Knock, Knock… It’s Debt
What is debt exactly that it entangles us in its web at the ripe age of 18? Debt is defined as something that is owed as a result of an obligation to repay something that was borrowed; if only it were that simple. What are we being educated as adolescents and young adults about Debt? Some think debt is the $20 they owe a friend and feel obligated to repay; while failing to begin paying down the thousands of dollars owed in student loans. Is debt the monthly cell phone bill that is religiously paid to maintain social networking or making minimum payments on maxed out credit cards? How do we as young adults comprehend the priority of the repayment of debt and the effect it will have in the long-run?
Over the past couple of decades, society has conformed to the idea that having debt is an ordinary element in being an adult. As of June 2010, the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Bureau of the Public Debt reported the total Debt held by individuals, corporations, state or local governments, foreign governments, and other entities outside the United States Government is approximately 8.6 trillion dollars. Every personality on the TV or Radio has a difference of opinion as to why the economy crashed, yet irresponsible lending and borrowing has not seized and is continual. Getting into and staying in debt should not be a customary way of life in the United States just because every person has a social security number that essentially categorizes them as either a lending risk or opportunity. Although I agree, to an extent, with the credit scoring system that is used in the U.S, I think it has become a playground for lending institutions who neglect to realize that credit isn’t always a true picture of the borrowing capacity of an individual. Adulthood should not have to be a constant struggle with debt or a game of borrowing money to live beyond your means. If you have debt, you should know your consumer rights as enforced by the Federal Trade Commission before you borrower a penny more or declare bankruptcy. It seems like banks, credit card companies, and other lending institutions seem to always be eagerly searching for new ways to target larger and younger demographics without truly looking at the ability of repayment and what lies ahead for a specific borrower. When did it become customary to create credit cards for students that don’t have jobs? A student in college may not realize what they are getting into, and just see the credit card or additional student loans as extra spending cash, but at what expense? Why is there always new zero-interest for the first six months, no annual fee for the first year credit card offers being created to lure borrowers? Money is still very accessible and tempting despite a static economy. Young adults in general, need to be cognizant of debt and the responsibilities of managing money.
If you are thinking about getting into debt, borrow responsibly and if you are drowning in debt, find a way to financial freedom. I highly recommend that individuals and families of all ages with serious debt consider doing something about their situation TODAY. Fascinating step-by-step action plans that can help anyone in debt get on the path to financial freedom are available for free for individuals that truly want to change their debt situation. A great example of a step-by-step plan to help you get out of debt is Oprah’s Debt Diet. The diet was created by a group of three well-established financial experts: Jean Chatzky; David Bach; and Glinda Bridgforth sum it all up in six easy steps to controlling your existing debt and living within your means. Check it out and you won’t be sorry.
Oprah’s Debt Diet
Step 1: How Much Debt Do You Really Have?
Step 2: Track Your Spending and Find Extra Money
Step 3: Learn to Play the Credit Card Game
Step 4: Stop Spending
Step 5: Create a Monthly Spending Plan
Step 6: Take Big Steps to Grow Your Income
Written by Vanessa Maynard, an informed and experienced finance writer with subject matter expertise in a variety of industries within the financial sector. By trade, Vanessa is a Consultant for a large consulting firm that has been providing Residential and Commercial Loan Review & Due Diligence, Independent Pricing, Staffing solutions, Consulting, Surveillance, Special Servicing, and Analytics for over 20 years and has built a reputation as trusted advisors in the mortgage industry.