Home > Managing Debt > How a Support System Can Help You Get Out of Debt Faster

Comments 1 Comment

What do you think of when you hear the word “debt”? Do the words “frustrated”, “shameful” or “hopeless” describe how you feel about your situation? As someone who’s working to get out of debt myself, I can attest to all of those feelings and more. So now what if we flip the script? How about we change the words to “understanding”, “acceptance” and “manageable”? How can we do that?

The road to getting out of debt can be long and bumpy. Even those with a specific plan to get out of debt will experience emotional setbacks at times. While things like having a budget can make you feel in control, what will empower you when you have moments of denial, anger or sadness? Only a strong support system can help with that. I know that most people would rather not admit they have debt, but I’m going to talk about how sharing your story and creating a support system can help you stay motivated and get out of debt faster.

You Won’t Have to Go it Alone

Nearly everyone has debt. Between credit cards, car loans, student loans and mortgages, living a debt-free lifestyle is not an easy thing to accomplish. Add lifestyle inflation and the temptation to keep up with the Joneses and it just got harder. Why am I bringing this up? Because it’s proof that we should all let go of any shame we might feel for having debt. You are not alone so why not band together and work through this with people you trust? By eliminating the idea that no one has debt or should talk about it, you are taking the first step to accepting and fixing your financial situation.

You Can Seek Help from Someone Who’s Been There

Once you admit to your loved ones that you have debt, they’ll probably start sharing their own debt stories with you. That means there could be people in your inner circle who have gone through this before and can help you either make a plan to get out of it or simply understand the emotions you’ll feel. Even the strongest planners can have moments of despair — especially if the debt payoff process is a long one. By keeping someone in your corner who understands the emotions you’ll face, you won’t have to face them alone. That means you’re more likely to get over the hump faster and stay on track.

You’ll Have an Accountability Buddy

Have you ever had a weight loss or fitness goal? Did you tell your friends about it? It’s a lot easier to go to the gym at 6 a.m. if you know your buddy is there waiting for you. The same applies to debt. By telling your loved ones about your debt and plan to eliminate it, they can hold you accountable to your goals. That’s not to say they should or will judge you if you experience a setback. That just means they can encourage you and keep you motivated. To ensure that this is the case, only tell people you trust and who will keep your best interests in mind.

Think about it, if it’s a cold winter day and your alarm is going off, you’re much likely to hit the snooze button if there’s no one waiting for you at the gym. Now what if you have an emotional setback with your debt payoff plan? You’re much more likely to get through it if you have someone to talk you through it than you would if you’re bearing the burden on your own.

You’ll Have Someone to Celebrate Your Successes With

Staying motivated to pay off debt can be difficult for many reasons. One of the most common reasons is that it just takes longer than we’d like. Because of this, you should celebrate milestones you reach along the way. So you paid off half of your first credit card? Don’t keep that to yourself. Let your friends and family know so they can celebrate this great achievement with you. Then you can ride that motivation on to pay off the rest of that credit card. Keep this up and you might find that the celebration of becoming debt-free comes sooner than you expected.

You May Be Able to Help Others Later

The great thing about going through this with your support system is that once you start reaching success, others in your group may seek you out for advice and motivation. What could be more motivating than knowing that you’re actually helping others through the same thing? If you tend to be hard on yourself then you might not even realize how far you’ve come until others show you by seeking you out for guidance.

It’s not easy to admit to those around us that we have debt. Honestly, it’s not even easy to admit it to ourselves. But there’s no reason to ever feel embarrassed or ashamed — especially since debt has become so prevalent in our society. The more we talk about it and work through it together, the more others will do the same. Soon enough we may all be living in a debt-free society — or at least one less burdened by debt.

Image: Henry Tseng, via Flickr

Comments on articles and responses to those comments are not provided or commissioned by a bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by a bank advertiser. It is not a bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Please note that our comments are moderated, so it may take a little time before you see them on the page. Thanks for your patience.

Certain credit cards and other financial products mentioned in this and other sponsored content on Credit.com are Partners with Credit.com. Credit.com receives compensation if our users apply for and ultimately sign up for any financial products or cards offered.

Hello, Reader!

Thanks for checking out Credit.com. We hope you find the site and the journalism we produce useful. We wanted to take some time to tell you a bit about ourselves.

Our People

The Credit.com editorial team is staffed by a team of editors and reporters, each with many years of financial reporting experience. We’ve worked for places like the New York Times, American Banker, Frontline, TheStreet.com, Business Insider, ABC News, NBC News, CNBC and many others. We also employ a few freelancers and more than 50 contributors (these are typically subject matter experts from the worlds of finance, academia, politics, business and elsewhere).

Our Reporting

We take great pains to ensure that the articles, video and graphics you see on Credit.com are thoroughly reported and fact-checked. Each story is read by two separate editors, and we adhere to the highest editorial standards. We’re not perfect, however, and if you see something that you think is wrong, please email us at editorial team [at] credit [dot] com,

The Credit.com editorial team is committed to providing our readers and viewers with sound, well-reported and understandable information designed to inform and empower. We won’t tell you what to do. We will, however, do our best to explain the consequences of various actions, thereby arming you with the information you need to make decisions that are in your best interests. We also write about things relating to money and finance we think are interesting and want to share.

In addition to appearing on Credit.com, our articles are syndicated to dozens of other news sites. We have more than 100 partners, including MSN, ABC News, CBS News, Yahoo, Marketwatch, Scripps, Money Magazine and many others. This network operates similarly to the Associated Press or Reuters, except we focus almost exclusively on issues relating to personal finance. These are not advertorial or paid placements, rather we provide these articles to our partners in most cases for free. These relationships create more awareness of Credit.com in general and they result in more traffic to us as well.

Our Business Model

Credit.com’s journalism is largely supported by an e-commerce business model. Rather than rely on revenue from display ad impressions, Credit.com maintains a financial marketplace separate from its editorial pages. When someone navigates to those pages, and applies for a credit card, for example, Credit.com will get paid what is essentially a finder’s fee if that person ends up getting the card. That doesn’t mean, however, that our editorial decisions are informed by the products available in our marketplace. The editorial team chooses what to write about and how to write about it independently of the decisions and priorities of the business side of the company. In fact, we maintain a strict and important firewall between the editorial and business departments. Our mission as journalists is to serve the reader, not the advertiser. In that sense, we are no different from any other news organization that is supported by ad revenue.

Visitors to Credit.com are also able to register for a free Credit.com account, which gives them access to a tool called The Credit Report Card. This tool provides users with two free credit scores and a breakdown of the information in their Experian credit report, updated twice monthly. Again, this tool is entirely free, and we mention that frequently in our articles, because we think that it’s a good thing for users to have access to data like this. Separate from its educational value, there is also a business angle to the Credit Report Card. Registered users can be matched with products and services for which they are most likely to qualify. In other words, if you register and you find that your credit is less than stellar, Credit.com won’t recommend a high-end platinum credit card that requires an excellent credit score You’d likely get rejected, and that’s no good for you or Credit.com. You’d be no closer to getting a product you need, there’d be a wasted inquiry on your credit report, and Credit.com wouldn’t get paid. These are essentially what are commonly referred to as "targeted ads" in the world of the Internet. Despite all of this, however, even if you never apply for any product, the Credit Report Card will remain free, and none of this will impact how the editorial team reports on credit and credit scores.

Your Stories

Lastly, much of what we do is informed by our own experiences as well as the experiences of our readers. We want to tell your stories if you’re interested in sharing them. Please email us at story ideas [at] credit [dot] com with ideas or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.

Thanks for stopping by.

- The Credit.com Editorial Team