Having Children is Bankruptcy Predictor:
October 10, 2003 – The statistics are in: having children is the most significant factor for those declaring personal bankruptcy. Such is the conclusion of Elizabeth Warren, author of the new book "The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Mothers and Fathers Are Going Broke." Consumer Credit Counseling Service of San Francisco (CCCS-SF), a nonprofit financial counseling and education agency, supports the findings that working parents are under increasing financial pressure, and at risk of declaring bankruptcy in increasing numbers.
"Spending on luxury items isn't the problem," said Patricia Perez, a counselor for CCCS-SF. "It's everything from high housing expenses, two car payments instead of one, and increased health insurance, food, clothing and childcare costs." Many parents use credit cards to make up for negative cash flow. It doesn't take long for balances to exceed credit limits and payments to be made late – leading to costly fees and high interest rates. The stress can be overwhelming. "Many people see bankruptcy as their only hope for relief," said Perez. "And that's often not the case – parents do have options."
With the right tools, assistance, and information, many parents can become and remain financially healthy. CCCS-SF offers the following advice to current and future parents:
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