Debt Management Trouble

by Stuart Langridge

Debt management trouble ... interesting title for a page, huh?

Here's the thing. Things that I recall from my own limited experience of being (only) knee deep in debt and during my time as a mortgage adviser are all overshadowed by one thing. Worry.

Generally, I am a very (probably overly) optimistic person. Almost always happy and living life to the full. But I remember very clearly being worried by my debts. It did get me down. It was upsetting. It made me eat more, for comfort. That made me gain a few kilos which made me feel more sorry for myself.

And yet I view myself as being rather lucky. Why? My debts were caused in the main by an errant and untrustworthy business partner, followed by the financial burden of a new business with no capital (he had stolen much of it and run up other business debts besides). I could at least look in the mirror each day and feel no personal guilt about my debts. I felt that my debts and debt management trouble were not of my making.

You may not be so lucky. The debt management trouble that you find yourself in may be of your own doing.

Remembering how my debts made me feel causes me concern for others. If my own, pitifully small, debt burden could have a mental impact on someone as sunny as me, what could it do to someone of a less rosy disposition. And, what might bigger debts do to the situation? If someone really owed tens of thousands too many, that could cause feelings of hopelessness quite easily, I imagine.

If I recall how some of my clients felt, it was clear to me that the debt burden they carried was literally that - a burden. It really does have a mental impact and it isn't positive. Back then, I didn't fully appreciate the pain that debt management trouble can cause.

I'm not going to roll out some pithy platitude or other to try and give you a pep talk. You can do that yourself. I wouldn't be so condescending. However, please just remember that you are not alone. In fact, there are lots of people with debt management trouble and problems. It is estimated that the USA currently has over 55,000,000 - yes 55 million - people with debt 'issues'. That is a lot of people and one heck of a big special interest group.

So there are support groups out there. Local and national groups offer guidance and advice. You can find details of a few on other pages of this site. If you need to, speak to someone. Even if it's only a friend offering you a shoulder to cry on and some moral support - you don't have to battle on alone.

When we are down, we often feel alone and helpless and that often isn't the case at all.

Back in late 2004, a friend of mine committed suicide. I hadn't seen him for about 2 years (but in my defence, I had moved abroad). He was in his mid 30's (34 I think) and had recently split from his long term girlfriend. I'm not 100% certain, but I believe that was the cause.

I didn't find out about the service until 2 days before and that is precious little time to prepare for even nearby international travel. My sister did however attend. She tells me that the church was 'packed' and there was barely room to stand. He wasn't even that nice a guy! He was destructive, a womaniser, often drunk and had a well earned reputation for fighting.

Yet if all those people were willing to attend his funeral, there must have been many people whom he knew that would have offered him support - if he had only asked. It doesn't need to be that way.

If you have debt management trouble and need to lift the weight on your shoulders, even if only for a little time - SPEAK TO SOMEONE. As long as you don't choose your boss - I doubt it will hurt. Don't suffer alone. There is always someone willing to help you through.

About the AuthorStuart Langridge is an experienced financial and investment adviser and writer. You can find more of his down to earth financial wisdom at Stuart Langridge

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