Nobody likes being in debt.
This can be a stressful experience for us and it is one that most of us are actually ashamed of. After all, nobody likes to admit that they were unable to cope with their finances or have wasted their money and have ended up getting into difficulties. It doesn’t matter if you owe a little or if you owe a lot, the chances are you feel bad about yourself for getting into this situation in the first place.
You’re not alone here by any means. This sudden free-fall into recession after a credit boom that we’re going through has left a lot of UK consumers with significant debts to manage. Fact is, many people here feel so ashamed or embarrassed by their situation that they actually keep it a closely guarded secret. A recent survey conducted on behalf of creditexpert.co.uk found that one fifth of UK consumers will have secret debts that they don’t even tell their partners about.
The survey also found that:
- One in 10 people surveyed admitted that they were so ashamed of their financial situation that they could not be honest about it.
- 13% of people would not openly admit how many credit or store cards they owned.
This isn’t just about honesty in relationships. This is also about your own well-being and even your health. Worrying about debts is not something that goes away on its own – like your debts the worry here will simply continue to grow. Many people do, in fact, suffer from physical and mental illnesses brought on from worry about how to manage their debts.
This worry simply won’t go away until you take some action to make things better. Many people do, in fact, admit that they felt a great sense of relief when they admit to having money problems and find some practical help. So, the sensible thing to do here really is to admit that you are having difficulties and to try and take control back of your financial situation.
You may not feel that telling your partner or spouse is something you want to do at this stage although if you share joint finances then you really ought to do so as they may also be obligated. You can, however, take a simple and confidential first step if you prefer by talking to a debt counselling service.
Talking to a debt advisor could see you work out a solution to your debt problems. There are a variety of things that you can do here to improve your situation and a debt counsellor can simply help you assess how bad the situation is and help you choose the right solution.
So, don’t bottle up your worries here – look for help. Try talking to your local Citizens Advice Bureau (www.citizensadvice.org.uk
), the National Debtline (www.nationaldebtline.co.uk
) or the Consumer Credit Counselling Service (www.cccs.co.uk
). All of these agencies can help you get free advice, completely confidentially. You’ll feel much more positive when you have some help on your side and stop keeping secrets.