As a bankruptcy lawyer Memphis TN has turned to for 40 years, I often remind my clients that debt does not discriminate. It can happen to anyone, at any stage of life.
I’ve previously written about seniors citizens and debt. Older Americans are filing for bankruptcy in record numbers. Recent studies have found that the rate of Americans over 65 who’ve filed a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 has tripled since 1991.
But it isn’t just seniors in our country. More and more young people are saddled with debt. Millennials — men and women between the ages of 18 and 37 — have their whole lives ahead of them. Now, many of them are worried those lives will be clouded by debt, up until they die. Here’s one especially horrifying, and heartbreaking, statistic: According to a recent report from CreditCards.com, 1 in 5 millennials are expecting to die in debt.
Student loan debt is only part of the story.
Nearly 45 million Americans have student loans, and for younger millennials, between 18 and 34, this is the greatest source of debt. The average student loan debt per individual is approximately $33,000.
However, for older millennials between 25 and 34 — who individually carry an average of $42,000 in debt — the biggest source is credit cards. For this demographic, student loans follow close behind, accounting for 16% of their debt.
Whether it’s student loans or credit card debt, the CreditCards.com report found that over 60% of all millennials have no idea when they’ll be able to pay off what they owe.
Even worse, Americans between 18 and 34 are making a considerable amount less today than they would have 30 years ago. As a recent article on Fortune.com puts it, “An average salary for young Americans between 2009 and 2013 was $33,883, which is the lowest since 1980, taking inflation into account.”
Young people are getting “creative” to cope with debt — but they don’t have to.
Every day, it seems there’s some new article about how millennials are turning to creative strategies to get out of debt. Living off of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for a month. Moving into vans. Moving back in with Mom and Dad.
While their resolve is certainly commendable, I want them — and anyone struggling with debt, young or old — to know that such extreme measures aren’t needed. You don’t have to feel trapped. You can use bankruptcy to build a new life.
Set foot on the path to financial freedom with bankruptcy.
Let’s talk about how bankruptcy can alleviate the most common forms of debt millennials are struggling with, which are credit card debt and student loans.
In a Chapter 7, you can completely wipe away your credit card debt, which is considered dischargeable. With that eliminated, you’ll have the freedom to tackle your student loan debts — not to mention all the rest of life’s expenses.
In a Chapter 13, you can consolidate all your debts, including student loans, into affordable monthly payments. (The key word is affordable, folks.) In just a few years, you’ll be your way to a better, debt-free life.
If you’re struggling with debt, including student loans, please contact us today or call (901) 327-2100 to discuss your options. Our Memphis bankruptcy lawyers are happy to answer whatever questions you may have, free of charge.