Are you ever in trouble with money? Ever have the feeling you can't get out of it? Well, you're not alone. Young people born between 1980 and 2000 (Millennials) are more likely to experience financial problems more often than any other age group.

And, get this:

  • More young people are unable to attend college because of money problems than because of poor grades.
  • More students drop out of college because of money issues than for academic reasons.
  • Many young people with self-inflicted money problems usually continue to have financial problems after they become adults.

That's some serious stuff! I hope this is not you, and that it won't be you in the future. Let's discuss a more serious level of being broke. We're talking about "bankruptcy."

You are considered bankrupt when you owe more than you can realistically repay.

A lot of us are bankrupt at times, if you take the definition literally. We get in a bind and fall behind on a payment, but we eventually catch up and work our way out of debt. Unfortunately, some of us end up in so much debt that we can't catch up.

When a person gets in a jam like this, our legal system offers a way out.

If you owe money, unpleasant things may come your way:

  • Bill collectors may contact you at home and at work.
  • Your car may be repossessed by the finance company.
  • You may be evicted from your apartment, or forced to move out of your home.
  • You may not even have enough money for food and other necessities.

When a person gets in a jam like this, our legal system offers a way out. A person in serious financial trouble can usually file for "bankruptcy" in court. Bankruptcy means you legally declare that you are unable to pay your bills.

If the court agrees and declares you legally bankrupt, you will not have to repay certain debts - or you may be given additional time to repay debts.

It may sound great to be released of your debt burden like this, but it is not. It's actually very difficult to go through bankruptcy and it will impact your money and financial wellness for a long time.

  • Bankruptcy ruins your credit for years.

  • Bankruptcy makes borrowing money harder and more costly because your credit is bad.

  • Bankruptcy can impact your job or impact the chances of getting a job (many companies check credit reports before they hire). Bad credit may mean no job!

  • Bankruptcy can make it hard for you to rent a place; a potential landlord will most likely check your credit before they rent to you.

Once you file for bankruptcy, your financial life in general will be negatively affected for many years to come. Avoid it at all costs!

In Big Money Trouble?

I'm in a bad financial place. What can I do?

What should you do when you feel like you're in big money trouble and don't see a way out? Here is what you should know if you are considering bankruptcy.

Ask for help. Don't do it alone. Here are two places to start:

  • Work through our FoolProof Solo e-learning module on bankruptcy called: "I'm Broke!" (The additional modules may help you get a grip on your finances, too.)

  • Reach out to our partner CARE. Spearheaded by a retired bankruptcy judge, CARE helps young people who have gone through the bankruptcy process get back on their feet. They have the resources to help.

Need more help? Let us know.

I hope this helps.

Cheers, Will