I forgot all I needed to do was stand up!

Many people have a fear of drowning.  They get near water and all they can think about is going under.  I was at the beach recently and saw the tide come in on a person who was sleeping. Why a person who has an irrational fear of drowning would sleep close to the water I have yet to understand.  Perhaps it was a suggestion by his therapist.  When the water washed over him he panicked and started to flail.  Someone close to him grabbed him and helped him to his feet.  It seems like the solution should have been a simple task he could figure out for himself, right?  The problem was that he was paralyzed with fear and couldn’t move.

So what does this have to do with credit?  I thought you’d never ask!  When you feel overwhelmed with your credit issues, it can feel like drowning.  The weight keeps you from standing up and taking charge of the problem.    It paralyzes you with fear.    The first thing I’d like to point out is that debtor’s prisons do not exist in the United States.  If you haven’t committed fraud you aren’t going to be deep sixed into Davy Jones’ locker.

All the great movies on irrational fears tell you to face them.   This is harder than it looks, especially if you have a trash bag full of unopened mail from creditors or a folder with every bill you haven’t paid.   The first step to curing this fear is to sort the bills by creditor and then throw out all but the most recent one.  This same rule applies to the letters from collectors.  Thinning the pile down is the first step toward standing up.  The next step is to look at your income.  Is your income sufficient to pay the bills or do you need a budget?  Have you lost income and don’t know what to do next?  In either case a good credit consultant can help you create a budget and give you all the options available.  Once you have the information, together you can create a strategy for going forward.   When you have a plan for what to do, your fear of drowning lessens and you will be able to stand up!