How can I deal with the stress associated to financial problems?

Summary: This article aims to provide some tips as to how to deal with the stress that can often be associated with debt.

With the rising cost of living, but with many not seeing an equivalent increase to their salary, it is common for some to rely on credit cards and loans to make ends meet. But when such debt gets out of control, i.e. when income is no longer sufficient to cover essential expenditure and debt repayments, stress can become unbearable especially with the possibility of creditors constantly harassing for repayment of outstanding debt.

Seek advice and help for your debt

Once an individual accepts they have a problem with debt, the first port of call should be a licensed money advisor or one of the free advice services available, such as the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB), Step Change or National Debtline. There could be solutions available to help reduce or clear the debt such as a Debt Management Plan (DMP) or an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA). It may also be helpful to speak to family and friends to discuss the problem and provide a support network.

Speak to the creditors.

Where there is a problem with repaying debt, it is important to contact the creditors straight away. They may be able to help by freezing interest, or allowing a payment holiday. Furthermore, by addressing the issue early shows a willingness by the debtor, and therefore it could help reduce or prevent potentially very stressful phone calls chasing repayment.

Set a budget

By taking the time to assess income and essential expenditure, it may be possible to free up enough income to repay the debt over a period of time. Once a budget has been set, then it is vital to stick to it. By having a budget in place, it should be possible to calculate how long it will take to clear any debt and by having that goal in place it will help restore confidence and reduce debt. If there is not enough income to cover essential expenditure and debt repayments, it is possible the individual may be insolvent, therefore it is vital that further advice is sought.

Don't allow stress to damage health

Stress itself can cause serious illness if left unchecked. By following the above steps to address the debt, hopefully the cause of stress will be alleviated. It can also help to lead a healthy lifestyle as well, such as healthy eating and taking regular exercise. These in turn can help maintain a healthy sleeping pattern which can often be disrupted when stressed. While mounting debt can feel like the end of the world, it most certainly need not be and there are plenty of options available to help anyone who feels they are struggling.