7 Reasons You Shouldn’t Ignore Your Debt
Recent statistics suggest that we Brits could be heading for choppy waters. While personal borrowing is at a historical high, our savings are at their lowest ebb. Worse, inflation is putting up the price of groceries and fuel, squeezing the average household’s finances ever more.
As our disposable income shrinks it’s all too tempting to ignore your debt obligations to focus on the here and now. If you’re currently feeling overwhelmed with your debt situation and are considering defaulting consider these facts…
Ignoring debt doesn’t make it go away. It also won’t make it shrink. Quite the opposite in fact; in most cases interest will keep on getting added over time, making that iceberg ever larger. If and when you do decide that it’s time to tackle your debt mountain your statements can make for pretty depressing reading when you realize the debt you owe is in fact even larger than you realized.
Late Payment Fees
It’s not just interest that debt accrues; if you stop making payments altogether you also risk being hit with a range of additional charges. Non-payment, returned or late payments can also all attract additional fees. Depending on the credit agreement that you signed when taking out your debt these fees can be surprisingly high, and just a few months of non-payment can quickly balloon the sum you owe.
If you decide to try and “dodge” your creditors personal relationships can suffer. Your creditors, getting impatient, may write to you repeatedly, or try to telephone you regularly to “remind” you of the late payment. It is not impossible for family members or friends to somehow get dragged into the situation as they field curious phone calls on your behalf. Worse still, if the situation drags on long enough you may even end up with an in-person visitor.
If you want to save yourself embarrassment, as well as maintain your personal relationships, it’s far better to deal with your debt situation head-on.
Living with debt can take its strain on you mentally. Many people find that they struggle to sleep, or that every brown envelope dropping through the letterbox are a cause for concern. Over time such an emotional weight can grind us down, leading to anxiety, anger or a short-temper.
While dealing with debt – especially if it has gone unchecked for a period of time – is never a nice experience it’s really the only way to lift this psychological weight off your shoulders.
County Court Judgements
Left unpaid for long enough, outstanding debts can lead to county court judgements against you. Besides the embarrassment that such a situation can create, let’s not also forget that it can significantly reduce the possibility of you getting further credit.
For those individuals unfortunate enough to get into a financial rut, a lack of available credit due to mismanagement can be yet another cause of consternation. In extreme cases a bailiff may even visit to remove and sell belongings to repay outstanding debts.
Long Term Credit Issues
Significant debt issues can affect your credit over the long term. Even if you claim that you’re not worried today, what happens if you decide that you want to buy a new car or a house some years into the future? If your debt has gone unserviced for long enough this simply might not be possible. A court action, for example, can stay on your record for six long years.
Try to think long term about your future, and deal with debt right now, no matter how difficult it may seem.
It’s Harder Than Ever to Escape Debt
Lastly, one common mistake is to assume that escaping your debt is easy. In today’s connected world it’s ever-easier for tracing agents to find you, even if you’ve moved house since taking on the original debt.
From mobile phones to council tax, from car registrations to social media profiles, it’s harder than ever before to just “disappear” and forget about your debt. Even moving abroad isn’t necessarily the definite end that you might expect, as an increasing number of debt recovery services operate on a global scale.
What to Do
Ignoring your debt is never going to be the smartest decision you make, and can seriously impact your future in all manner of ways. The key is to maintain contact with your creditors, and to seek solutions if any problems arise. Don’t just “go dark” if you suddenly find yourself unable to pay for some reason; instead speak to your creditors and try to work out an arrangement that will keep you in their good graces.
Work hard to meet your obligations and prove that you are a responsible borrower. Under such circumstances you can pay off your debt gradually and avoid all the nasty potential side-issues.