Debt is personal. It’s a problem that most American families deal with quietly. Debt is also painful. It piles up quickly and blocks many from achieving their financial goals, month after month. But debt doesn’t have to be a burden.
We sat down with Thrivent Federal Union experts to shed light on some of the issues that Christians face when it comes to debt. Whether you’re a TCU member or not, anyone can sign up for a free debt consultation, though some feel nervous to take that first step. Our main take away? You’re not alone.
In our Q&A below, we shed light on:
- The initial concerns many people have when it comes to debt.
- What you can do about it.
- The plans you should put in place to start reducing your debt.
Q: What are some of the biggest concerns people have when they sit down to begin their debt consultation?
A: Most of the people who we work with are embarrassed about their financial situations. They think they’re going to be judged. What they don’t know is that we’re not here to judge anyone. We’re here to help and we keep everything they tell us in strict confidence.
Q: What’s the most common fear people face when they speak with you?
A: That there’s nothing they can do. They’re in over their head and they’ll never be able to climb out of their debt. We can’t fix their debt for them, but we can refer them to services and free products that can help them get their spending and saving back on track. Many people think they’re ineligible to borrow money because of bad credit. They don’t realize that there are still options to explore, like co-borrowing and other solutions.
Q: What is one myth most consumers have when it comes to dealing with their debt?
A: That they don’t have any options. People don’t realize that they have collateral they can use to help them get ahead. We do everything in our power to ask the right questions and find solutions. Even if we can’t help with a loan, we have other resources available for them.
Q: If you could give one piece of advice to readers when it comes to debt, what would it be?
A: Everyone needs a budget and everyone needs to know where their money is going. That’s the biggest struggle people have, and it applies to everyone regardless of social status. We treat everyone equally. The bottom line: We’re here to help our members with their finances.
Q: How can people best prepare for a debt consultation?
A: We can best help you if you know what your main debt issues are. We suggest answering the questions below prior to your consultation:
- Where are you at when it comes to your money? Do you know how much you spend, save and give?
- How much debt do you have? List your debts on paper before you schedule your consultation.
- What are the monthly payments and interest rates that go along with those debts?
- Finally, what is your goal? Are you trying to get out of debt sooner, increase cash flow or decrease interest rates overall?