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Many young people are led to believe that a better answer than trying to pay off, say $7000 in debt is to declare bankruptcy. This can be very appealing because it's possible to get an attorney to do a bankruptcy for as little as $500 – to discharge $7000 in debt. While this might sound very attractive, the damage that will be done to your credit will still be there long after you could have paid off that $7000 normally. The fact is, bankruptcy is a very severe solution and should be used only in circumstances such as cumulative debt of $50,000 on a $20,000 annual salary. The truth is that a bankruptcy will stay on your credit report for nearly 10 years. Plus, prospective employers look at credit reports and might refuse to hire you based on what they find in yours.