Student bankruptcy Watch

Hazel T
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I just read an Telegraph article that says 4,000 graduates who have a student loan have declared themselves bankrupt to wipe out their debt. :eek:

That's seriously scary, no?

Does anyone know a grad who took that step??
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Tarts_n_Vicars
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I dunno about scary...whenever it used to be highlighted on telly (before student loans became exempt from bankruptcies) they used to say a lot of students did it on purpose just to get out of repaying the loan. The bankruptcy gets discharged after a few years so it's not like it ruins your life forever.

Keeping that in mind you can see why the SLC got their loans exempted from bankruptcies...it was obviously happening too often.
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Elles
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(Original post by Tarts_n_Vicars)
The bankruptcy gets discharged after a few years so it's not like it ruins your life forever.
sure about that?

an associate of one of my parents went bankrupt years ago apparently*.. but managed to pull things back together & established a successful business. & then the creditors (or whoever they are!) asked for repayment/settling of the debts now he was in a position to do so, even if doing so meant he lost his business.. :rolleyes:

*entirely possible this story has been warped in the telling though! & i have no idea about the technicalities of it all..

edit - some online digging:

(Original post by A Debt Consultant, admittedly.. )
http://www.debtcounsellors.co.uk/avo...ankruptcy.html

Why you should be avoiding bankruptcy in the UK

Some of the effects and consequences of being declared bankrupt are:

- Bankruptcy should not be considered if you have assets of any reasonable value and own your own home, even if there is little or no equity. Contrary to what might be said about the new Enterprise Act, which states that certain classifications of bankrupts could be discharged in twelve months, this will happen in relatively few cases, and it should be remembered that the stigma of bankruptcy will probably NEVER go away.

- Even after being discharged, bankruptcy can affect the ability to obtain a mortgage or get credit for many years to come.

- Bankruptcy is always advertised: The bankruptcy application will be advertised in the London Gazette and the local press where you live.

- Notification is made to everyone financially connected: Your bank, building society, creditors, landlord, etc will be informed immediately.

- Bankrupts cannot run a business: Any business you own will be closed immediately.

- Future assets will be lost: Any asset that might have been acquired during the term of the bankruptcy, such as inheritances, insurance payouts/maturities, equity in property, windfalls, etc., and possibly pension income.

- Bank accounts and credit cards will be closed. Anything that is being purchased by lease or HP, such as your car, will be immediately returned to its owner.

- People that have been bankrupt before should be very careful about being made bankrupt again, as the minimum period of bankruptcy is 5 years, and could continue for up to 15 years before being discharged.

- Certain employment situations will be prejudiced by being declared bankrupt, and professional and business status will be lost. Membership of many associations and societies will also be lost.
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Juno
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You can't get any loan for 6 years, and you'll have problems getting even a basic bank account then. So no maestro card, cheque book etc.
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Tarts_n_Vicars
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They get discharged after a few years (presumably 6 as Juno says) and once discharged you can lead a relatively "average" life if that makes sense! Obviously if you're going to run your own company etc it might pose more of a problem (as your story suggests!) but for joe Bloggs working in retail or something like that it's not going to have a huge impact.
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El Scotto
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(Original post by Hazel T)
I just read an Telegraph article that says 4,000 graduates who have a student loan have declared themselves bankrupt to wipe out their debt. :eek:

That's seriously scary, no?

Does anyone know a grad who took that step??


I have no qualms with bankruptcy, its over in 3 years.

I'd def consider it as an option, it isnt as scary as everyone makes out.

I'd take out some phat loans before hand though!! : )

make sure you have whatever bankaccounts you want already open before you do so!

and to ellies who posted that stuff from the website, they say all that making it seem as bad as possible because they want your business. Notice all the worst case senarios! they want to make money from you being your debt manager.

In real life if you've just graduated the courts will make things easy for you, its more than likely you will get discharged in the shortest space of time.

to anyone worrying about debt, always remember you can't goto prison for owning money : ) (apart from council tax and things, but if you speak to the council tax people and keep them informed of your situation, you definitly can't goto prison) so what is the worst that can happen!!
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pikaboo
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Can't you just get loads of loans, get the cash then declare yourself bankrupt, so you have enough to live on until the time limit's over?
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Juno
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Well, due to credit records it's not that easy to get loads of loans. And to get as far as bankruptcy you've usdually had bailiffs call round and take all of your goods anyway!
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pikaboo
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(Original post by Juno)
Well, due to credit records it's not that easy to get loads of loans. And to get as far as bankruptcy you've usdually had bailiffs call round and take all of your goods anyway!
The old tenants here have had bailiffs coming after them, but they've done a runner, so we still get threatening letters for them. Bad people.
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Né Stig
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Even when you declare yourself bankrupt, the taxman is still after you. It's never that easy, trust me.

Only if you are intent on scamming the system, will you get away with it. If you can't bare the agro, don't do it.
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Elles
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(Original post by El Scotto)

and to ellies who posted that stuff from the website, they say all that making it seem as bad as possible because they want your business. Notice all the worst case senarios! they want to make money from you being your debt manager.
no "i".
yes, as i said: "Originally Posted by A Debt Consultant, admittedly.." so think i might have been aware it was fairly worst care scenario.

anyhow, found .gov info as to why 'oh well, i'll just declare myself bankrupt!' might not be the smartest thing to do...
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Elles
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The Insolvency Service
http://www.insolvency.gov.uk/

http://www.insolvency.gov.uk/guidanc...s/guides.htm#1

6. What are your duties as a bankrupt?

When a bankruptcy order has been made, you must:

comply with the Official Receiver’s request to provide information about your financial affairs. The Official Receiver may request that you attend at his or her office for an interview - the Court will give you the address of the Official Receiver. (Note: usually before the interview, you will be sent or given a questionnaire which you should fill in as fully and accurately as possible.) If the Official Receiver does not ask that you attend at the office for an interview, you will be sent a letter which will set out what is required of you. Again it is likely that you will be asked to complete a questionnaire. You should note that in either circumstance, any questionnaire completed before the bankruptcy order, supplied to you by an adviser or another third party, will not be acceptable;

give the Official Receiver a full list of your assets and details of what you owe and to whom (your creditors);

look after and then hand over your assets to the Official Receiver together with all your books, records, bank statements, insurance policies and other papers* relating to your property and financial affairs;

tell your trustee about assets and increases in income you obtain during your bankruptcy. (Note: by law you must inform your trustee of any property which becomes yours during the bankruptcy. Such property includes lump sum cash payments that you may receive, for example redundancy payments, property or money left in a will);

stop using your bank, building society, credit card and similar accounts straightaway;

not obtain credit of £500 or more from any person without first disclosing the fact that you are bankrupt;

not make payments direct to your creditors.

You may also have to go to court and explain why you are in debt. If you do not co-operate, you could be arrested.

*Your books and papers will normally be destroyed after your trustee has finished with them. However, you can have them back, provided they have not already been destroyed, if the court annuls your bankruptcy.

7. How will bankruptcy affect you?

a. In relation to your creditors

If you are made bankrupt, you must not make payments direct to creditors. Creditors to whom you owe money when you are made bankrupt make a claim to your trustee (that is, either the Official Receiver or an insolvency practitioner). They should not ask you directly for payment; if you receive any requests, pass them immediately to your trustee to deal with and tell the creditor that you are bankrupt. There are some very limited exceptions to this non-payment rule. The main ones are:

secured creditors, such as creditors who have a mortgage or charge on your home Note: If mortgage payments are not made, the lender may sell your home.
non-provable debts, such as court fines and other obligations arising under an order made in family proceedings or under a maintenance assessment made under the Child Support Act 1991. Non-provable debts are not included in the bankruptcy
proceedings and you are still responsible for paying off such debts; and
benefit overpayments, where the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) can recover any benefit overpayments from any further benefits you receive.
Student loans, since 1 September 2004 all outstanding student loans cannot be claimed in bankruptcy. They remain the responsibility of the (former) student to repay within the terms of the loan arrangement.

If you were made bankrupt before 1 September 2004 you may still have to repay your student loan. Clarification should be requested from the Official Receiver who is dealing with your affairs.

Suppliers of services to your home (gas, electricity, water and telephone) may not demand from you payment of bills in your name which are unpaid at the date of the bankruptcy order. But they may ask you for a deposit towards payment for further supplies or could arrange for the accounts to be transferred into the name of your spouse or partner. You must pay continuing commitments such as rent (if you rent your home), together with any debts you incur after the bankruptcy.

b. Payment to creditors

The Official Receiver will tell your creditors that you are bankrupt. He or she may either act as the trustee or may arrange a meeting of creditors for them to choose an insolvency practitioner to be the trustee. This happens if you appear to have significant assets. You may have to go to this (or any other) meeting of your creditors.

The trustee will tell the creditors how much money will be shared out in the bankruptcy. Creditors then have to make their formal claims. The costs of the bankruptcy proceedings are paid first from the money that is available. The costs include fees that the Official Receiver or the insolvency practitioner charge for administering your case.

At least part of the claims from your employees (if any) may be preferential and are paid next, along with any other preferential debts. Finally, other creditors are paid, together with interest on all debts, as far as there are funds available from the sale of your assets. If there is a surplus, it will be returned to you. You would then be able to apply to the court to have your bankruptcy ‘annulled’ (cancelled).

When your trustee makes a payment to your creditors, he may place an advertisement about your bankruptcy in a newspaper asking creditors to submit their claims. Depending on how long it takes your trustee to deal with your assets, this advertisement may appear several years after the bankruptcy order.

c. Your assets

You will no longer control your assets.

You can keep the following items unless their individual value is more than the cost of a reasonable replacement:

tools, books, vehicles and other items of equipment which you need to use personally in your employment, business or vocation;
clothing, bedding, furniture, household equipment and other basic items you and your family need in the home.
All these items must be disclosed to the Official Receiver who will then decide whether you can can keep them.

The Official Receiver/trustee will take control of all your other assets on the making of the bankruptcy order. He or she, or any insolvency practitioner who is appointed as trustee, will dispose of them and use the money to pay the fees, costs and expenses of the bankruptcy and then your creditors. If appointed, the insolvency practioner’s fees for acting a trustee are also paid from the money raised by selling your assets.

The trustee may apply to the court for an order restoring property to him or her if you disposed of it in a way which was unfair to your creditors (for example, if before bankruptcy you had transferred property to a relative for less than its worth). The trustee may claim property which you obtain or which passes to you (for example, under a will) while you are bankrupt.

A student loan made before or after the start of a student's bankruptcy is not regarded as an asset that the trustee may claim, if a balance of the loan remains payable.

If you have made a claim against another person through court proceedings, or you think you may have a claim (a right of action) against another person, the claim may be an asset in the bankruptcy.


d. What happens to your home

If you own your home, whether freehold or leasehold, solely or jointly, mortgaged or otherwise, your interest in the home will form part of your estate which will be dealt with by your trustee. The home may have to be sold to go towards paying your debts.

If your husband, wife or children are living with you, it may be possible for the sale in the bankruptcy to be put off until after the end of the first year of your bankruptcy. This gives time for other housing arrangements to be made. Your husband, wife, partner, a relative or friend may be able to buy your interest in your home from the trustee. This may be so even if that interest is very small, worth nothing or you owe more on the house than it is currently worth. Such a purchase would prevent a sale of the property by the trustee at a future date. Your spouse or any other interested party should be encouraged to take legal advice about the home as soon as possible.

If the trustee cannot, for the time being, sell your home, he or she may obtain a charging order on your interest in it, but only if that interest is worth more than £1,000. If a charging order is obtained, your interest in the property will be returned to you, but the legal charge over your interest will remain. The amount covered by the legal charge will be the total value of your interest in the property and this sum must be paid from your share of the proceeds when you sell the property.

Until your interest in the home is sold, or until the trustee obtains a charging order over it, that interest will continue to belong to the trustee but only for a certain period, usually 3 years, and will include any increase in its value. Therefore, the benefit of any increase in value will go to the trustee to pay your debts, even if the home is sold some time after you have been discharged from bankruptcy: the increase in the value will not be yours.

If, after a certain time, usually 3 years, your trustee has not sold or obtained a charge over your interest in the property, or applied for an order of possession or obtained a charging order against the property, or you have not come to any arrangement with your trustee about that interest, it may be returned to you.

To find out more information please see the following publication:

What will happen to my home

e. Your pension

A trustee cannot usually claim a pension as an asset if your bankruptcy petition was presented on or after 29 May 2000, as long as the pension scheme has been approved by the Inland Revenue.

For petitions presented before 29 May 2000, trustees can claim some kinds of pensions. A separate publication called “What will happen to my pension?” is available from your local Official Receiver’s office or The Insolvency Service Publications Order Line (address on back cover).

If you are receiving a pension or become entitled to do so before you are discharged, the pension is included as income for the purposes of an income payments order (IPO).

To find out more information please see the following publication:

What will happen to my pension

f. Your life assurance policy

Generally, your trustee will be able to claim any interest that you have in a life assurance policy. The trustee may be entitled to sell or surrender the policy and collect any proceeds on behalf of your creditors. If the life assurance policy is held in joint names, for instance with your husband or wife, that other person is likely to have an interest in the policy and should contact the trustee immediately to discuss how their interest in the policy should be dealt with.

You may want the policy to be kept going. Ask your trustee: it may be possible for your interest to be transferred for an amount equivalent to the present value of that interest.

If the life assurance policy has been legally charged to any person, for instance an endowment policy used as security for the mortgage on your home, the rights of the secured creditor will not be affected by the making of the bankruptcy order. But any remaining value in the policy may belong to your trustee.

g. Work-related registrations, licences and permissions

Any registration, licence or permission you hold in connection with your work or trade might be affected by the making of the bankruptcy order. You should inform the person who issued the registration or authority of your bankruptcy to establish if it will remain in force or will be cancelled or withdrawn. Any value attaching to these items may belong to the trustee. In considering this issue you should disregard items of a personal nature such as a driving licence.

h. Your business

If you are self-employed, your business is normally closed down and any employees are dismissed. Any business assets will be claimed by the trustee unless they are exempt and you will have to give the Official Receiver all your accounting records. You are still responsible for completing all tax and VAT returns. Your employees may be able to make a claim to the National Insurance Fund for outstanding wages and holiday pay, payment in lieu of notice, and redundancy. Employees can claim in the bankruptcy for any money owed that is not paid by the National Insurance Fund.

For further details, you should contact the Redundancy Payments Service on 0845 145 0004.

There is nothing to prevent a bankrupt from being self-employed. So you can start to trade again, subject to restrictions. You will be responsible for keeping accounting records for this business and for dealing with the tax and VAT requirements for the new business. You will need to register again for VAT if you meet the registration requirements. You should not continue to use your pre-bankruptcy VAT registration number.

i. Your wages

Your trustee may apply to court for an income payments order (IPO), which requires you to make contributions towards the bankruptcy debts from your income. The court will not make an IPO if it would leave you without enough income to meet the reasonable domestic needs of you and your family. If you have an increase or decrease in income, the IPO can be changed.

IPO payments continue for a maximum of 3 years from the date the order is made by the court and may continue after you have been discharged from your bankruptcy. Or you may enter into a written agreement with your trustee, called an income payments agreement (IPA), to pay a certain amount of your income to the trustee for an agreed period, which cannot be longer than 3 years. There are no fixed guidelines on IPOs or IPAs - each case is assessed individually.

8. What are the restrictions on a bankrupt?

The following are criminal offences for an undischarged bankrupt:

obtaining credit of £500 or more either alone or jointly with any another person without disclosing your bankruptcy. (Note: this is not just borrowing money - it includes your getting credit as a result of a statement or conduct which is designed to get credit, even though you have not made a specific agreement for it. For example, ordering goods without asking for credit and then failing to pay for them when they are delivered);

carrying on business (directly or indirectly) in a different name from that in which you were made bankrupt, without telling all those with whom you do business the name in which you were made bankrupt;

being concerned (directly or indirectly) in promoting, forming or managing a limited company, or acting as a company director, without the court’s permission, whether formally appointed as a director or not.

You may not hold certain public offices. You may not hold office as a trustee of a charity or a pension fund.

After the bankruptcy order, you may open a new bank or building society account but you should tell them you are bankrupt; they may impose conditions and limitations. You should ensure you do not obtain overdraft facilities without informing the bank that you are bankrupt, or write cheques which are likely to be dishonoured. Tell your trustee about any money that you have in the account which is more than you need for your reasonable living expenses. Your trustee can claim the surplus amounts to pay your creditors.


To find out more information please see the following publication:

What will happen to my bank account
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Elles
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& continued.. :p:



9. Becoming free from bankruptcy

a. How long does bankruptcy last?


If you were made bankrupt on or after 1 April 2004

You will be automatically freed from bankruptcy (known as “discharged”) after a maximum of 12 months. This period may be shorter if the Official Receiver concludes his enquiries into your affairs and files a notice in court.

If you were made bankrupt before 1 April 2004

If this is your first bankruptcy, you will be discharged automatically on 1 April 2005 or, if you currently expect your discharge date to be before 1 April 2005, you will receive your discharge on that earlier date.

If you have been an undischarged bankrupt at any time during the 15 years before the current bankruptcy (unless the previous bankruptcy has been annulled) you will be discharged automatically on 1 April 2009. Or you may ask the court for a discharge 5 years after the date of the bankruptcy order, but the court may refuse or delay your discharge, or grant it conditionally on terms requiring you to make some payments out of your income.

You will also become free from bankruptcy immediately if the court annuls (cancels) the bankruptcy order; this would normally happen when your debts and the fees and expenses of the bankruptcy proceedings have been paid in full or the bankruptcy order should not have been made.

On the other hand, if you have not carried out your duties under the bankruptcy proceedings, the Official Receiver may apply to the court for your discharge to be postponed. If the court agrees, your bankruptcy will only end when the suspension has been lifted and the time remaining on your bankruptcy period has run. If your discharge has been suspended (stopped) prior to 1 April 2004, you should contact the Official Receiver for information about how and when you may be discharged from bankruptcy.

b. Debts

Discharge releases you from most of the debts you owed at the date of the bankruptcy order. Exceptions include debts arising from fraud and any claims which cannot be made in the bankruptcy itself. You will only be released from a liability to pay damages for personal injuries to any person if the court thinks fit.

When you are discharged you can borrow money or carry on business without the restrictions previously referred to. You can act as a limited company director unless you are disqualified from doing so as a result of a separate order arising out of your involvement with a company.

c. Assets you owned or obtained before your discharge

When you are discharged there may still be assets that you owned, either when your bankruptcy began, or which you obtained before your discharge, which the trustee has not yet dealt with. Examples of these may be the interest in your home, an assurance policy or an inheritance. These assets are still controlled by the trustee who can deal with them at any time in the future. This may not be for a number of years after your discharge.

With some assets - such as your home and some types of assurance policy - your spouse, a partner, a relative or friend may want to buy your interest. He or she should get in touch with the trustee straightaway to find out how much they would have to pay.

You must tell the Official Receiver about assets you obtain after the trustee has finished dealing with your case but before you are discharged. These assets could be claimed to pay your creditors. You have a duty to continue to assist your trustee after you have been discharged.

d. Assets you obtain after your discharge

Usually you may keep all assets you acquire after your discharge.

To find out more information please see the following publication:

When will my bankruptcy end? Information on discharge from bankruptcy

10. Bankruptcy restrictions orders and undertakings


If, during his/her enquiries into your affairs, the Official Receiver decides that you have been dishonest either before or during the bankruptcy or that you are otherwise to blame for your position, he/she may apply to the court for a bankruptcy restrictions order. The court may make an order against you for between 2 and 15 years and this order will mean that you continue to be subject to the restrictions of bankruptcy. You may give a bankruptcy restrictions undertaking which will have the same effect as an order, but will mean that the matter does not go to court.

...

The following paragraphs explain what will happen to public records of your bankruptcy

The Insolvency Service's Individual Insolvency Register - the Individual Insolvency Register contains records of bankruptcy orders and individual voluntary arrangements in England and Wales. The record of your bankruptcy will remain on the register for 3 months after the date of your discharge. The Individual Insolvency Register can be searched online at www.insolvency.gov.uk. For further information, a leaflet called "The Individual Insolvency Register" is available from your local official receiver's office or from The Insolvency Service website at www.insolvency.gov.uk or from the DTI Publication Order Line.

HM Land Registry - bankruptcy petitions and orders are registered at the Land Charges Department of HM Land Registry. These entries remain on the register for 5 years from the date of registration. Discharge has no effect on this but you can make an application to court to have the entries removed. The official receiver or trustee can apply for entries to be renewed beyond the 5 years, for example if the discharge has been suspended.

If you own property that is registered in your sole name, a bankruptcy notice (to protect the rights of creditors) and a bankruptcy restriction notice (to prevent dealings with the property) may also have been registered against the title to the property. If the property is registered in joint names, a Form J restriction (to prevent dealings with the property) may have been registered against the title. If your interest in your home is returned to you, the trustee will notify the Chief Land Registrar that the property is no longer part of your bankruptcy estate. Discharge has no effect on this.

Credit reference agencies - the official receiver does not send any form of notice to credit reference agencies. The agencies pick up information from other sources such as the Individual Insolvency Register, advertisements of bankruptcies in newspapers, "The London Gazette", and the Register of County Court Judgments. You may have to provide separate information to credit reference agencies to amend their records. For further information, a leaflet called "Credit Explained" is produced by the Information Commissioner's Office. A copy of this leaflet is available from the Information Commissioner's Office website at www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk or from their Publication Order Line (telephone 08453 091 091).
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Hazel T
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(Original post by El Scotto)
I have no qualms with bankruptcy, its over in 3 years.
See I think you're wrong. It don't reckon it's over in 3 years. If you declare yourself bankrupt as a new graduate I think you could screw up your whole career, even if you are "joe bloggs working in retail." Your employer can always find out if you went bankrupt in the past, and would you want to give a responsible position to someone who took such drastic action as a new grad...?

PS - Thanks for all the info Elles
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Flicker
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(Original post by El Scotto)

I have no qualms with bankruptcy, its over in 3 years.

I'd def consider it as an option, it isnt as scary as everyone makes out.

I'd take out some phat loans before hand though!! : )

make sure you have whatever bankaccounts you want already open before you do so!

and to ellies who posted that stuff from the website, they say all that making it seem as bad as possible because they want your business. Notice all the worst case senarios! they want to make money from you being your debt manager.

In real life if you've just graduated the courts will make things easy for you, its more than likely you will get discharged in the shortest space of time.

to anyone worrying about debt, always remember you can't goto prison for owning money : ) (apart from council tax and things, but if you speak to the council tax people and keep them informed of your situation, you definitly can't goto prison) so what is the worst that can happen!!
Umm...you won't be able to open bank accounts, get any credit, buy a house or own your own house for years? The stigma of bankruptcy is difficult to shake off and i wouldn't want to be you trying to convince credit agencies you're "ok" again - my friend's got a bad credit rating she can't get rid of because she had her cards stolen and someone else ran up huge bills. Even though she has a crime number and the police have spoken to the agencies it keeps popping up...

So yeah, good luck with that!
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digitalparadox
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The best thing to do is live at home, take out a full student loan, put it in a savings account, and when you graduate, use the student loan in the savings account for a deposit for a house. That way, you'll have around £12,000 for a deposit in a house that should only go up in value. At least then you won't be needing to go bankrupt.
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Kendra
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Yes because our homes are right next door to University and so living at home is easy!

New scam is to just get a credit card and put your entire student loan debt on that and then declare yourself bankrupt (as now student loan is excempt from bankruptcy, it'll stay with you regardless if you've been made bankrupt or not).

Going bankrupt is a stupid thing to do in my view, short term "solution" just bringing long term consequences..
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