Medical bills cause older people to file for bankruptcy

Individuals in South Carolina who are seeking a fresh financial start may obtain it by filing for bankruptcy. However, in exchange for not having to pay off a medical, credit card or other type of debt, an individual may see his or her credit score drop significantly. It may be many years before a person is able to recover from the negative credit consequences that bankruptcy may bring.

A bankruptcy can stay on a debtor’s credit report for up to 10 years. Currently, about 12% of those who file for bankruptcy are aged 65 or older, which was only 2% in 1991. For the most part, older Americans are turning to bankruptcy to help eliminate medical bills. In some cases, these individuals can’t pay those bills because they don’t work or have already exhausted their savings.

Those who have gone through the bankruptcy process may want to apply for a secured credit card. Doing so may make it easier to improve their credit score in a matter of months. Since the card is secured by an initial deposit, there is no need to go through a credit check. After emerging from bankruptcy, an individual should try to save at least 10% of his or her income. Furthermore, a person should aim to keep at least a quarter of his or her yearly income in a savings account.

There may be many benefits to filing for bankruptcy. For instance, it may allow debts to be discharged within a matter of weeks, and once debts are discharged, a debtor is no longer obligated to pay them back. Other benefits might include the ability to retain property and avoid creditor calls or lawsuits. An attorney may help a person file for bankruptcy or learn more about doing so.