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what happens to my credit if i file for chapter 13 bankruptcy?

Filing bankruptcy is very damaging to your credit which will have long lasting effects for many years. As such, bankruptcy really should be a last resort and should be avoided if possible. Even debt settlement, which hurts your credit, does not have the same length of time of lasting damage to your credit score that bankruptcy does.

Typically I would suggest you explore the debt settlement option first and then decide if you still want to pursue bankruptcy. Debt settlement works for most people seeking to avoid bankruptcy so long as:
1. You have some steady income
2. You are able to make consistent (lower) monthly payments that they will suggest to you
3. You are able to stop accumulating new debt
4. Your debt is not secured (by real estate, a car, etc)
5. You do not have problems with student loan debt or tax debt (those require specialists to help you)

Is that you? If so, talk to a few debt settlement companies to see if the solution may work for you since it will be much better (but still not good) for your credit.