Debtor’s disease is a silent killer. This is because debt kills respect, marriages, self control, and families. There isn’t a part of your life that it won’t touch and destroy with debt’s deadly power. Some of you won’t even know you have it for many, many years. It’s a sneaky affliction; creeping into your life and slowly but surely taking control of every part of your existence.
Seems a bit of a dramatic description, doesn’t it? But, the sad part is, it’s all true. Even though we often hate to admit it, debt will totally control your life. Even when your first realize it, you won’t do anything about it. You will deny the debt, continue to feed the debt, and give the debt all it needs to thrive within your life. Oh, you’ll have help, no doubt about that. There are many ways you can fuel the fever. Falling into the credit card trap is just the beginning. Self justification is your worst enemy. Why, the human mind is masterful at justifying just about any action, or purchase, given the right circumstances.
The first step is recognizing debtor’s disease. Diagnoses of debtor’s disease is much harder than you might expect. Oh, the symptoms are very clear for sure, but since most of us hate to admit our own vulnerabilities and defeats, debt can be nearly invisible to the victim. I experienced nearly all of the symptoms below before I finally excepted the fact that I did indeed have the affliction. It is quite a humiliating experience to realize that so many obvious warning signs were present and I continued down the wrong path.
They say hindsight is 20/20 meaning that the past is clearer when we look back. And, when things go wrong, we like to hope that we would have done things differently if we knew what we know now. Well, I’m hoping I can prevent you from some of that humiliation and financial disaster. You can stop debt from growing to destructive levels if you can identify the warning sign early on. Identify debt problems early and fix them. Make no mistake, if the following scenarios apply to your situation, you are headed for financial trouble.
Paying essential monthly bills, such as the electric or phone, with credit cards is a serious symptom. Once you turn to credit to pay your monthly bills, you’re in serious trouble. Sooner or later the credit cards will be maxed out, you will be refused additional credit increases, and you won’t be able to pay those bills.
In most cases, creditors will identify debtor’s disease long before the victim realizes his affliction. They will begin to arm themselves against the consequences of the infection when this occurs. Your interest rates and penalties (i.e. late fees, over limit fees) may increase as companies anticipate default. Even they can see you’re headed for trouble.
If you answered yes to any or all of the above, you have fallen victim to debtor’s disease. Don’t let it take control of your life! Fix the problems now. You’ll have less stress and be a lot happier. I can say that with confidence. It is such a relief to be able to see an end to the struggle. You will feel as though a great burden has been taken from you when your finances are under control.
And, even though you may experience some difficult periods when you may get discouraged, you’ll find those times much less stressful that periods when you worried about how your bills would get paid. Take some serious money management steps to begin your treatment. It’s never too late to take control of your finances and make a commitment to debt free living.
Once you rid yourself of debt, commit to debt free living. Remember, you now know how you made the mistakes, you know how to identify the symptoms, and you have the knowledge and power to implement the cure. You should now be immune to debtor’s disease.
Now, you can vaccinate your children, friends, and family with the knowledge to prevent them from falling prey to this life draining affliction. Give them your hind sight and help them build happy, secure, and independent futures for themselves and their families.
Cheryl Johnson is on a mission to become debt free. As publisher of Simple Debt Free Living she hopes to guide and encourage others to live debt free through household budgeting, debt management, and money savings tips and strategies that save
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