The future is yours. After a financial meltdown, there are several steps to take. The first step is the hardest. The first step to recovery requires insight into the problem of debt.
If you went through a financial disaster, then you should be angry. You are angry at yourself, your spouse, and your work place. You are angry at a business plan that did not work. The telephone collection calls are terrible. You feel guilty. To get past the failure, forgive everyone. Forgiveness is not for them, it is a tool to stop a financial failure from dictating your future. Forgive, so that you can be free. A little history may help.
Start the process with reading some history. It begins with Moses, who thousands of years ago, said, “At the end of 7 years, you must cancel debts.” Holy Bible, Deuteronomy 15:1. You read it, but you missed the point. Read it again. It did not say, “Forgive the debts after beating up the guy who cannot pay what he owes.” It did not require that a person make no mistakes. It did not demand a confession of sins or hand wringing. There is no qualification to cancelling all the debts; there is only forgiveness of the debt. This translates into modern American life.
The United States of America has a Bankruptcy law and code, and its inspiration came from Moses. The law prevents Americans from wearing the badge of slavery over money problems. It means a financial failure does not dictate your future. There are 2 points to this history lesson.
The first point is that relief is available to any American wearing the badge of slavery because of money. Hospital bills, credit card bills, and the Sears’ bill are all included. The second point is that financial failures have happened since Moses left Egypt and went into the desert. The best way to say this is, “Things happen. It has always been so. Do not beat yourself up. Get on with your life.” It is time to take concrete steps.
It is time to say, “I do not know where I am going, but I am not going back.” You are not going back to financial failure; you are going into a new and better future.
Go to a Credit Union
When you get your paycheck, go talk to a loan officer at a credit union or small bank. Tell the officer the facts, that you are getting started again, and that you will need a car loan in the future. Ask the officer, “What will you do when I apply for a car loan next year?” Some will say, “We will never make you a loan.” Some will say, “Let’s see how you do. We can consider a loan in the future.” Find a credit union or bank that will consider making a loan next year, if your finances are in order.
Make deposits in person
Do not make deposits at the drive-through window or at a grocery store. Those bank officers are nice people, but they do not make loans. When you find a friendly credit union, make all your deposits in person, in the main office. Let the officer see you come in, and talk to the officer about football or something, on your way out the door. Not a long talk, just say “Hi. What’s going on?” People make loans to people they know. Give the officer time to get to know you. Give it time.
Ask for a loan
When you come in to ask for a loan, you will fill out an application. You will be asked about the collateral and its value. You will be told that your application will be taken to the loan committee. But know this: as you leave, the loan officer will press a button on his computer. He will then see if you are running overdrafts. He will see if you are taking care of business. Do not have any overdrafts. Do not have a history of being late on payments.
Credit cards, debit cards and small loans
Credit cards, debit cards and small loans were never the problem; they were the symptoms of the problem. The problem was that you were 6 feet tall and standing in a swamp in 10 feet of water. Drain the swamp.
Tell the person that you love, who spends too much money, “No, we don’t spend money that way any more.” If you still have a credit card, put it up for emergency use only.
If you cannot make the car payment, then sell the car, or let it go.
If you cannot make the house payment, then sell the house, or let it go.
Cut loose whatever is holding you under the water.
If you cannot cut things loose, talk to a lawyer about a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
You control your financial future. Past financial failures do not dictate the future. Come to grips with your personal feelings. Take concrete steps. If you doubt this, then use Google and read about Henry Ford. He declared bankruptcy and started over. He did okay. The future is yours. It is time to get started.