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Talking about a Taboo subject

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In our awareness week looking into the dangers of Pay Day loans, Bromford Money Advisor Ruth Burley blogs about getting the taboo subject of debt off your chest, and who is out there to help. 

Abraham Lincoln, Walt Disney and Rembrandt. All highly influential, talented individuals in their own fields. Did you know that they also went bankrupt?

Before becoming President, Lincoln had a business which failed and he was forced to file for bankruptcy. Walt Disney’s first animation company had to become insolvent when the company backing him collapsed. A combination of ill-health and living beyond his means resulted in Rembrandt having to declare himself bankrupt.

These facts are not widely known as debt is a taboo subject. People in debt are often viewed as a failure. Even though I deal with debt every day my job title is “Money Advisor” when in reality I am usually advising customers on debt matters. We don’t like to mention the “debt” word.

The Money Advice Service has recently  published a major new study into the complexities of debt in the UK. They estimate that almost 9 million adults are living with serious debt but only 1.5milion are seeking debt advice.

Free debt advice is widely available from Citizens Advice Bureau, National Debtline and StepChange ( formerly the Credit Consumer Counselling Service). However Google “debt” and you will undoubtedly find fee paying debt management companies come up first in the search. Their emphasis on getting “debt free” can attract people but it can be very costly.

As a certified Money Advisor my role is to be non judgemental about the situation people find themselves in. I give them practical advice on their options, how to prioritise their debts and  form a plan of action to ensure they do not lose their home, they will not  get bailiffs knocking on their door and  they will not end up in prison. The most common reactions I receive from customers once we have worked out the plan of action is ” I feel so much better now” or ” I can see a light at the end of the tunnel”.

I daresay these famous people had their fair share of sleepless  nights worrying about their debts. Debt should not be a taboo subject. It can affect people from all walks of life and for many different reasons. The sooner people get help the better they will feel so they can move on with their life.

Ruth Burley is a Money Advisor for customers for Bromford. To find out more about how to manage your money, including the risks of getting a pay day loan, visit our guides here