Many people who seek the advice and guidance of debt counsellors are driven to them in the first place by fear and ignorance ? two powerful emotions which often mask the real scale of the problems.
In many cases, what you made have been led to believe is a 'bad' level of debt, may instead need only some careful reorganisation and a new set of mortgage priorities.
Most adults have some experience with debt - and most of us receive (often painful) monthly reminders of the debts we owe courtesy of creditors and the postman.
Needless to say, debts can be large (mortgage or loan payments) or comparatively small (telephone or credit card bills).
Although the word debt typically carries negative connotations, there are some positives. For example, few people have the total asking price outright to purchase the home or car of their dreams. There are limited options for acquiring these big ticket items without incurring some debt. Also, assuming some debt makes it possible to pay your electricity and gas bills based on usage. You pay for the service after, rather than before, each month's use.
So why all the moaning and groaning when the subject of debt arises? Primarily because many of us have an unbalanced debt to income ratio. Debt becomes burdensome when we owe as much or more than we earn. We have taken what could be a benefit and turned it into the bane of our existence. Those of you who cringe each time the telephone rings, know this feeling of dread very well.
Obviously, some debts, such as rent and utility bills, are perpetual or recurring. You must continue to pay these each month if you want heat and electricity. Other debts, such as car payments, loans and mortgage payments can eventually be retired.
Some debts (most credit card debt) are simply unnecessary. If you are among the rising numbers of people for whom debt has become unmanageable, don't despair. Start by evaluating all of your expenses. If you don't really need the item or service, do yourself a favour and keep your credit card in your wallet. With a little patience, planning and sacrifice, you can dig yourself out.