There is an epidemic plaguing many. It’s called debt stress.
Credit card companies and retail outlets make it easier than ever to obtain credit on demand. They’re perfectly agreeable to generous credit limits. They’re anxious to exploit your need for instant gratification. But all this “generosity” comes with a cost. Count on exorbitant interest rates and minimum payments that barely put a dent in the amount you owe.
There are 30% of us who don’t have a credit card. Those who do, have almost four of them. Each with an average interest rate of 17%. Paying only the minimum payment means it would take years to pay each card off. And all of this debt is causing a lot of stress and health-related concerns for plenty of people.
Mental disorders, migraines, heart disease, high blood pressure, weight gain/loss, insomnia – these are just a few of the by-products of debt stress. For some, spending is an addiction, just like alcohol, drugs or gambling, and it needs to be treated in much the same way.
What can you do about your overwhelming and out-of-control debt? Here are some suggestions to help you regain control of your debt and your health:
- Seek the advice and guidance of a reputable credit counselor.
- Contact your creditors. Many will work with you to set up financially feasible payment schedules.
Mental disorders, migraines, heart disease, high blood pressure, weight gain/loss, insomnia – these are just a few of the by-products of debt stress.
- Reduce spending and stop incurring new debt.
- Use a debit card instead of a credit card.
- Use money in a savings account that is earning minimal interest, to pay down any high-interest credit cards.
- Remove credit cards from your purse or wallet
- Pick your smallest debt and pay it off, moving on to the next smallest debt.
It’s possible, with determination and discipline, to regain your credit and your personal health. It starts with recognizing that you have a problem and moving on from there to help yourself.
Dr. Deb Sampair