The start of a New Year often brings attention to goal setting for many Americans, and a common focus is taking control of runaway finances. Overspending during the holidays may help provide the motivation to overcome a setback.

While it may take several years to pay off credit card debts completely, it is not impossible. Using personal finance apps, creating a budget, utilizing coupons and changing spending habits have made it easier for families to get closer to their debt management objectives.

For many families and individuals, however, planning and working to pay off credit card balances may seem like an uphill battle or an impossible task. Watching the balances go down slowly and then bounce back up when an emergency strikes can cause its own stress trajectory. Under these circumstances, a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy begins to reflect a workable and effective way to regain financial control.

Living paycheck to paycheck

A recent survey disclosed that 32% of Americans run out of cash before payday. Individuals who earn annual salaries of $100,000 or more also struggle until their next paycheck arrives. As reported by CNBC, 31% of high-income earners surveyed get strapped for cash and cannot meet their budgets.

Using credit cards or high-interest personal loans to purchase food, clothing and other necessities may become a desperation move when cash is not available when needed. Falling behind on repaying cash advances or credit card purchases in between paydays, however, can add to an already growing stress level. When a paycheck arrives, it is most likely already spent, leaving few options to meet a goal of becoming debt-free.

Moving forward through bankruptcy

Juggling a combination of credit card debt, mortgage payments and auto or student loans can quickly become overwhelmingly burdensome. When making payments late, a lender usually tacks on additional fees or increases an individual’s interest rate. Credit scores also plummet.

Things do not need to stay this way. Many households and individuals find that discharging debts through the right type of bankruptcy plan may serve to provide effective financial relief.