Probably the single best thing you can do for your long term financial situation is to pay that debt off as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, most of us don't have the means to do that. However, the Bankruptcy Code may offer a sensible solution.

A chapter 13 bankruptcy is essentially a consolidation of your debt. You make one payment each month to a Trustee. The Trustee then pays your creditors according to the terms and conditions of your chapter 13 plan. In a chapter 13 bankruptcy, you can arrange to have your credit card debt paid off within five years, often times at no interest. $50,000 in credit card debt would result in a chapter 13 monthly payment of $953 a month for 60 months. That payment includes $3,500 for attorney fees (what attorneys in my jurisdiction typically charge) and an administration fee to the Chapter 13 Trustee. Interestingly, in this example the payment to the Trustee is less that the monthly credit card payments. After five years, you're completely free of your credit card debt. That's it. The savings in time and money is enormous.

Bankruptcy is clearly not a gold star on your credit report. But, the name of the game is to get financially healthy. The best way to do that is to get those credit cards paid, fast. The long terms benefits are overwhelmingly clear. If you have significant credit card debt and are just making the minimum payments, strongly consider speaking to a bankruptcy attorney about chapter 13.