A friend always says, “there’s three sides to every story, his, hers and the truth” and I often feel there are multiple sides to any debt and money problem.
It’s such a depressing subject that often people don’t like to delve deep into the topic and uncover nasty or frightening truths, so we’ll start light.
When you speak to someone who has encountered a serious debt problem they will inevitably fall into two categories. These two categories are “It wasn’t my fault” or “I did it and I’m a terrible person”. For most of my time being bankrupt I was in the latter. It’s only recently I’ve been able to take a step back and evaluate the situation.
I spent most of my indebted life with my head in the sand so ‘taking stock’ was impossible. Afterwards, I thought about how i’d lost my job, was plied with credit cards and loans and then finally harrassed by my creditors. I can’t lie, it made me extremely angry.
Debt Beliefs: The Different Views Of Debt
I did a lot of reading about debt beliefs and opinions and managed to categorize the thoughts into two, very general, groups, which were then further sub-divided. These debt belief were:
People who aren’t in debt often write about how stupid, ignorant and foolish people who have encountered debt problems are. I’ve read countless forums, articles and journals which suggest people can manage their money but those with debt problems are greedy and selfish, spoiling it for the rest of us.
There is still a percentage of people who don’t have debt and believe that for the ‘grace of god’ they could be in a similar situation so people in debt should be supported.
People who are in debt: As mentioned above, people in debt usually fall into two categories of “it wasn’t my fault” or “I don’t deserve to live”. 90% of people who have serious debt problems also have mental health issues. What’s not been proven yet is whether debt causes mental health problems or if people with mental health issues are drawn to the allure of debt.
My own feelings are that debt causes mental health issues. Money worries affect your sleeping, eating and relaxation habits. You can enjoy time with your family or friends. Debt is the first thing you think about when you wake up and the last thought you have at night.
People who are in debt face a year of bankruptcy and 6-7 years of a poor credit file where it’s difficult to get credit. Serious debt problems cause societal and health problems for the individual and their family and friends not to mention the issues which arise at work due to debt concerns.
Poll: Do People In Debt Deserve What They Get?
I thought that the varying degrees of difference were interesting. Should people who enter bankruptcy be penalised for longer than 1 year? Do people who are in debt deserve our sympathy or is it their own too bad? In general, are people who are in debt simply enjoying their life and purchasing what they want, when they want while the rest of us struggle to balance the books?
The question for the poll is this. Do people who get themselves into serious amounts of debt deserve what they get?
I’ll be sharing the results later next week!