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Not only can an addiction be harmful for your mental and physical health, but it can also be detrimental to your relationships with people and with money. Many people who suffer from an addiction also suffer from crippling debt, be it due to funding their addiction or as an integral part of the addiction itself, like with shopping or gambling. Regardless of what your addiction is, your financial instability will only make recovery harder. So to help those who have problems with both debt and addiction, here are three tips for getting out of debt that may have been caused by addiction.

Get Credit Counseling

Once you’re ready to begin recovering from your addiction, it’s time to start getting all other areas of your life back on track as well, including your finances. However, simply attempting to pay off debts won’t do you much good if you don’t understand money or have a healthy relationship with managing your money. To help with this, recommends meeting with a credit counselor. This person is someone whose job it is to help those struggling with managing their money and their credit. They can help you learn ways to be better with your money, create a plan for paying back your debts, and teach you ways to further improve your credit. Just be careful not to work with anyone who asks for too much money upfront for this service, as it’s almost always free or very inexpensive.

Communicate With Your Creditors

After you’ve figured out your own plan for paying back your creditors, you need to communicate this plan to those creditors. While you might not be able to pay back as much as they want at the pace in which they want, writes that lenders just want to get their money back somehow. So as long as you have a plan and are working toward making those payments consistently, your creditors will hopefully understand that any progress is better than no progress at all. When speaking with your creditors, you may even be able to negotiate your debt for a smaller amount under certain conditions of repayment, so consider all your options here.

When To Consider Bankruptcy

If you just have too much debt that you feel it would be impossible to pay it all back, you may want to consider filing for bankruptcy. However, this should always be a last resort and not a first option. Erica Sandberg, a contributor to, writes that even after declaring bankruptcy, not all debts will be completely wiped clean, like child support or alimony payments. So before you turn down this course of action, make sure you’ve exhausted all other paths and feel confident that bankruptcy will be best for your financial future.

If you’re recovering from an addiction and are working toward paying off your debt, use the tips mentioned above to help you do so as soon as possible.

Andy McGowan
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