Posted On: December 30, 2012

The Young and the Jobless - When Bankruptcy Is the Best Option

A 26-year-old single man working two part-time, minimum-wage jobs is struggling to stay afloat financially.graduatephoto.jpg

Alabama bankruptcy attorneys know this isn't all that unusual these days. But what's especially troubling is that he has a Master's degree in public policy, an undergraduate degree in economics - and zero full-time job offers in his field.

New graduates in this recession face an austere and unforgiving job market, where the possibility of being underemployed or unemployed is very real.

Earlier this year, a study by researchers at Rutgers University found that in the last five years, just 51 percent of graduates from four-year undergraduate programs landed a full-time job. Graduates who earned their diploma between 2006 and 2011 earn, on average, $3,000 less annually than those who graduated in 2005.

Another study by Rutgers found that more than a third of new graduates said if they had it to do over again, they would have chosen a different and potentially more lucrative career. Of course, life unfortunately doesn't offer do-overs.

Complicating matters is the fact that most of these new graduates are burdened with soaring levels of debt. Higher than it's ever been in history, new graduates owe $870 billion - and that's only student loans. It doesn't include credit card and medical bills that may have stacked up due to their lack of access to proper health care. The typical new graduate holds nearly $30,000 in debt. Given that huge numbers of new grads also have a meager paycheck - or none at all - life plans are being significantly altered. In fact, Generation Opportunity, a student advocate organization, found that nearly 85 percent of those between the ages of 18 and 29 intend to either delay or completely forgo a major move or life change or purchase because of major concerns about the economy.

Sometimes this means staying at home with parents. For others, it means holding off on dreams of returning to school for a higher degree or move to a different city or start on having a family. In some cases, it may even mean that serious consideration should be given to filing for bankruptcy.

What you should know upfront is that having your student loan debt discharged is very difficult. But if you have racked up other major debts during the course of getting your education, this is an option you should certainly consider. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy can grant you the freedom to be able to afford your student loans and not become further entrenched in debt.

If you are carrying a great deal of anxiety about just being able to cover the basics due to the debt on your shoulders, that's a drain on the energy and resources you could be expending finding a relevant job in your field. It also may prohibit you from taking a lower-paying job in your field - but one that could help you get your foot in the door.

And as it turns out, not getting your foot in the door can have serious, long-term consequences. A Dartmouth study conducted in 2010 showed that a person who has spent more than a year unemployed before the age of 24 could expect to make 23 percent less than someone who lands a job right away.

The decisions you make now do matter. Consider carefully whether your debt is holding you back from making your dreams a reality. If so, call us today to see how we can help.

If you need to speak to an Alabama bankruptcy attorney, contact Eversole Law at 866-831-5292.

Additional Resources:
Young and Jobless: How the Job Market is Hurting Recent Grads' Futures
, Dec. 12, 2012, By Kathryn Buschman Vasel, FOX Business

More Blog Entries:
Alabama Boomers Carry Debt Into Retirement, Dec. 8, 2012, Birmingham Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Lawyer Blog