Bankrupt at 23: College Grad's Financial Ruin and Rebound

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Half of U.S. college students have four or more credit cards. Easy access to credit and impulsive decision-making have left a growing number of 20-somethings mired in debt and saddled with disastrous credit ratings. For some, it can even lead to bankruptcy.

Amanda Chatel, a freelance writer who declared bankruptcy at 23, shared her story in a segment on HuffPost Live. She signed up for her first credit card as a college freshman, and four years later, found herself with four credit cards and more than $20,000 of debt.

"I'm really bad with numbers and had zero concept that things add up," she said. "That's what I stuck to then, but now I know better."

Despite discouragement from her parents, Chatel filed for bankruptcy and was able to get a clean slate financially. Ultimately, she benefited from the bankruptcy. "If I had not been able to do that, I wouldn't have been about to move to New York City, I wouldn't be able to pursue my career, I wouldn't be sitting in Paris right now -- I'd still be in my parents' house."

Chatel and host Nancy Redd were joined in the segment by Karyn Bosnak, author of 'Save Karyn: One Shopaholic's Journey to Debt and Back' and '20 Times a Lady', and Steve Road, a bankruptcy survivor and the founder of

Watch the full segment at HuffPost Live.

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