If you have been deeply in debt for a long time and you are still longing for a way out, you may already know in your heart that bankruptcy is the only viable solution. Maybe you’re still clinging to the high credit scores you’ve always worked hard for. Your very stressful financial problem may be rooted in a job loss, illness or injury, a divorce, a business failure or another difficult life event.

The truth is that a Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy filing can bring debt relief that is life-changing for those for whom bankruptcy is appropriate. (It’s NOT suitable for everyone in debt.) But one of the most significant obstacles to lasting relief is a stubborn refusal — an obsessive unwillingness sometimes — to let go of a credit score that a consumer knows will go way down after his or her bankruptcy. Don’t be the monkey who dies while clutching a credit score.

The monkey trap

You may be familiar with the story of the monkey that can be trapped with a banana or another food object in a container with a hole, between metal bars or through a narrow opening. The monkey sticks its hand into the opening, hoping to get the tasty object inside, but with its fist holding the food, its hand is stuck, and it is completely vulnerable to capture.

Your high credit scores can be a lot like that food object. They are useful for some things yet worth much less than your financial and emotional well-being. Letting go of your credit scores (which you may be falsely propping up with more borrowing, balance transfers and unhealthy family decisions) may well allow you to get out of debt, experience financial peace and rebuild your credit on solid ground.

Pull your hand out!

You may or may not be like that monkey, financially speaking. Every situation is different. If you are struggling with debt that you’ve been unable to escape on your own, talking to an experienced bankruptcy attorney may prove to be tremendously helpful. Letting go can make a huge difference!