Someone who I've known pretty much my whole life has recently let slip to me that she is in a world of poo with debt. A few years ago her boyfriend took out loads of credit cards in her name, maxed them out, and left her. He also left her with a little girl to bring up. Anyway, apparantly she's in debt to the tune of about 20 grand. She's consolidated this into a loan from her bank, but still has no way of paying this debt off within the next 10-15 years. She has a little part time job in a shop which, as you can imagine, pays next to nothing, so her last few years have been spent scrimping, saving and worrying. A lot. She now has a new boyfriend who has a steady (but small) income, but she's refusing to let him help as it's her debt and not his. It has been mentioned to her that many people these days go down the route of applying for insolvency, and it was probably something worth looking into. She's rather ill-informed with matters like this, and has been led to believe that bankrupty is pretty much the end of your life as you know it. I can imagine that getting a loan would be a lot harder after doing this, but if the slate's wiped clean I can't imagine she'd be in any hurry to get in debt again, once bitten twice shy and all that. I wondered if anyone here had any first hand information on how your life is affected by declaring yourself bankrupt, for better or worse.