Money talk: Demystifying debt

In collaboration with MoneyPlus

money saving debt tips

I had quite a bit of debt in my early 20s. It came from becoming a parent aged 17 and then finding myself single aged 19 and in the middle of a degree. In order to be able to manage to do the degree at all, I had to live an hour away to be near family for childcare, which meant a lot of money spent on travelling to and from lectures every day. I wasn’t on the verge of bankruptcy or anything, but I managed to collect a decent amount of debt on credit cards and store cards as I struggled to keep on top of things.

I managed to clear it all before I was 30, but there was definitely a period in between where I was burying my head in the sand about it all. I would avoid calls and letters, too scared to just put my hands up to it and sort it out. I thought ignoring it was a solution. Needless to say it wasn’t. I found myself daunted by all the myths around debt, and worried about what the outcome might be. I could have really done with this article from MoneyPlus debunking all of those debt myths and explaining, in simple language, just what all the debt related language really means.

The article looks at 8 of the most common myths around debt, such as your credit rating being impacted by the people you share a house with, and lays out the facts about each one. I found these incredibly useful and have certainly been guilty of believing in more than one of them over the years.

Why ignorance is not bliss

Why are articles like this so important? Because it’s fear that really impacts our attitude to debt. If we don’t understand what something means, it’s scary. When we feel ignorant about something, of course it makes us fearful. The way to tackle this is to educate yourself. Tackle the problem head on and start finding out exactly what everything means and where you stand.

To be fair to younger me, this was a lot harder 25 years ago without the wealth of information and resources available online. Then the standard advice when you had any money worries was to ‘go to the Citizens Advice Bureau.’ Nowadays, thanks to organisations like MoneyPlus, you have all kinds of valuable information at your fingertips. Never again do you need to be in the dark about a Debt Relief Order, or hiding in the kitchen because you’re not sure what the rules are around bailiff visits.

If you’re experiencing any kind of debt problems or are worried about money, then don’t let fear hold you back. It can be scary, but the only way to regain that control is to TAKE control – get in touch with the companies you have debts with, explain the situation and come to an arrangement. Read more about debt and get information from places like MoneyPlus and before you know it things won’t seem so scary after all.


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