Mark’s story is one not too uncommon in our current economy, in which many people are still recovering from the great recession. Among the petitioners for bankruptcy relief, we are starting to see more recent college and graduate level young adults whose expectations did not pay off. While they can rarely, if ever, discharge their student debt, the credit cards and spending habits some kids develop can really hurt their future financial lives.
Live like a student while in school or live like a student after you graduate.
When Mark applied to law school, his student loan advisor gave him some good advice he regrets not taking. She told him to only take the maximum amount you need for tuition and books and consider working part time to pay for some of your rent and living expenses. Mark was not worried, he knew he would make plenty of money after law school and he was sure he would get a great associate position at the firm he was going to work at, seeing as one of the partners belonged to the same country club as Mark’s father.
Mark’s parents told him that they would pay for college but he was on his own for graduate school. Mark was used to a better standard of living, coming from a well to do suburb, and he took out the full amount available so he could maintain his standard of living and spending. With his good grades from college Mark was sure law school would be a piece of cake, since he was smart and things always came easy to him.
The best-laid plans often can and will fall apart and blow up in your face.
There were a few surprises in store for Mark as he got settled in law school and worked through first semester with his classmates, learning how to research and write, and some of the foundation of a legal education. When it came to final exams, Mark studied hard and also hung out with a few of his friends who got finance jobs after college and also lived in the city. Mark thought he did well on his final exams. As it turned out however, he finished his first semester with a 3.00 GPA, a far stretch from his 3.85 GPA he earned in college. Law school was a bit more competitive.
Moving forward a few years, Mark did not get the job he expected, but ended up with a lower paying law clerk job. He maxed out his student loans every semester to keep up with his friends with big salaries. He graduated from law school around the middle of his class. He passed the bar exam on his third attempt. He could not find a decent paying associate attorney job to save his life. His credit card bill debt was in the clouds, along with his car payment and the unsecured loans he borrowed after maxing out on his federal loan ceiling.
Bankruptcy helped Mark eliminate some of his unsecured debt to give him a better chance at having a normal financial life.
Mark’s father refused to bail him out and Mark could not even make his minimum payments. His father actually suggested he file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and hope he learned his lesson. Mark even had trouble renting an apartment because his credit report was so bad. After his bankruptcy case was over and Mark learned how to spend in his actual income bracket things were smooth sailing again. One of the important things Mark did after the bankruptcy was work on rebuilding his credit using some time-tested strategies, and he was able to buy a new car, although at a higher interest rate. Mark plans on refinancing and is saving money for a down payment on a condo.
Deciding whether bankruptcy protection may be the answer to your financial problems requires knowing the law and how it can help you.
Mark’s story is one that many young and seasoned people have to tell these days. What is important to remember is that there is always light at the end of the tunnel and a fresh start really can put people back on track.
Joseph Wrobel, Ltd. helps people get control of their finances and a fresh start at financial freedom. The firm’s website contains informative videos about financial issues as well as bankruptcy protection for families who want a fresh start. To keep in touch and read about consumer finance news and stories you can Like the firm’s Facebook page and Follow Joseph Wrobel. Ltd. onTwitter. If you need immediate legal assistance, please call Joseph Wrobel, Ltd. by calling (312) 781-0996 to talk to an attorney today.