Debt is a much-debated topic in South Carolina and across the country. While it’s generally acknowledged that some types of debt are more acceptable than others, such as mortgage and student loan debt, most financial planners agree that major credit card debt is a negative. However, there are certain life circumstances that leave cardholders no alternative but to run up credit card debt. And if the situation does not improve, even paying the minimum monthly payment may become too much.

Financial counselors emphasize the importance of credit in today’s world. It is not merely a nice convenience, it’s often essential. A person with poor credit isn’t going to qualify for the best rates on home or auto loans. In fact, they may not even qualify at all. Additionally, prospective landlords and employers regularly run credit checks as part of an applicant’s background check.

Each of the three major credit reporting companies utilizes a protocol of procedure if credit card payments are late. As payments become 30, 60, 90 or more days late, efforts are ramped up to encourage payment. Credit scores face further damage the later payments become. Typically, at 180 days late, the account is sold to a debt collection company and the amount of the debt is charged off.

Debtors who face such a dilemma may consider bankruptcy as an alternative. While there may be a significant impact to one’s credit score, bankruptcy can set the stage for a financial rebuilding. A bankruptcy lawyer can help determine if bankruptcy is an option and which type may be appropriate.