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Personal Finance: How To Deal With Debt Induced Panic

Whether it is wringing your hands, fiddling with your hair, or being caught in a bout of rapid shallow breathing, panic keeps you from functioning rationally. You might find yourself in a difficult place after taking a debt if you don’t cut down expenses and save yourself in due time.If you are being overwhelmed with debt issues, panic is the last thing that you need. Besides the normal relaxation techniques like slow even breathing or counting to ten, you need some concrete ways to deal with debt induced panic.

Do some practical work on your finances.

It might be that you panic is not justified. Take the time to add up all of your debt. Now, compute your income (if you have any) and compare the two. This may not fix your problem, but you will at least know exactly where you stand. If you income is insufficient to meet your monthly obligations, you will have some tough decisions to make, but they are not impossible choices.

Consider the worst case scenarios.

As you start this process, you should discover that you can survive even the worst case. If you income is less than your monthly payments, determine how much you will have to make payments after you take out your living expenses. If the answer is only a small percent of the monthly payments, you might be looking at bankruptcy. Should it appear that you might be able to pay your way out, figure out how long will be required. Unless you owe a gangster or loan shark money, you should come out okay in the long run.

Ask for help.

Help can take various forms. You may just need to talk to someone. Venting helps. If you need financial or debt counseling, there are not-for-profit agencies that can help you. You could just need some short term low or no interest loans from friends or family members to get you over the hump. Swallow your pride and ask for help.

Map out multiple routes out of your situation.

You need alternatives. Some have already been discussed. Can you negotiate lesser balances with some or all of your creditors? Credit card companies will sometimes give you forbearance on your payments for a few months. The interest will accrue, but you can use the cash to pay down or pay off other bills.

Ask for discounts on interest rates even if they are only offered for a short term.

Consider debt consolidation or a debt management program. For most people, a variety of options exist to get debt relief. Explore them all. Pick the ones that will work best for you and move forward.

Determine that you will use this circumstance to improve how you deal with money.

You need to learn from this experience. View the debt crisis as educational. It will help you not to panic if you see it as an opportunity to grow in your ability to manage money and personal finances. Generally, you will find that after you have pass through this problem, you will be a stronger person and much wiser.

David Scott is the head writer at TRI PR. He better part of his college life as a journalist for the college magazine. He still writes and he loves it.