If you have gambling debt and want some ways and tips to help you, this article is a must read!
It reveals a lot of ways and tips that can help anyone with their gambling debt problem.
Dealing with Gambling Debt? You are Not Alone!
According to Bankrate, the average indebtedness of American is $92,727.
This figure represents all incurred debt by an individual which can include credit card balances, mortgages, student loans, auto loans, etc.
First, this company has paid $25+ million to members:
Trying to find a silver lining with indebtedness as it relates to consumer debt, at least an individual has something to show for what was purchased.
However, there is one debt that has nothing to show for those negative account balances reflected in credit cards, personal loans, consolidated loans, etc.
That devastating indebtedness is gambling debt.
There may be as many as 23,000,000 Americans who are challenged with a gambling compulsion.
It is also estimated that these individuals are burdened financial in the amount of $55,000 per person.
That is a lot of money with nothing to show for it monetarily.
However, there may be an education that has been purchased with this money and perhaps it’s time to put that education to work, pay off one’s debts, and reclaim one’s life.
I was in debt.
Based on my salary it was significant debt.
I too, had made some bad decisions and my situation seemed to be hopeless and was definitely overwhelming.
However, with the wonderful help of my spouse and her encouragement, I was able to utilize Christian Credit Card Counseling who negotiated on my behalf terms that allowed me to pay back my debt.
My wife encouraged me time and time again by reminding me that the whole that I had dug for myself had occurred one shovelful at a time.
Consequently, it would take one shovelful at a time to dig myself back out of the hole.
Being released from the mire of indebtedness did not happen overnight.
However, 7 committed years later, I was free both financially and mentally.
Gambling is Prevalent
In regards to getting help with gambling debt, it is important to be knowledgeable and understand the pervasiveness of gambling in America.
Some of those locations and opportunities to gamble include card clubs, casinos (American Indian and commercial) sports betting, horseracing, Internet gambling, fantasy sports leagues, State lotteries and horse racing.
Understanding the availability and the importance gambling plays in America is important to understand in order to help one with their gambling debt.
6 Traps That Make Gambling Debt Worse
1. Checking Accounts
There are a variety of ways that an individual gambler can get a hold of money that can be used to wager and place bets.
The obvious financial account that an individual can draw upon is their checking account.
Often, casinos and other sites do their best to accommodate an individual who wishes to utilize all financial resources that they have with in their possession.
Additionally, even though a gambler may not have a debit card at a number of casinos there are opportunities to do electronic checks that the casino will honor as will your bank account.
The dangers of accessing the checking account are obvious. The possibilities of being overdrawn, bouncing checks, associated fees, all add to the gambler’s indebtedness.
2. Savings Accounts
Another account that’s accessible to gamblers to draw money from is there savings account.
This is a dangerous account to draw money from as well because savings are monies that are set aside in the event of an emergency.
Supporting once gambling habit does not constitute an emergency.
Therefore, the gambler accesses the savings account is jeopardizing the family’s well-being and future.
3. Retirement Accounts
A very dangerous account to draw money from is retirement accounts.
These could be IRAs, 401(k) s, or other retirement accounts.
Accessing these accounts to support one’s gambling is incredibly dangerous as it depletes one’s future financial security.
In addition, there are heavy fees and taxes associated with drawing money out of these accounts.
4. Credit Cards
Another dangerous pool of money that can be utilized is through one’s credit card.
Casinos do not typically allow an individual to charge their account to withdraw money to gamble with.
However, an individual can draw on their credit card any monies that may be available with cash advances.
Again, utilizing monies through advances offered by credit cards is extremely dangerous.
This danger is there are fees associated with cash advances. The interest on a cash advance is well above 24% or higher.
Gamblers, in addition to being desperate, can be very resourceful,
Often, they will juggle monies available on credit cards and do balance transfers which will allow one credit card to be paid off which may allow them to further draw money on that paid off account.
Additionally, some gamblers will take out a personal loan and pay off their credit cards and then continue gambling.
The balances on the cards soon return to pre-paid off balances.
6. Home Equity
Another available resource for an individual gambler who owns a home is to tap into their home equity.
If a home equity loan is taken out the loan payment adds to the monthly expense of the individual which may ultimately lead to the fund being unavailable to pay the monthly mortgage.
This may possibly lead to foreclosure.
As one can see, the snowball continues to roll and roll and gain momentum.
10 Tips to Help Get Out of Gambling Debt
1. Know That Gambling Is an Addiction
The first major step or tip in paying off a gambling debt is to have an honest and candid assessment of one’s actions demonstrated while gambling at a casino, racetrack, online, etc.
It is critical that the individual takes stock of their feelings and any compulsions they have in regards to gambling.
It is also important to identify the inability to stop gambling and be obsessed to frequent the various gambling locations.
The first tip to help with a gambling debt is to admit any gambling issues or potential addictions.
2. Seek Help
If an individual realizes that the problem has gotten out of hand and he or she is no longer in control, then they must seek help professionally in order to obtain counseling, and identify what drives them to these places of chance.
Also, it is not a one and done counseling session.
Similar to alcoholics anonymous, a gambler is never really cured of their compulsion.
Therefore they must continue to work a program that will keep them away from the sights, sounds, and gaming tables of a casino or other places of gambling.
Click here to learn more about getting help with gambling.
3. Personal Impact
To help with gambling debt, it is also important to be honest about the impact that the out-of-control gambling is having on those around him.
Gambling, unlike other diseases, not only affects the individual but spills over into the lives of those closest to him or her.
That impact is not only financial, but emotional and mental as what is experienced by the gambler is also experienced by those who care for that person gripped by gambling.
Any financial plan begins with a budget.
For a gambler who has indulged and continues to gamble the income from the household away, it is important to provide an accurate budget that reflects the income coming into the household as well as the debt.
The debt, should not only contain a line item that reflects the amounts paid on loans, but also should also reflect lines sub lines underneath the major expense line item of credit cards.
This will make it very clear, as reflected in your budget, as to where your money is going and to what individual credit card companies or loan companies are being paid.
Again, this company has paid $25+ million to members:
5. Clear Picture
As part of dealing with the gambling debt, it is important to get a clear picture of where you stand financially.
It is important to sit down, as painful as it may be, to take account of all of your debt that is associated with the gambling.
That means a listing of the balances of credit cards, and the personal and consolidated loans.
This is an important step towards getting control of your gambling debt as it may provide a stark wake-up call as to the reality of the situation and where the gambler stands financially.
6. Stop Spending
No one can make you quit gambling.
No threats from a spouse about leaving, no continuing calls from credit card companies or no well-meaning advice from those who care about you is going to make you stop gambling.
To stop gambling is your decision and your decision alone.
Therefore, the only way that you are ever going to get a handle on your indebtedness due to your gambling challenge is to stop gambling.
7. Credit Counselors
To help with your indebtedness, there are a number of personal financial counselors that are available to help you sort through your finances.
Some of these credit card counseling professionals can be utilized through not-for-profit agencies or on a professional and paid basis.
This is another opportunity that you can utilize and will help to emphasize the dire straits that you are most likely in financially in that a credit counselor’s advice is being sought.
Typically, a credit counselor will take a look at your income and your expenses and help you to devise a plan of action and provide solid advice.
If an individual has significant debt at a fairly high interest rate, an option to help alleviate gambling debt is through the use of consolidated loans.
A consolidated loan is offered by a financial institution that may loan you sufficient enough money to pay off a portion or all of your debt.
This can be extremely helpful if an individual is paying a high interest rate, and the consolidated loan rate is lower than what you are paying in total on your indebtedness.
In addition to offering a better interest rate, often the terms of the loan can be extended over a greater period of time which will allow for you to pay off that loan at a lower monthly payment than what you are spending in total for all of the other creditors.
9. Earn More Money
Another way that an individual can pay off their gambling debt is to work extra by taking on additional jobs.
These extra jobs can be done through Internet sites such as Upwork or taking on driving duties with such companies as Uber or UberEats or DoorDash.
Upwork.com connects individuals looking for work with people who need jobs to be done.
The site advertises for a variety of occupations, skills and talents and most likely something that matches what you can offer is being advertised.
The driving companies utilize drivers and as independent contractors these drivers use their vehicles to make deliveries for people and food as well as taxiing individuals around to various destinations.
The other added bonus of utilizing your time to earn additional income is that we it will keep you occupied.
Utilizing your spare time to earn extra money and positively occupying your thoughts rather than thinking of gambling.
A severe option in paying off your debt would be to declare bankruptcy.
Bankruptcy is a legal option in which the individual is saying to the court system that they are unable to repay their debts.
The two types of bankruptcy are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.
Chapter 7 is the court’s action of wiping out your debts.
Chapter 13 involves a payment plan.
A strategy that may help the individual who is owing money due to gambling is by looking at their budget and starting to pay what they can on those creditors that have the highest interest rate.
Another option is to take a creditor who you owe the least amount to and pay that off as quickly as possible.
In paying off higher interest rate creditor you are saving money by paying less interest.
By paying off lower balances and eliminating that debt it becomes an encouraging psychological action and helps to keep you motivated.
12. Debt Management Company
Another option for a gambler to pay off his debt is to turn over his or her finances to a debt management company.
In this financial arena there are both not profit not-for-profit as well as for-profit companies.
In essence what these companies do is assess your situation and then work with your creditors by renegotiating the debt and to encouraging the creditor to just take principal payments.
Through this action plan the debt is reduced because all of the payment is applied to the principal which expedites the reduction of debt.
A not-for-profit that it is extremely helpful is Christian Counseling and they work with the creditors and try to reduce the payments.
The contract calls for the person in debt to draw the money out of their checking account and the credit counseling company, on your behalf, pays your creditor each month.
With this particular counseling service there was no charge but a requested donation was encouraged.
13. Title Loan
Another loan option that the gambler may be qualified for is a title loan.
A title Loan Company will put a lien on your vehicle or if you own the vehicle a lien on the title.
They will loan you a set amount of money against that lien on your car.
You then would be able to use that loan to pay down outstanding balances associated with your creditors.
This in turn would help to free up a bit more money during the course of the month and that could be applied to the existing creditors.
Often the interest rate on these loans are high.
14. Personal Loan
Some financial institutions offer what is known as a personal loan.
A personal loan is based upon your credit rating and your verified monthly income.
A personal loan can be utilized to pay off some of your creditors and again help to relieve some of the stress associated with available money during the course of the month.
Other Interesting Articles To Consider:
- Difference and Similarities Between Speculation and Gambling
- Difference and Similarities Between Investing and Gambling
Gambling Debt FAQs
What Is the Worst Aspect of Uncontrolled Gambling?
If you were to poll compulsive gamblers and ask this question, most likely it wouldn’t be about the devastating loss of thousands and thousands of dollars.
It most likely would be about pain and guilt.
The pain that not only they are in but the pain they have caused others.
Also, they probably would talk about guilt.
The guilt they feel about their addiction, the guilt they feel about letting others down and the guilt they feel about broken promises.
Why Doesn’t the Government Shut Gambling Down?
Gambling is big business and is steady revenue for casinos operated by native North Americans.
Also, gambling has permeated the churches through raffles, bingo, etc.
Many lotteries are run by state governments.
You Can Do Overcome Gambling Debt
If you or somebody that you know is experiencing a gambling problem and is burdened with a gambling debt, it is important for that individual to know that it is not the end of the world.
By recognizing what is going on in their life and honest evaluation of where they are at both mentally, spiritually, physically, and financially, they can come to grips with not only their indebtedness but more importantly those things that drive them to those places of gambling.
Gambling is a horrendous disease. It not only devastates the life of the individual but spills over into the life of his or her family.
It is important to focus. Not focus on the negativity of what is going on but focus on a solution, setting aside one’s pride and getting help and moving forward.
Being in debt through gambling is not the end of the world.
Therefore, pick up the shovel and dig yourself out one shovelful of time.
Again, this company has paid $25+ million to members: