While most people use the phrase “bad debt” to refer to a lot of debt, or just owing a lot of money, this phrase actually has a very specific use when it comes to financial issues. Bad debt in this case is a debt that cannot be collected. This usually happens when the person who owes the money goes bankrupt, and does not have the ability to pay toward the debt.
If you are a creditor and the person who owes you money declares bankruptcy, this bad debt can be a problem. After all, even though a good deal of the remaining estate will be separated out to the many different creditors, you will probably not get all of the money that you are owed. For this reason, most creditors try to work with the debtor in order to make it possible to pay back the debt – that way, they’ll get all of the money back, instead of just a little.
If you owe money and you do not believe that you can pay it, it might sound like a good idea to have that debt declared as a bad debt. However, this is not the case, as declaring bankruptcy can have lasting effects on your financial situation, whereas being in debt and working to pay off your debts can actually be beneficial in the long run.
When you have a bad debt, it makes a big hit on your credit history. This can be a big problem, especially if you need to get a credit card or a loan. In fact, the credit history can effect pretty much anything you do in the financial world, including mortgages, buying a car, and being able to take out a much needed loan. Therefore, you should do whatever you can to make sure that you’ll be able to pay off the debts you have.
To prevent bad debt, you should first minimize the number of debts you incur to begin with. For instance, if you can possibly avoid buying something, then you should wait until after you’ve saved the money for it, instead of buying on credit. If you already have a lot of debt, then you should look at some of the debt solutions, for instance, debt consolidation.
About the author:
Jakob Jelling is the founder of http://www.cashbazar.com.
Visit his website for the latest on personal finance, debt elimination, budgeting, credit cards and real estate.