Taking professional advice early is key when tackling debt

Phil Meekin
Phil Meekin
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What does facing fear mean to you? Perhaps the title of a short documentary film which was nominated earlier this year for an Academy Award as Best Short Subject Documentary.

It tells the story of a chance meeting of a former neo-Nazi skinhead and the gay victim of his hate crime attack – 25 years after the event. The incident had a huge impact on both lives and the film challenges both to grapple with their beliefs and fears – and eventually results in forgiveness and friendship.

But to most of us it means doing the opposite of what is instinctive.

It’s natural to back away from anything we dread or fear – the easy option which we have all taken at some point in our lives. We are all different and most of us have phobias. Whilst snakes, spiders, needles or dentists don’t concern me, I readily admit that I don’t like heights – although strangely flying is OK.

When it comes to debt and financial problems, many of us avoid facing up to and addressing them. I don’t profess to be a psychologist, but clearly this is a very stressful time for most people. Perhaps it is being out of control and not being able to see a solution, or just embarrassment at not being able to “pay your way”.

In 2010, a debt charity – Christians Against Poverty, undertook a survey which revealed that:

44 per cent of those seeking debt help have been prescribed medication to help them cope

38 per cent of those seeking debt help had considered or attempted suicide as a way out

77 per cent of those seeking debt help who are in a couple said debts affected their relationship

It is not uncommon for people to have sleepless nights worrying about possibly losing their homes, frightened to answer the phone or face opening the post – credit card statements, utility bills, etc. And it isn’t just consumers – business owners also face the same problems but on a larger scale.

The good news is that a great deal can be done to regain control of financial matters whether they relate to domestic or business debts. Taking early professional advice is key, particularly if saving a business is involved. The sooner advice is taken the more options are usually available. So, if you are worried about debt problems take professional advice without