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Bankruptcy for students may be spurred by credit cards

Most people in Washington and across the United States are probably already aware of the burgeoning problem of student loan debt that many college-age adults and teens may be facing. Since student loans can't be discharged through bankruptcy, they may not be a driving force that causes students to file for bankruptcy. Instead, credit cards may play a more prominent role in that decision.

It is not uncommon for college students to receive credit card offers with appealing low-interest rates. Parents may even encourage applying for a credit card that could be kept on hand for emergencies. However, for many college students, getting a credit card is merely adding debt on top of debt -- student loans.

Instead of saving it for emergency-only situations, little daily purchases of coffee or other non-necessities may add up. When a student eventually graduates, he or she may discover that he or she has thousands of dollars of credit card debt, student loans and a job that does not provide adequate compensation to deal with the debt. One expert on the subject points out that these credit card debts are often overdue, which damages a credit rating.

While finding yourself in serious credit card debt can be understandably overwhelming, debt relief is possible. Students who have graduated with credit card debt that is beyond their management are not alone, and for some, filing for bankruptcy can be a competent and smart choice. Individuals in Washington who are unable to keep up with their debt and have fallen drastically behind on payments may file for either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Source:, "Student credit cards can lead to debt", Eryn Shay Johnson, Sept. 2, 2014

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