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Are Your Friends Judging Your Debt? Tips to Help You Avoid Social Stigma

Posted By:  |  September 9, 2014  |  0 Comment(s)

friends and bankruptcy

Did you know that the word bankruptcy dates back 500 years and may have been derived from the Italian term banca rotta, or broken bench? For whatever reason, there is still a negative association with the term – and many people are dismayed to find themselves in the situation at all, let alone having to explain to friends and family exactly what’s going on with their financials. However, the fact of the matter is that the American middle-class is seeking bankruptcy protection in greater numbers than ever before (Not to say that this is right or wrong, we’re just stating the facts). Income and job security for homeowners are at a 10-year low. Banks are becoming less willing to extend further credit in the current economic climate. It is no wonder that debt issues are affecting more consumers than ever before, given the economic conditions we live in. The best way to avoid social stigma among friends and families is to provide information that shows why your debt-restructuring plan is a healthy and viable way to manage debt.

Be Upfront With Your Debt Issues

When talking to family especially, you may wish to explain the situation of your debt. Being upfront and transparent with your financial condition may actually remove the assumption that you are simply incapable of managing your budget. Many Americans are suffering due to employment crisis, medical expenses and the housing market collapse. While these factors may be out of your control, you can take responsibility for how you will respond. Family may be part of your solution, whether it is extending further credit to you or helping to pay down a negotiated settlement. Being upfront will provide accurate information and dispel assumptions.

Remember That You’re Not Alone

In the old days, filing for bankruptcy protection would mean that your name would be quickly broadcast in the newspapers. Luckily, that sort of public shaming is no longer in fashion. Perhaps this is because such a great number of consumers are filing for protection in the US, and many workers are being put out of a job. Job loss and debt problems are becoming commonplace. Economic downturns are affecting everyone, but there are many helpful services that can begin a credit repair program and help you to find unique solutions to your situation. The best way to dispel the stigma of debt problems is to begin a plan to solve them. We are not defined by our problems, but by the way in which we deal with them.

Rethinking The Meaning Of Bankruptcy

In the UK at present, there is actually a push to rename and alter the meaning of “bankrupt.” Because of the negative stigma that is attached to it, Tory MP Brooks Newmark is fighting to encourage the use of the term “debt adjustment.” Regardless of whether this is a solution or merely an issue of semantics, it does bring to the foreground the issue of emotions that are connected to the word “bankruptcy” – and there is a lesson to be learned. If you find the work “bankruptcy” unsettling, use a different term – it will help to alleviate some of the stigma around the term itself.

It isn’t productive to judge others or for those affected by debt to feel shame. Instead, friends and family should be there to support and alleviate the suffering of those who are facing bankruptcy. Removing the stigma is a combination of informing those around you about the facts and seeking professional help. With determination, hard work and some assistance, you can climb out of debt and create a brighter financial future.


  • How important is it to you for a debt consolidation company to offer financial education resources?
  • Takes your existing debt and try to settle with your creditors for a lower amount. If you pay off the settled amount, your debt will be considered paid in full.
  • Negotiates with your creditors on your behalf.
  • Fee based on a percentage of your total starting debt or a percentage of the debt they save you.
  • Most settlement companies have you create a separate "escrow" account where you will make monthly contributions over a certain amount of time to contribute to your settlement. Once there is a substantial amount of funds to show your creditors, the settlement company will try to negotiate a lower amount of debt.
  • Combines all your debts and creditors into one monthly payment.
  • Allows you to pay one monthly payment to the consolidation company, instead of multiple payments to different creditors.
  • You no longer owe your original creditors; instead you pay one monthly payment to your consolidation company.
  • Consolidation companies can help negotiate lower interest rates on your debts and help lower your total debt payment in the long run. A lower interest rate will lower the amount you owe in the end.
  • Allows you to consolidate all your different debts into one personal loan that can be paid off over time.
  • Can offer borrowers a lower interest rate with a longer payback term (compared to high-interest credit cards or medical bills). This will lower the amount of money required to pay off the loan over time.
  • Personal loan debt consolidation can be an effective way to raise your credit score quickly (within 3-6 months).
  • Borrowers can receive funds from their loan within only a few days.

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