The average U.S. consumer is currently living with over $50,000 worth of debt.
For some, that number is much higher due to enormous student loans. The current average of student loan debt in the United States for recent graduates is $30,000, but we routinely meet people with double that. And depending on the major or career path, it’s not uncommon to have six-figures in loan debt, especially when not utilizing the proper repayment plan.
Paying off debt can be tough.
A few thousand dollars in debt can take years to pay-off. Multiply that by 5, 10, or 15 years for higher debt at a lofty interest rate. How many years will you be paying off your debt?
You work too hard to see your money disappear in a cloud of payments and 20-30% interest rates. The good news is that it’s possible to manage your debt and pay more efficiently.
The first step is to emotionally deal with your debt to make impressive headway on your pay off. The following article shares a few starting points to vulnerably recognize your debt, be grateful for the progress you’re making, and continue gaining financial freedom.
Forgive Yourself and Find Support
Some individuals find debt shameful, something to hide behind closed doors and secretive budgets. That behavior only increases the stress and anxiety that debt creates.
Simply put, having loans and credit card debt is not something to be ashamed of at all.
The first lesson to emotionally manage your situation is to forgive yourself for whatever debt you may have collected. Recognition and forgiveness go a long way in repairing your emotional connection to money.
The debt you’ve accumulated was for a purpose, whether that was going to school, making rent payments, or buying holiday gifts. Find gratefulness for whatever the loan got you and forgive yourself for needing it.
You are one of millions who is currently facing debt, and there is support in numbers. You never have to be alone in the process nor feel singled out. The more you can forgive and speak up, the more emotional support you will receive from others and yourself.
Celebrate Your Achievements
You may be looking at $50k+ in debt and repayment terms over 15 years long. That situation can be difficult or impossible to find optimism in, but there is joy in emotionally managing your debt.
Celebrating repayment milestones is a fantastic method of creating positivity around finances.
Did you just pay off a small store credit card you started a year ago? Did you hit a $1k mark on your student loans? Small achievements are meant to be celebrated! The baby steps you’re taking to pay off debt now will snowball into bigger payments and larger milestones that will completely erase your debt.
Find a way you’d like to recognize yourself for debt achievements big and small. It could be a simple minute of gratitude or calling a friend with the news.
No matter the action, make sure you are taking the time to celebrate your financial moves. This encourages a positive mindset, and you’ll find yourself more willing to speak and work towards eliminating all debt.
Talk to a Financial Counselor
People seek counsel for a multitude of things, and emotionally dealing with your debt should be no different. Speaking to a financial counselor is an impactful step forward in unashamedly working off debt.
Financial counselors can support your debt management by creating a safe space for you to:
- speak about your debt
- identify goals and milestones in repayment
- come up with an action plan that works for you
- learn how to talk to family about your finances
- develop habits that will enable you to grow your savings
- instill confidence to maintain your momentum
Not only will this environment encourage honesty about your debt but will provide tangible actions towards financial success. Finding these direct steps to take can decrease the anxiety you may be holding around debt and create space for managing freely.
Your Roadmap to Debt Management
Debt is scary, overwhelming, and grueling. Emotionally managing how you understand, react, and recover from debt can mean the difference between unacknowledged increases or complete pay-off.
You are one of millions facing student loans and credit card debt at ever increasing interest rates. Turn your shame of this into forgiveness for taking out a loan, celebrate your small and big wins when it comes to pay-offs, and find a financial counselor to create an actionable path forward. We believe in you and are here to provide further insight to help you gain financial success without debt.