If you struggle with bills you cannot afford to pay, you might feel shame and embarrassment about sharing your financial issues with others. Often, these emotions prevent people from seeking life-changing help with debt.
These strategies can help you overcome the negative societal stigma of debt and take steps toward a brighter financial future.
Understand the scope of the problem
Debt.org reports that Americans had $14.56 trillion in consumer debt at the end of 2020, including $820 billion in credit card debt. The collective amount of non-mortgage debt, including bills such as credit cards, auto loans, and student loans, increased by 51% from 2013 to 2020.
In the U.S., 191 million individuals have credit card debt, with an average balance of nearly $5,500 per household. For California households, the average balance increases to $6,222. State residents also average the second-highest mortgage debt in the nation.
Take action to tackle debt
While it can be difficult to face debt, doing so is the first step to getting rid of it for good. Write a list of each of your credit accounts with the balance, monthly payment and interest rate, including credit cards as well as mortgage, auto loan, student loan and other debts.
Next, review your budget and see where you can possibly cut unnecessary expenses. See how much you have leftover to put toward your balances.
If you cannot make more than the minimum payments or owe more than you earn, it may be difficult for you to get out of debt alone. Solutions such as bankruptcy can help you overcome these financial problems and start fresh.