After everything I’ve said about talking to people, it may seem strange to now start talking about ignoring people but it is a fact that, when it comes to finances, there are some people who are better off ignored.
Those pursuing debt with threatening behavior
We are all struggling and it can’t be pleasant for anyone to be chasing money which they are expecting, relying on, or feel is due to them, but no one has the right to threaten or abuse you regardless.
Some of the big companies I owed money to sold the debt on to smaller companies for a fraction of the balance due. Having bought the right to pursue the full balance from me at a fraction of the cost, I found a lot of these companies to be very abrasive in their first approach to me for repayment. Threats included severe court action or one of their agents visiting my home to recover the debt.
As long as you have taken good advice and are already meeting your legal responsibilities related to the debt, you need not fear such additional threats. Such actions are not legal and they can’t be pursued.
Companies offering ‘bad credit’ loans
No matter how bad our finances or borrowing, there are always some companies willing to lend. A general rule of thumb however is that the more they are willing to lend, the higher the interest they are going to demand on repayment.
Consolidation loans — the practice of taking out a loan to pay off a number of, or all, your existing debt — are a risky strategy at the best of times but borrowing on high-interest loans simply makes the problem worse in the long term.
Even when your finances are good, it’s always worth considering any company which offers you credit with caution. Remember they are in the business of selling money to you at a profit and they may be more motivated by making the sale than they are concerned for your financial wellbeing.
I’ve been sold on suddenly being able to afford a holiday I never thought I could and then took on the extra debt with little regard for the fact that I never asked to go on a holiday in the first place. Our finances are difficult enough to manage just to get what we need and some of the things we want without someone else selling us finance for things we hadn’t even thought about.
Judgemental friends and acquaintances
This frequently comes up on social media, and these people should be either blocked or ignored where possible. It is far too common these days for people to make a judgment based on the smallest of details and regardless of whether the information they have is true or not.
Remember that when you are experiencing financial difficulties, the very infrastructure supporting the life of you and your family is in doubt. The last thing you need is ill-informed attacks affecting what will undoubtedly be a very fragile frame of mind.
I won’t pretend to be clever enough to advise on how to spot all of the many scams going around in today’s world. These people are far more clever than I am but it is worth acknowledging they are there and understanding that we should ignore anything which arouses our suspicions.
I was recently tempted by lots of ads offering that for a mere investment of £250 in a household name company, I would be jumping on a get-rich-quick bandwagon with my return being many times the size of my investment over as little as three months. Fortunately, I knew the company involved and looked at their past 12 months’ financial performance. This suggested that any gains would have been a fraction of what had been advertised and the risks would be significant.
My junk email folder is often full of emails informing me of lottery wins or huge amounts of money that someone wants to give me for some reason or another. It’s unlikely that you’ve won $1M in a lottery and especially a lottery that you never entered in the first place. Similarly, kind old ladies and foreign bank officials asking to transfer several million into your bank account are also unlikely to be genuine.
As they say, if it’s too good to be true, it probably isn’t.