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If you default, your credit history will be abysmal and it will be very difficult to be approved for future loans (apt rent, mortgage, car loans, etc.) or unsecured credit cards.  You can still attain loans and credit albeit at premium interest rates.  BK is better because it shows that you are responsible for repaying your debts and after you're discharged from BK, your credit score will improve and recover faster.  BK actually shows good faith that you are taking care of it and making financial amends.   

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You have to pay to file bankruptcy (last time I checked, about 6 years ago, it was around $1,000 US).

I recommend looking into debt consolidation or debt management programs.  I enrolled in one a few years ago.  I was able to lower my payments from about $500 per month down to about $220 per month.  Bonus, you actually pay off the debt instead of defaulting (kills your credit) or BK (makes it difficult to rent an apartment, buy a home or buy a car).

My credit score went from the high 500s to the mid 700s.  I can now buy or rent anything!  LOL

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