Fast Company shares the stories of multiple people who have filed for bankruptcy. They share why it has been the best decision they’ve ever made.

“Clean Slate”

Whitney Reynolds filed for bankruptcy in 2014 because of overwhelming credit card debt. She had racked up $23,000 of credit card debt since graduating college. Her father suggested bankruptcy to her. He said, “‘There’s a lack of knowledge of what it means to somebody who’s making an average income and has run into some trouble and made some mistakes. For most people, it’s just a clean slate”‘. Since Whitney’s bankruptcy, she now has started budgeting properly and has an emergency credit card that she keeps frozen in her freezer – which literally can only be used for emergencies. Whitney’s credit score is now in the 700s.

“Last Resort”

Mopelola Gloria Fagbemi filed for bankruptcy because of her divorce. Once her marriage ended, she had to keep her finances afloat and take care of her three children. She knew bankruptcy was her last hope when she received a garnishment from her payroll. She was nervous about filing because she did not want to feel like a failure. Fagbemi says, “‘I’m part Nigerian, part American, and you’re not supposed to give up…People will tell you that you can push through and make the payment. They’ll say don’t file for bankruptcy, but they’re giving that advice based on what they believe. You need to think about what’s good for you and how you can sustain it—and then make your decision only based on that'”.

“Trying To Live Life Without Debt”

Robert Gale & his ex-wife had a large amount of consumer debt. They decided to file bankruptcy together before divorcing so that they could both split their debt. Gale had many worries about bankruptcy. He worried about losing his assets, his good credit score, etc. Gale says, “‘I thought we were going to lose the house, the cars—that they would take anything that’s got any value to it… That’s not exactly true for Chapter 7. If you can show that you’re able to pay specific debts, you can reaffirm debts that are larger and continue to pay those”‘. Though he didn’t originally want to file, Gale says it benefitted him in the end. Now remarried, Robert Gale’s only debt is his mortgage.