Being in debt is stressful. Relationships can be put under strain and the simple things in life become difficult. Often the easiest way to deal with debt is to try and ignore the problem. Sadly, the pile of unopened letters just gets bigger and the problem magnifies. Debt will not go away on its own.
There are many causes of debt and different types of debt. The information you will find here will help you understand more about them.
- The difference between secured and unsecured debt
- The common causes of debt
- Debt Dos and Donts
- Debt Solutions
- How to get out of debt
The Common Causes of Debt
If you find that you have a debt problem, you may feel extremely worried. Many people also begin to question themselves unfairly saying to themselves “I am a sensible person, how could I have let myself get into this situation?” The fact is that you are not alone. Many thousands of people in the UK find themselves struggling with debt every year. Some of the common reasons why debts can become out of hand are given below.
Read some typical stories of how this happens:
Loss of overtime or redundancy
Because it is so easy to obtain credit, many people find that they have supplemented their lifestyle through personal loan and credit card borrowing. The repayments for this borrowing may have been no problem when overtime was plentiful. However, in today’s job market, many employers are cutting overtime or banning it all together. This can have a significant impact on the amount of money people are able to bring home in their pay packet. When someone loses overtime or receives a reduction in income, the most common reaction is to struggle on (perhaps borrowing more from creditor cards to make a loan payment) in the hope that times will get better and overtime will be re-instated. This is not the answer! Similarly, being made redundant and losing your job, creates a real struggle to find a new job while continuing to keep up with household expenditure and existing repayments. Securing credit would then be more difficult than when you were employed, so what do you do?
The birth of a new child is a wonderful experience. However, in today’s world it is usual for both male and female partners to be working to support a certain standard of living. Very often, a significant part of the household income is lost because of maternity leave. The normal reaction therefore is to increase borrowing to try to make up for this loss. Even on both parties returning to work, it can be extremely difficult to support both the additional borrowing and additional expense of the baby. Debt problems can then start to mount and spiral out of control.
Lower income due to divorce or separation
Very often, while in a relationship, one party will take on debt in the form of loans or credit cards. The repayments of this may not seem problematic, as there may be two household incomes and the burden of household expenditures can be shared. However, if the relationship breaks down ending in divorce or separation, one party may be left carrying the burden of the debt, immediately finding themselves with too much debt to cope with, and that’s where the problems start.
Financial difficulties due to ill health
If you find yourself off work due to ill health, your income will no doubt decrease. Your employer may make sickness payments, however, you will lose additional income such as overtime. It may be possible for you to claim on insurance policies associated with your loans. However, if this is not the case, debts can quickly grow and get out of hand. Similarly, a bereavement can create financial problems, but you can find details on dealing with serious illness and bereavement here.
Many sole traders and small business owners may borrow to support their business activity. If the business fails, they often find themselves personally liable for these debts. It may be possible to find alternative employment, however, the income gained from this may not be enough to support both household expenditures and the debt repayments. The spiral of debt can then gather momentum unless swift and proper action is taken.