If you’re suffering from seemingly insurmountable debt, it might feel isolating, but in reality, you are not alone. Personal debt and debt management are growing concerns in the UK, with the average household debt being £13,520. Millions of Britons live on the edge of bankruptcy, with 100,000 people each year declaring bankruptcy each year as a means of resolving their debt.
If you can’t see a way of paying off your debt without assistance, there is no reason to feel ashamed or uncomfortable. Bankruptcy aside, there are other debt management solutions open to you, including IVAs and Debt Management Plans, which traditionally impose far fewer restrictions. Professionals can help you smooth out your financial situation and provide you with options.
Once you’ve emerged on the other side of debt, you might wonder how your life will change and what you have to look forward to. Here are just a few things that you can begin to enjoy once you have resolved your financial missteps.
- You can take control of your own finances
Bankruptcy is not easy. In fact, any debt management solution you opt for will come with certain restrictions. It is likely that you will not be in control of your own money and budgets for a number of years, living off a strict monthly amount and having to answer to others whenever you make a significant financial decision.
Once you are debt-free, you can enjoy a renewed sense of independence. You don’t have anyone to hold you accountable, and you will be able to make decisions such as what car to buy or where to live without worrying about unhappy creditors.
- Your credit score can begin to improve
Whatever debt management solution you have selected, the slate will be wiped clean in six years’ time in terms of your credit report. Once you have served out this time, your credit rating can finally begin to improve. If you make the right financial decisions, you will see your score steadily rise, meaning that lenders will begin to lend to you again. You can look forward to obtaining a mortgage, buying a car, or even starting your own business. In this way, debt certainly isn’t the end of your financial life. To illustrate this point, we can look to the many celebrities who have gone bankrupt and come out the other side.
- You can un-pause life
There might have been certain things that you wanted to achieve, but these plans have been on hold during your period of debt. This is understandable; taking a holiday, finding a home, getting married or having children are not events that you want to navigate with a debt hanging over your head. However, with your debt in your rear-view mirror, you can get on with what you really want out of life. The liberating feeling of knowing that all your money is now your own is a rewarding sensation, and it’s something you should certainly be looking forward to.
- Reduced anxiety and depression
People rarely discuss this dark side of debt. However, feelings of anxiety and depression are prevalent when people experience a lack of control over their finances. It can be difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel. The stress can be crippling and, unfortunately, a startling 38% of those looking for help with debt have either considered or attempted suicide as a way out of their situation. 44% of people in debt are put on medication to deal with extreme feelings of anxiety and depression. This can impact you, your family and everyone around you.
Once you are debt-free, this suffocating cloud begins to lift, and you will see that you have potential. You don’t have that restrictive feeling that was following you around for years and you can move on with life, happier and healthier.
- You develop a sense of achievement
Digging your way out of debt isn’t easy. No debt management solution is without its challenges, and it takes a lot of willpower to persevere. Once you are finally recognised as debt-free, feel prepared for a satisfying sense of achievement. You acknowledged your problem and you took steps to overcome your issues. This is something to be proud of, particularly as your actions have not just affected you. By resolving your problems, the knock-on effect to the remainder of your loved ones is incredible.
How do I get debt-free?
We don’t often talk about debt, or debt management solutions, in day-to-day life. There remains a sort of stigma surrounding the topic, although this certainly shouldn’t be the case considering how prevalent personal debt is in the UK. The first step is to acknowledge you need help, and to discuss it with friends and family.
The second step is to take to the internet and find a debt management professional, such as an Insolvency Practitioner, to help you put a plan in place. An Insolvency Practitioner has access to innovative debt management software that can factor in your personal situation, including your incomings, outgoings, dependents, and debt. The software then calculates a way forward that works best for you. Your Insolvency Practitioner will take the lead, deal with your creditors, and advise on any pressing issues.
We know that everyone deserves a second chance, and this applies as much to finance as it does to any other area of life. You owe it to yourself to seek help and unburden yourself with needless concern and anxiety. The sooner you do what you need to do, resolve your debt and accept help, the sooner you can begin your life afresh.