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Bankruptcy Ain’t Cheap

A national credit counseling expert says consumers pay more--a lot more--for credit after filing bankruptcy. Steve Rhode, president and founder of Myvesta.org, says families with clean credit pay an average of $1,100 each month for mortgage and auto loans. Because of higher interest rates, a post-bankruptcy family pays almost $1,900 for the same items.


* A mortgage of $132,930, with a fixed interest rate of 6.75% for 30 years, translates to a monthly payment of $862. For post-bankruptcy filers, the interest rate jumps to 13%, and a monthly payment of $1,470.


* An auto loan of $17,000, with an interest rate of 9% for a five-year term, translates to a monthly payment of $353. After bankruptcy, the interest rate jumps to 15%, and a monthly payment of $404.


* The average credit card interest rate jumps from 17% to 24% for people who’ve filed bankruptcy. With a credit card debt of $2,800 at 17%, you’d need about 32 years to pay off the debt by making only minimum payments. At 24%, you never would pay off the credit card debt; interest costs would keep payments going for eternity.


If you’re concerned about your debt load, ask someone at Denali Alaskan Federal Credit Union for referral to a nonprofit credit counselor. You may be able to find cheaper and less painful solutions.


Copyright 2001 Credit Union National Association Inc. Information subject to change without notice. For use with members of a single credit union. All other rights reserved.