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Why feeling ashamed of your debt could lead to more debt

Many people struggling with a mountain of debt commonly feel emotions such as shame, guilt, unhappiness and sadness. After all, they may be afraid of losing their house, creditors could be hassling them and/or they are having a hard time recognizing how everything happened. It is easy to attribute debt, especially credit card debt, to moral failings.

However, these negative emotions could result in even more debt.

Avoiding the problem

It can be difficult to tackle issues causing uncomfortable feelings. First of all, the person in debt would have to admit there is a problem and that it cannot be resolved easily. Second, handling the problem often requires difficult conversations and actions, for example, talking with your spouse about just how extreme the situation is or realizing you seem to be out of options.

And what do people do when they feel bad? If buying things is the problem, they may hit the stores and rack up even more credit card debt. More debt means more feelings of shame later.

Take charge of your debt

The good news is that once you decide to take charge of your debt, you own the situation and are much less likely to accrue new debt. Feelings of shame should also lessen or even go away altogether. For example, if you make a point to call your credit card issuer to lay out the problem and negotiate lower interest rates, you feel like you are being proactive and like you are doing something productive. Similarly, if you are deathly afraid you will lose your house, a meeting with a lawyer about bankruptcy or its alternatives could open up paths where you could stay in your home.

It is the fear of the unknown that causes many to look the other way when it comes to serious problems. Getting a grip on the issue is one of the best things you can do for yourself and for your loved ones.

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