Trying to make a decision to file bankruptcy is a hard decision. I grant you that. It is one that you have to make by yourself. All lawyers like me can do is give you the best advice possible. However, I get asked all of the time why someone in a very tight financial situation should not just tighten their belt and pay off their debts? One part of that answer is that you should tighten your belt. The sad truth of the matter, however, is that even doing so you are likely to lose many more years paying off your debts than you would in filing straight bankruptcy in which you eliminate these problem debts. The problem with that is that no matter how young you are, retirement is in your future. You need to be saving for retirement now if you do not hope to live in poverty at a time when you cannot find meaningful work. If you spend years paying off your debts, you have lost years and money that could be funding your retirement.
For your retirement to work you have to accrue more and more money through interest paid to you. At 7.5% interest or return do you realize your money will double about every 10 years. Well, interest you pay your creditors works the opposite way. It takes money from you at the same speed and amount. In short, your money stops working for you and starts working against you, almost guaranteeing that you will live in poverty in your old age.