Should I keep paying on my credit card accounts? I need a credit card for work.
Credit cards are almost a necessity these days. If you don’t agree, try renting a car without one. Many people need credit cards for their employment, for expenses which are later reimbursed. Most people want at least one card account for convenience or emergencies.
Whether or not it is beneficial to keep paying upon a credit card account if one is planning to file bankruptcy is an issue to be decided upon the facts of each individual case. Most people planning a bankruptcy are worried that they may not have access to a credit card and are therefore asking this question to make sure that they will retain such access.
I usually ask my clients to imagine that they have received a new credit card offer in the mail. The offer reads something like this:
“Dear Prospective Cardholder,
You are such a fine person that we want to offer you our Super Gold Platinum Plus Blue Card with incredible travel bonus miles. All you have to do to get this card is send us a nonrefundable $___ application fee.”
You can fill in the blank with the amount of your credit card account balance. If you owe $600, put $600 in the blank. Then decide if you would be willing to pay $600 to get a new credit card.
Most people would not, which then means they should not make any payments on the account. If you would not pay $600 to get the card, why would you pay $600 to try to keep the card?
I generally would not recommend spending more than $300-$400 to keep a credit card account. Even then, I would want the card to be a general purpose account, such as MasterCard or Visa, and not an account for a specific retailer.
Fortunately, almost anyone can get a new credit card after a bankruptcy filing. In the worst case scenario, even people with incredibly poor credit can obtain a secured credit card.
Be prudent in your decisions about who to pay prior to a bankruptcy filing. Discuss your situation with a lawyer experienced in dealing with these issues, and contact us if you have questions.