Financial Help for Gamblers: How to Pay Off Debts
Fri, Aug 19, 2022
Photo by Drew Rae: https://www.pexels.com/photo/person-playing-poker-1871508/
Gambling addiction can lead to various problems, not the least of which is financial in nature. When you run out of money and still can’t satisfy your craving to bet, you might start borrowing more than what you can pay back.
According to the National Center for Responsible Gaming (NCRG), about 1% of adults in the United States have a severe gambling problem. What’s more troubling is that about 6% to 9% of young individuals—a much higher rate than adults—experience gambling-related issues.
The road to recovery isn’t easy, but one essential thing you must do is to pay off your debts. Suppose you need professional assistance that provides maximum debt relief at a low program cost. In that case, this site provides a free consultation.
How do you start paying off your gambling debt? What options do you have when you need help paying off your debt? Are there other ways to overcome gambling addiction?
This article discusses how gamblers can develop a plan to pay off their gambling debts. It also discusses how gamblers can overcome gambling addiction and get their finances back in order.
Developing a Plan to Pay Off Gambling Debt
Gambling debt isn’t different from other kinds of debt. Simply put, you owe one or more individuals or creditors money and must establish a plan to pay them back.
Perhaps some gamblers find it hard to get out of debt even after recovering from their addiction because they haven’t developed a concrete plan to settle their debts. This scenario is likely to happen, especially if the amount owed is quite big.
For individuals who find it difficult to establish a plan to pay off their gambling debt, one suggestion is to contact a credit counselor from a nonprofit debt management agency.
Credit counselors can help debt-ridden gamblers develop a budget and work to reduce credit card interest rates. This process can take some time, so the family and friends of a gambler must be patient while waiting for successful results.
To make your debt payment plan manageable, you should consider doing the following activities:
● List down who and how much you owe: Write down everyone you owe money from and how much you owe them. This list of creditors includes, but is not limited to, the following:
○ Relatives and friends
○ Credit cards and overdrawn bank accounts
○ Bookies and casinos
○ Personal loans and home equity loans
○ Loan sharks
● Create a budget: Even with a solid debt payment plan, don’t forget that you still have other things to spend on, such as monthly bills and living expenses.
If your income isn’t enough to pay all those costs, you’ll need more income or rewrite your payment plan to fit your budget.
● Pay off as much debt as you reasonably can: You might need to sell valuables like gadgets, jewelry, furniture, or memorabilia. However, if you have a car you use to get to work, don’t sell that vehicle.
Afterward, pay off what you can right away. Interests can increase significantly the longer you wait, putting you in a more complicated situation, especially with loan sharks.
● Get a second job: Talking about additional income, another way to get out of debt is finding a second job, preferably one that provides steady and predictable income. Get a part-time job and use the money you earn from it to pay your gambling debt.
● Consolidate your debt: The basic principle of debt consolidation is taking out a large loan to pay off the smaller debts. This way, you’ll have only one creditor to pay.
One option to consolidate debt is through credit cards. If you choose this option, look for one that offers 0% interest for at least a year.
Another option is to enroll in a debt management program. This program takes over your credit card debt payment and helps lower your interest rates.
Options That Can Help Pay Off Gambling Debt
Once you’ve decided to quit gambling and get your finances back in order, consider contacting a nonprofit credit counseling agency. Its professionals can review your finances and help you develop a get-out-of-debt plan.
These agencies offer several debt payment options, including the following:
● Credit counseling: Nonprofit credit counseling agencies typically offer a free consultation service.
This service means the counselors can review your income and expenses, free of charge, to help you establish an affordable budget to pay off debt. These counselors can also suggest programs to help with your debt payment plan.
● Debt management program: This program can lower your credit card’s interest rate to free up extra money and help pay off your debt.
● Debt settlement: This option involves negotiating with your creditors that you will pay less than what you owe on your credit card debt.
This option usually aims to reduce your debt by 50%. While this outcome occurs in some cases, the result is often a 25% net reduction after late payments and fees.
Other Ways to Overcome Gambling Addiction
You’re more likely to succeed in paying off your debt if you address your gambling addiction first. The following are some ways to manage your gambling addiction:
● Join a support group for individuals with gambling problems.
● Avoid the temptation to gamble, such as taking an alternate route home instead of passing by a casino.
● Find alternatives to gambling, such as exercise, meditation, or traveling.
● Think of the consequences, such as potential financial difficulties you might put your family through.
● Seek treatment through professional counselors or therapists.
Gamblers might find it challenging to deal with their addiction by themselves. If you or someone close to you is struggling with gambling, getting treated for the said addiction is necessary.
Having a strong and reliable support system is also crucial in helping you return to the right mindset.
If you believe you have gambling addiction or know someone who has, contact the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) hotline at 1-800-522-4700. The NCPG provides help 24/7 and keeps all information 100% confidential.
1. Gambling Disorders
2. National Problem Gambling Hotline