For many people, the decision about what to do after high school was a no-brainer. You go to college and get your degree. Doing so will mean better opportunities, higher paying jobs, protection against bankruptcy and more financial success overall. However, in the recent economy that is often not the case.

A survey conducted by the Institute for Financial Literacy found that between 2006 and 2010 the number of bankruptcies by those with bachelor’s degrees rose more than 2 percent. Bankruptcies for those with associated and graduate degrees also increased, which shows that getting a degree is not necessarily the insurance policy against debt many have been led to believe.

A number of things are contributing to the rising rate of bankruptcy filings. High credit card bills with often unpredictable interest rates are a common culprit. Unstable home values play a big part in bankruptcy filings by those who believed their finances were under control but were simply hit by too many surprises ranging from rising rates, lower home values and job loss or downsizing.

Credit counseling has become increasingly popular for those who want to get their debt under control, but there are times when even this option is not viable and bankruptcy becomes necessary. If you are drowning in debt and can’t see a light at the end of the tunnel, filing for bankruptcy may be something you want to consider with an experienced legal professional. Life’s full of surprises that we cannot control. Bankruptcy is not failure; it’s a fresh start that’s helped many successful people continue toward their goals.

Source

The Washington Post: “Study: College graduates driving increase in bankruptcy filings,” Ylan Q. Mui, Sep. 12, 2011