Credit Counselling or Bankruptcy? What Should You Choose?

  • Credit Counselling

Credit Counselling or Bankruptcy? What Should You Choose?

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When it comes to debt relief, a number of options are available, say Los Angeles based bankruptcy law firm Recovery Law Group lawyers. People who are struggling with financial issues often have a problem trying to choose the best option. You will be surprised to know that there is no right choice when it comes to debt relief since every case is different. The debt relief option depends on the goal of the client. Credit counseling and bankruptcy are often the most sought-after options by debtors. Before deciding which option is better suited for you, it is vital that you understand the pros and cons of each.

Credit counseling

In this case, you work with an agency to come up with a plan to pay off your debts. The agency can be a private or a government one. Many times, however, clients end up without any debt relief despite going through the entire rigmarole. This may be because credit counseling agencies might charge you high rates without effectively getting any financial burden reduced. In such cases, it is advised to opt for a non-profit credit counseling agency. The important aspects of credit counseling include:

  • Your debt won’t be reduced, instead, a plan to repay your debt over 3-5 years’ time will be devised.
  • Not much relief is available for secured debts like a mortgage or car loan. Though they may be included, credit counseling plan for debt relief focusses more on unsecured debts like personal loan, credit card, etc.
  • It helps bring your accounts to current and reduces your balance, which ultimately improves your credit score.
  • Additionally, credit counseling is not mentioned on your credit report; only improving credit scores can be seen there.


Bankruptcy is probably the last option people consider when it comes to debt relief. this is probably because the ill-effects of bankruptcy have been publicized more than its benefits. However, the benefits of bankruptcy often outweigh its drawbacks. Opting for bankruptcy might turn out to be the best decision you have made since it is a legal process where you are no longer liable for any debts that are discharged by the court in bankruptcy. Chapter 7 or liquidation bankruptcy has considerable advantages compared to credit counseling. Here are some facts to consider before choosing any option:

  • Exemptions provided by state and/or federal government can protect most of your assets from liquidated, while still getting rid of your debts.
  • A chapter 7 bankruptcy typically takes 120 days to get a discharge, compared to the credit counseling payment plan of 3-5 years.
  • Any debts that have been discharged through bankruptcy are no longer your responsibility.
  • Secured debts can be attended to through bankruptcy.
  • However, it has a severe effect on your credit score. Filing for bankruptcy appears on your credit report and remains for a duration of 7-10 years.
  • Compared to credit counseling, it is a cheaper option. You only need to pay the bankruptcy filing fee and attorney fee to get rid of your unsecured debts.

However, you will be surprised to know that people start getting credit card offers just after bankruptcy discharge! This is probably because after getting rid of debts, the debt to income ratio becomes low, making you a viable candidate for fresh credit. If you manage to keep your finances in order, you might even end up securing a new mortgage or car loan before the 7-10 years’ time frame. If you wish to know more about bankruptcy or credit counseling options, you can consult with experienced bankruptcy attorneys Los Angeles at 888-297-6023.