For problem gamblers, developing gambling debt is almost inevitable. People who develop gambling disorders find it extremely difficult to stop, even when they should, and thus tend to borrow money from friends, family, or banks to fuel their gambling addiction in an attempt to recoup their losses by continuing to gamble.
Although gambling debt can be detrimental to a happy life, its most important characteristic is that it can be reversed and, with some work, dealt with. In this article, we show you seven steps that will help you deal with gambling debt.
1. Stop Gambling: Seek Help First
The first step that you need to take, as well as the most difficult one, is not to gamble anymore. Little will it matter if you reduce your gambling debt but don’t fix the core of the issues, as more debt will eventually pile up.
Even if you can’t quit outright, it’s essential to begin fixing your gambling disorder in parallel to reducing your debt. Be sure to get help to do this, as people with a gambling debt are unlikely to manage to quit independently.
The team of experts of The Casino Wizard recommends contacting organizations like the Responsible Gambling Foundation, the Gambling Therapy support groups, or the Be Gamble Aware support line if you need help.
2. Limit How Easy You Can Access Your Money
Being unable to access your money for gambling purposes is the best way to prevent more debt from piling up and protecting your assets. Exclude yourself from online casinos, set up limits to your accounts in online casinos, and use browser extensions to prevent yourself from accessing betting websites.
Seek help from your friends and family to help you achieve this. It’s challenging to do so on your own if you have a gambling addiction.
3. Make A Payment Plan Based On Your Income
Payment plans are the best methods to quickly put into practice and effectively reduce your gambling debt, be it little by little or altogether, depending on how much cash you have at your disposal. These are some of the steps to be taken as you aim to construct a competent payment plan:
- Determine how much money you earn per month and understand the extent of your debts before making a payment plan;
- Destine a percentage of your disposable income into debt payments. Try to pay an amount that is at least the minimum required to prevent more debt from piling up;
- Use refinancing tools, if you’re able to, to prevent interest from eating up your repayments.
You can use the ArrestYourDebt.com financial calculator if you need a tool to help you make a payment plan quickly and easily.
4. Enroll In A Debt Management Program
Debt management programs help you deal with outstanding debt by making one monthly payment to the institution that provides debt management assistance. These programs allow you to pay large sums of money back to whoever you owe them to, with the added benefit of being able to do so at what likely will be lower interest rates than those imposed by your bank.
5. Put Your Finances In The Right Place
Dealing with gambling debt will be much easier once you’ve consolidated your financial stability. This may lead to a catch-22 situation where it may seem impossible to have a healthy financial life while still in debt, but it’s not impossible. The aforementioned debt management programs or simply limiting your leisure expenditure could help you be in a much better financial spot, even if you’re still in debt.
You will have to compromise and stop spending money on things you like, but it will lead to a better future for yourself and your family.
6. Set Your Payment Priorities Straight
It’s crucial to determine who you need to pay first. For example, if you’re indebted to a bank where interest rates and penalties will likely increase your debt, you may want to deal with such debt first. The same goes for any potential loan sharks you may have contacted: if you’ve signed contracts that could lead to additional debt, you may need to repay them before dealing with other issues.
Should you owe money to friends and family, as well as those mentioned above, speak to them and let them know your intention to pay them back and your repayment priorities.
7. Work And Keep Your Head Up
Last but not least, never give up midway through the repayment process. Dealing with gambling debt will likely be overwhelming, but it’s far from impossible. Having the right people around you to support you during the process and continuing to work and be functional to bring the income necessary are both crucial to the debt dealing process.
Keep your head up: hard work will eventually lead to a debt-free life – even if things look bleak at first glance. You’ll get your head out of the water sooner rather than later.
Dealing With Gambling Debt Isn’t Impossible – The Journey Starts Now!
Although overwhelming, dealing with gambling debt will lead to you living a happier life and, hopefully, being able to outgrow your gambling addiction. There’s no better time to start dealing with your gambling debt than right now: pick yourself up, follow the advice we’ve provided in this article, and embark on a journey towards a debt-free life!