Deciding that you are going to file bankruptcy is something that can change your life. If you have limited assets and are unable to repay any of the debts you have, filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy might be the option for you. Before you make the decision to file this chapter, you should be sure you fully understand what it means and how it will impact your life.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy will impact your credit score. The fact that you filed bankruptcy is going to be a negative mark on your credit report. This will stop you from being able to get credit from many places. The bankruptcy will remain on your credit report for up to 10 years. While this might seem like a long time, some companies will extend credit to people with a bankruptcy once considerable time has elapsed since the bankruptcy.

Typically, you can resolve a Chapter 7 bankruptcy within months. This means that you can move forward with rebuilding your finances. You will have to learn to live without credit for a while, but that will give you a chance to learn how to use your money responsibly.

If you have possessions, you will likely have to turn those over to the bankruptcy court. There are some exceptions to this because some assets are exempt from the process. Be sure to find out how this will impact you if you have anything that you are worried about losing.

Ultimately, the choice to file for any chapter of bankruptcy is a personal choice that must be carefully thought about and planned. If you find yourself dodging creditors and trying to keep ahead of the bills and failing, you should take the time to explore your options.

Source: FindLaw, “Pros and Cons of Declaring Bankruptcy under Chapter 7,” accessed Jan. 27, 2017