Can I Keep a Credit Card or a Debit Card if I File for Bankruptcy?

Lady and Documents

Question: It’s looking like I’ll have to file bankruptcy soon but I need to keep some sort of credit card for work. The credit cards are at their limits, they are “maxed out.” I’ve just put too much debt on them over the past couple of years.

I paid for medical bills for myself, my wife and my daughter. It was plastic surgery and it cost a fortune. We wanted to have a great looking family so we just used the cards. It sounds shallow, but that’s how we were. I was making great money selling cars and at the time it was affordable.

Then there were broken bones, a chronic disease and the money just got out of control. That plus I bought my wife and myself some luxury cars that we couldn’t afford and I guess we really didn’t need. I took some loans from some banks and a relative, my sister, who’s a nurse in Atlanta. Now I can’t pay all this money back and I’m worried about the future.

With my new job I travel and I need some sort of card to put charges on. I need it for hotel rooms, rental cars, food and some entertainment. Since I’m seriously considering filing bankruptcy I need to know if I can keep a credit card, debit card or something so that I can use it for work when I travel.

Can I keep a credit card or a debit card if I file for bankruptcy?

H.M. in Johns Creek, Georgia

Answer: You should have several useful options. After filing bankruptcy you can certainly use a bank or debit card, which have become enormously popular. That should allow you to do just about everything that a credit card can do, including renting cars, paying for hotels and motels and restaurant bills.

In some cases, a creditor will allow you to keep a credit card even after filing bankruptcy. And you can also likely get a secured credit card, which is backed by your own bank account. Secured cards can be a good tool to help you rebuild your credit and many banks and finance companies offer them.

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