Those suffering from debt feel a combination of shame, disgust, depression, embarrassment, anger, and anxiety. Dept causes physical and emotional problems and for poorer people getting into debt and unable to pay, have many other negative side effects as well. For any person, debt is like a constant fear that never goes away. It persists until you take action. Debt causes a great deal of suffering and pain to those who have trouble paying their bills late, or not at all. Immunity against debt is non-existent, everyone is susceptible. We saw that happen during the recession when the wealthiest of people lost out to large debts. Although unfortunate, thousands of people daily need to file bankruptcy, seeking protection from the law from banks and money owed, especially if it is for large amounts.
We all have known honest people who go into debt and who resorted to stealing, cheating, and lying in efforts to hide or eliminate their debt to perhaps save face from family and peers. The despondent feelings drive many people to self harm and even suicide. A person in debt may face eviction from their home because they have the inability to pay. In some ways that is different from running up debts beyond your means, and buying things you “want” rather than what you “need”.
To add to the lack of available money each month, creditors may sue and seek a judgment to have your wages garnished. Essentially, the judge has given your employer in order to make the payment directly out of your pay cheque to the creditor you owe. This is money you will never even see, because it comes out instantly.
Even the happiest of people can find the pressure and embarrassment of debt too much to handle. The pressure from creditors may be relentless, it starts with mail and telephone calls at all hours of the day, then it can lead to losing their possessions, such as their car, or other goods on hire purchase. Their inability to eliminate their debt drives them to suicidal thoughts and believing it is the only way out. Debt starts out as a good thing, allowing us to live the life we may not otherwise be able to live but cannot afford. No one has the luxury of endless spending of limited resources, though many act as if they do. They spend compulsively while ignoring their deteriorating position. They put off dealing with bills until some outside event like credit is denied, the threat of foreclosure, legal action, harassing phone calls from debt collectors that all forces change. Underestimating how much you owe, not answering the phone when you suspect a collection agency is calling, or leaving bills unopened or just stuffing them in a drawer promising yourself you will take care of them later, these are all danger signs and need to be attended to. Opening a new credit card when your old one is maxed out and telling yourself that everyone is in the same situation, is a hazard everyone can do without. The problem is reality always sets in, then stress manifests itself in obvious ways – lack of sleep, loss of focus, a nagging worry. “Earn a pound, spend a pound and a penny, trouble, earn a pound, spend 99 pence, happiness”.