It may seem a little odd that as I am so involved in a business that seeks to introduce people to loan companies, that I should post a blog about debt. Fact is, that while I believe that responsible borrowing and responsible lending can, and do, have a positive role in both personal and business lives, there is definitely another side that needs to be talked about.
As of August this year the average credit card debt per household was £2,608. Paying the minimum off on that each month will clear it in just over 26 years. The average household debt including mortgages was over £59K, and per adult over £31K. In all, personal, not business, debt totalled £1,650 Billion. According to a leading mental health charity, about a quarter of suicide or suicide attempts have some form of debt issue involved as a contributory factor.
While poor spending habits play a significant role in getting into debt, redundancy, ill health, unexpected emergencies and even death of a partner are just a few examples of how everything that has been going along nicely can suddenly be thrown into turmoil. The results can be devastating and it is quite common for people that find themselves in this situation to experience feelings of embarrassment and failure. The first is understandable but can be overcome, the second is just not true in my experience. It affects every age and every social group. It can build up gradually over a number of years or happen overnight. Many people bury their heads in the sand and protect themselves by just ignoring the problem and pretending it doesn’t exist. But it does exist, and the problem will not go away on its own.
Fortunately there are number of organisations that will help, without judgement or cost. It may be that a path can be found through the darkness by making arrangements with creditors. In a specific number of cases it may be a good plan to restructure the debts so they can be managed more easily. Ultimately, bankruptcy may be the best solution, and if it is it certainly isn’t the end of the world as it was perceived to be when I first started work a number of decades ago.
The first step to take is to always bite the bullet and make a truthful list of the debts or loans and their true monthly cost. Then write a budget that is realistic for you. If you feel that your finances are just in a bit of a mess, then restructuring may be the answer for you. If however, things are more serious then here are a list of organisations that will be willing to help. For free and without fuss.
About The Author
George has over 35 years experience in the financial services sector working as a consultant, in Insurance, Mortgage, Commercial Finance, Equity Release as well as Investment and Pension sectors. After retiring for 4 years and not liking it, he now acts as a business consultant to a Mortgage, Commercial Finance and Equity Release online enquiry service.
He also hosts #1PMChat and is very happy to answer questions that are DM’d to him through his twitter account @RetiredBroker