If you're stressed out about debt, you're not alone. In fact, a recent study found that 45% of Americans report feeling anxious about debt at least once a month. Another 20% of those individuals feel physically sick at least once a month thanks to debt fears. This anxiety can be crippling, affecting nearly every aspect of an individual's life.
This anxiety isn't surprising given the amount of debt being carried by Americans. Last week on the blog we discussed how Millennials stack up, but other generations are dealing with debt problems, too. While the average debt load is at nearly $30,000, Gen Xers carry $36,000 in personal debt on average. That compares to $28,600 for Baby Boomers and $14,700 for those in Gen Z. With numbers this high, 15% of Americans are afraid that they'll be strapped with debt for the rest of their lives, while another 35% of Americans feel guilty about the debt that they are carrying.
There's often no need to feel guilty about overwhelming debt. In fact, many people who find themselves in this position are only there due to the onset of an unexpected medical condition, a lost job, or poor financial circumstances that have created a revolving door of debt. Fortunately, those who are in this situation don't have to continue to be anxiety-ridden over their debt. Instead, they can take action to obtain the debt relief to which they are entitled.
One of the best ways to obtain this debt relief is to pursue bankruptcy. Through a Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition, an individual can seek to retain his or her assets while developing a repayment plan that will last a number of years. Once that payment plan is completed, then most debts are written off. This can breathe fresh financial life into an individual who may have felt despair for years. The process isn't always easy, though, which is why it is often wise to have a legal ally in your corner when pursuing bankruptcy.