The generation of people born from approximately 1980 to 2000 are in the process of graduating from high school, entering college, and moving into the job market. The “millennial” generation have grown up and are ready to face the typical challenges of young adulthood that lay ahead. Unfortunately for many, financial burdens are already extreme by the time they graduate from college and even with a decent job, they might be unable to meet their financial obligations.
If you are a millennial or the parent of a millennial, what should you know if bankruptcy appears to be on the horizon?
Bankruptcy on the Rise in Early Adulthood
First and foremost, understand you are not alone. Bankruptcy is increasingly common for people in their 20s and 30s. Whereas it might have been seen as something used by people in midlife to deal with unexpected job losses or medical bills, bankruptcy has become more popular for those just out of college and entering the job market.
There are several reasons for this. College costs are higher than ever and many are burdened with debt immediately after graduating. Credit card use among young adults is also more common now than it was a generation or so ago. Though efforts have been made to curb credit card companies from soliciting to college students on campus, young adults still face numerous temptations when it comes to getting “easy money.”
Making matters even worse, many college graduates find there is no high-paying job waiting for them immediately after graduation. A couple generations ago, graduating from college all but guaranteed a secure job, but nowadays, a college degree might not be viewed as anything more valuable than a high school diploma. Both require hard work and dedication, but they are common and do little to help you stand out from a large pool of job applicants.
For more information on college debt and millennials, check out this article from Forbes.
What Millennials Can Do to Improve their Financial Situation
So what should you do if the challenges of early adulthood have led you down a path of debt?
Begin by enrolling in pre-bankruptcy counseling. This is required before you can file and might help you find another option that is better for you. A debt management plan includes a personal budget that can help you understand your finances and make decisions about your future. There might also be ways to reduce interest on loans or defer payments until you are in a better situation financially.
A budget can also help you make smarter choices so your situation does not worsen. Using credit cards to make ends meet might seem like a viable solution, but as the months roll by, your situation is actually getting worse. If possible, stop using your credit cards and focus on paying down their balances. It might be difficult to curb spending, but in the long run you’ll be happy you did.
If you are a young adult struggling to make ends meet, or student loans and other debts seem overwhelming, we can help. Contact the Law Offices of Robert M. Geller at 813.254.5696 to schedule a consultation to discuss your situation.