Debt Is Not a Four Letter Word
Many view debt as a dirty word or something to be feared, this should not be the case.
Almost every American carries some form of debt, whether it be student loans, a mortgage, a car loan, or credit card debt. In today’s society, debt is often necessary for most people in order to attain a certain quality of life. So why are we so afraid of the “D” word? By understanding that debt isn’t inherently bad, we can take away the negative stigma attached to it.
The Difference Between Good Debt and Bad Debt
Good debt is any debt that is acquired that you have the ability to comfortably pay back throughout the term of the loan. When you get approved for something like a mortgage or a car loan, it is because you have been able to prove to a lender that you have a steady income and a proven track record (aka good credit history) and that you are a trustworthy borrower.
Debt only becomes bad when it becomes unmanageable. There are many reasons debt can become unmanageable, from being unexpectedly laid off, to becoming sick and taking on the burden of medical bills, to poor financial habits.
There is no shame in finding yourself in financial trouble. The truth is, all debt comes with strings attached, but some are pulled harder than others. For example, debts with high interest rates or that are secured by items like your home or car can quickly spiral out of control once they become bad debts.
What To Do If You Have Bad Debt
Depending on the extent of your bad debt, there are different options available to you. Bankruptcy may be a good option for some people, but should really only be used as a last resort. In most cases, it is possible to repair the damage of bad debt without declaring bankruptcy.
Understanding what has led to you to bad debt is the first step in repairing it. Understanding your debt will allow you to determine the next steps and habits to be form.
It is also important to come to terms with why you took on debt in the first place and how it has benefitted you. For example, if you have student loans, that may have allowed you to complete your higher education and led you to a successful career. Even if those loans have become unmanageable, you should not regret or resent them. Instead, look towards the future and how you can get yourself back on track.
If you are unsure of where to start, consider talking with a financial planner or an attorney that specializes in debt and debt resolution. They will be able to help you understand the options available to you, prioritize your spending, and set goals to work towards.
At Tayne Law Group, we are working hard to take the negative stigma away from the word “debt” and get people talking! It is important to understand that there is a difference between good debt and bad debt, and that neither should be shameful or embarrassing. Learning to love and embrace your debt will help you to take control of your finances. So join in the conversation! Help us make debt less scary and share why you love your debt.