Not that we get hoards of likes on our posts, but we would not be surprised if this one got no traction at all. Why? Because who the hell wants to admit that they are struggling financially? We might as well just admit that we are failing at life right? Well, it was actually quite painful for us to write that because we strongly disagree with it but we know that is how some people feel.
This post is not a sales pitch. It is not aimed at companies we are hoping to start working with after we have convinced you how concerning your financial situation is, or could be, although we are not trying to deter those companies either. We are specifically talking to people and companies that we have contacted, and are and will be contacting in the future about debts that they owe to companies that we are working with.
We have written a fair amount in the series of blogs that we have written so far about the image conveyed of debt collection agencies in the media and general discourse in British culture. And we do so because the topic of this blog today forms the result of that discourse. That is that we feel the need to address the stigma attached to both owing to debt and also to working with a company that has been instructed on behalf of the company that is owed the debt.
Anecdotally, in some cases, we have been told by some people that they refused to open any letters that had come through their door for more than 6 months as a result of the combination of a panic-like level of fear of dealing with debt collection agencies who were pursuing them for payment of debts that they simply could not afford and also mental health problems partly exacerbated by their struggle to manage their finances.
And yet it is not as uncommon as you think. According to some sources, mental health problems in people who are struggling with debt are as high as 46%, so nearly half. Importantly it states that 86% of people who found themselves in debt said that their problems with debt made their mental health problems worse, so more than 4 in 5 people. The impact of being in debt and the scale of it is not to be underestimated.
So what is the solution? Well, one thing we know for sure at JSP Credit Management is that the solution is not putting more pressure on people to force them to pay when they cannot afford to. It is our responsibility as a third party to the matter to establish the facts of the matter as we mentioned last week, this means taking steps to identify what is affordable to the person with whom we are discussing the amount owed.
Whenever we review the latest debt advice as we do regularly to try and stay abreast of current developments and remain compliant and in a position to act fairly and ethically, we still hear debt charities and organisations talking about how some debt collection agencies are encouraging the person who owes the money to take out further borrowing to pay the debt they have been tasked with collecting. We can say in no uncertain terms that this is not the solution either.
We refrained from inferring any cause and effect relationship between debt and mental health above because it is not as simple as saying one causes the other. But there is a strong association between the two and more likely that they are both contribute to each other simultaneously. So what we advocate is reaching out for some support on both of those aspects of the problem of being in debt.
Thankfully there are many charities and other free and impartial organisations out there who are willing to help when it comes to helping you with your debt. Charities such as StepChange and Citizens Advice are excellent starting points for people who, understandably, do not feel up to taking on the monumental task of chipping away at their debts. These organisations will also make much of the communications to your creditors on your behalf, which makes it worth doing for that reason alone in our view.
Naturally, to comply with data protection legislation you would have to give your consent to the debt collection agency for your representative from StepChange or Citizens Advice to speak on your behalf but we can assure you that is just a 2-second conversation before you pass it back over to your debt advisor to do the negotiations for you on your behalf. This will likely also lead to them agreeing to get any interest and charges currently being applied to your account frozen too!
We would urge you to be honest with your debt advisor as shameful as it can feel to discuss the circumstances leading up to the moment you find yourself needing to ask for help from someone else with your debts. They are not there to judge you and are only there to try and help you get back to some kind of financial stability. Equally, you will have to help them to help you by providing certain documents, like bank statements or whatever bills you may be struggling to pay.
Perhaps then when you find yourself on steadier ground and you have established a level of repayments back to your creditors which is affordable to you, you may also want to reflect on how you could further reduce the risks of falling back into another financial struggle. This could be by drawing up some goals of what you want to achieve in the future. Goals are an excellent way of staying motivated through difficult financial circumstances.
In fact goals are used in all walks of life as a tool for helping people to achieve things they want to achieve, not just financial freedom. However, it could be setting your sights on the end of a costly contract that you were unable to get out of or finding a way to enrol on a course you have wanted to do for many years which you know will result in a higher income and better job opportunities when you have finished it. You can discuss these things with StepChange and Citizens Advice too!
Being a company that is driven by psychological principles we understand and can empathise with the struggle associated with being in debt, although we often act on behalf of the creditor. We do not enjoy the thought that we might be seen as unapproachable due to the nature of our work and so we urge anybody that has related to this story and feels they want to discuss it in more detail to give us a call on 0182766820 or contact us at www.jspcreditmanagement.co.uk
We are still here to do a bit to businesses safeguard their cash flow against late payers or debtors that are refusing to pay, so if you have been struggling to get an invoice paid and would appreciate the support of a team that prides itself on operating in a way that is mindful of the above then visit our website at www.jspcreditmanagement.co.uk and contact us to discuss your needs. We operate on a no-win-no-fee basis for bad debt recovery and our credit control and credit risk services can be ordered via our website with the littlest of hassle.