You need to move and fast. You are paying 85% of your income in rent and that is ridiculous! You should never pay more than 25% of your income for housing. That means that you should find a place for no more than $650 per month. If you are stuck in a lease, get 3 roommates today. If this is a home mortgage, SELL THE HOUSE!!! While you are waiting for the house to sell, start renting rooms.
You cannot "force the bank to stop charging interest". They will charge interest on the debt for as long as you owe the debt. They don't need a "favor" from you, they need you to pay what you owe on time. Having to pay late fees is a choice. A late fee means that you chose to not pay your bill on time.
Declaring bankruptcy for approximately $30,000 is just plain silly. You need to either get your expenses down ( the rent) and get your income up. You need to stop buying things that you cannot afford. A bankruptcy will trash your credit for about 10 years. Not a good thing unless it teaches you to stop buying stuff on credit.
Please do not consolidate. It is not free, they will lower your payments by increasing the length of time until you are debt free, and you will take a hit on your credit score. Or they negotiate your debt down after telling you not to pay for awhile adding another hit to your credit score. Student loans are the only debt that can garnish your wages for non payment without taking you to court first. Just list them out on a piece of paper or a spreadsheet and follow the plan. If you work the plan, the plan will work for you.
A. Have a garage sale and sell anything that you no longer need or want.
B.Get a temporary part time job, if you have one, get another.
Here is a plan that can help you. If you work the plan, the plan will work for you:
1. Make a budget. Make the budget a week before you get paid. A budget is not a punishment! It is a tool which will free you from ever having to worry about money again. Put everything in your budget. Especially those annual, biannual, or quarterly bills like car registration, insurance, etc. Give every dollar you are going to bring home the name of where it is going. Add an "emergency fund" category to your budget for 25 dollars and save up until you have 1000-1250 dollars. Your emergency fund will help keep you from getting into new debt because of an emergency. If you can, set up a direct transfer to a savings account for your emergency fund. That way it moves automatically and you don't even have to worry about it. You must cut your spending and live on less than you make.
2.First get current on all of you debts and make no more late payments. Stop using your credit cards immediately. Do not take on any more debt. Credit cards are like quicksand only the death is much slower. Make a list of all of your debts in order of highest interest rate to lowest interest. Use cash only for your spending from now on.
3.Pay the minimum due on all of your debts and then put your extra money towards paying off the highest interest one first. After you get that one paid off, you put the money you were paying on debt #1 (the minimum payment and the extra payment) towards debt #2. That will pay debt #2 off faster. When that is paid off, you put all three payments towards card #3 and that one will be paid off pretty quickly. As an example:
To start :
Debt #1 (highest interest): minimum payment+ extra payment
Debt #2 (middle interest): minimum payment
Debt #3(lowest interest): minimum payment
Debt #1: paid off
Debt #2: minimum payment from Debt #1+ Minimum payment from Debt #2 +extra payment
Debt #3: minimum payment
Debt #1: paid off
Debt #2: paid off
Debt #3:Minimum payment from card #1+ minimum payment from Debt #2+ minimum payment from Debt #3+ extra payment.
That way, you will get them all paid off, on time, and pay the least interest. It will also help towards rebuilding your credit since you will no longer have any late payments. This works no matter how many different debts you may have.
4. After you get all of your debts paid off, add to your emergency fund until you have 6-12 months of income saved up. Put that emergency fund money into a liquid money market fund or into a Bank of America no-risk CD so that if you need the money you can take it out without penalty.
5a. When you have your emergency fund in place, add a category for "fun" to your budget. Save for a holiday, a vacation, a big screen, or dinners out, whatever goal you want. Remember to enjoy your life.
5b. When you have your emergency fund in place, start saving for your retirement. Join the 401(k) plan at work and contribute the maximum. Your employer probably matches at least part of your contribution so why give up free money? Open a Roth IRA and contribute the maximum on a monthly basis. If you start saving for your retirement now, you will probably retire a millionaire.
5c. When you have your emergency fund in place, start saving for y