Before falling behind with your debts, speak to the credit provider and explain that you may have some difficulty meeting repayments due to loss of employment, illness, relationship break-up etc. You may be able to agree a period of reduced repayments or have the lender agree to discount the overall debt amount if you were to repay it in full.
There are numerous methods for Negotiation of Debts with creditors. You may ultimately decide to enter an informal debt agreement. Alternatively a formal debt agreement may be a better solution. Debt Agreements can be either Formal or Informal.
A Debt Agreement is an agreement between yourself and your creditors whereby the creditors agree to accept a partial payment only as a settlement of your outstanding account. Once a formal Debt Agreement is made between you and your creditors it is binding on all involved.
If you are genuinely unable to pay your debts as they fall due, you may be able to come to an informal agreement with your creditors to pay a reduced amount, postpone some repayments, reduce the interest rate and/or reduce your repayments.
An Informal arrangement has all the advantages of a Formal Debt Agreement, without the need to pay an administrator. An informal agreement will affect your ability to get more credit from you existing credit providers, at least in the short term.
However this is cheaper and less serious than bankruptcy.