The biggest problem in our country today regarding facing debt is just that. People are afraid to admit (or face) the fact that they have a debt problem to being with. Naturally, most people are embarrassed or afraid of getting themselves in this situation to begin with. In addition, there are not many places you can turn to for help, as the stigma of “being in debt” is not something we freely share with friends and family members. That is why debt negotiation companies or IRS enrolled agents are welcome friends to those who find themselves in a debt predicament.
The United States government, on the other hand, does not face this problem. In fact they even have a web site that tracks how much debt they do have. This web site is actually quite amazing as you can get a real live snapshot of the nation’s debt and just how bad it is. You can view it by clicking here.
Did you know for example that:
· The US Debt as of this writing is approaching $17 trillion dollars!
· Medicare/Medicaid is currently in debt for $850 billion dollars and counting!
· Social Security is currently at $807 billion dollars in debt and counting!
· How about the interest on our debt? That alone is approaching $3 trillion dollars!
· What about Americans living below the poverty level…50.5 million!
· Americans receiving food stamp subsidies…almost 48 million!
The numbers go on and yes, these are truly unbelievable numbers, however you do not have to believe me, just look at the US Debt Clock. It is all right there.
However, what about our own personal debt? Unfortunately we live in a culture that still produces advertisements that submit to the buy now, pay later attitude. This can be seen anywhere from cell (smart) phones to automobiles and trucks. In fact, just last week the auto industry announced it largest increase in prices for automobiles and trucks in the past decade. Not only are people paying more for their vehicles, they are purchasing all the extras that go along with them, such as GPS systems, extra maintenance programs even having specialty paint for their vehicles (only an extra $49 a month) they tell you. However times 60 months, the average loan for a vehicle, and that turns out to be over $2,900!
Then there is the credit card evolution. The total credit card debt in America today is estimated to be approximately $850 billion of debt, more than the entire Social Security debt which “is not supposed to be around by 2020.” Student loans are now higher than credit cards coming in at $994 billion and finally mortgages, which comes to $7.8 trillion in debt. It is no wonder the federal government wanted to take over the student loan business, especially when the current rates on student loans equals 7.9%. What percentage of that is ever going to be paid back? In fact, last year (2012) alone, the average student graduated from college with a debt load of $35,000. I personally can attest to that having had a daughter graduate from a 4-year college last year.
Once again, the biggest problem facing debt today is in fact facing it. Whether it is over a nasty divorce which may have led to a spending spree; trying to help out an elderly parent; or for most people the loss of a job or a cut back in hours they are able to work. Again, just last week the federal government told us that America has over 90 million people who are no longer in the labor force. Compare that with the 144 million people who are in the work force, and you can see that close to 63% of the total work force in America today is not working!
Naturally, automation and the ever increasing use of companies using voice recognition technology have replaced over half of those jobs, however what about the other 45 million jobs? Is our economy really that bad or are that many people retiring each year? If you look at the debt clock, it would appear that more people than ever are relying on the U.S. Government to help them get by.
The good news for those with credit card debt is the ability to use a debt settlement services program, whereby companies such as Nationwide Debt Reduction can negotiate and settle their debt for a fraction of what they owe, instead of having to file for bankruptcy. Every day, more and more people are graduating from these types of programs, perhaps learning a hard lesson as well, however better educated than ever about falling into “the debt trap” again. Not only that, being completely free from credit card debt allows the person to possibly use those monies allocated to their credit card debt to now pay down on some of their other debt, such as making two mortgage payments per month instead of just one as one example.
There are a number of advantages to getting out of debt. The problem again is facing the fact that you need help in the first place!