Is Gambling the Root Cause of Your Bad Credit?
Posted on December 16, 2010
For some people, repairing credit is not a top priority on their list of things to do because they are instead focusing on accumulating money in other ways in hopes of conquering their debts. Gambling is a serious problem in America. There are so many state-sponsored lotteries, top-drawer casinos, and other supposed moneymaking opportunities people begin to believe they can use luck to deal with debts.
Instead of socking away the $5 a week towards a debt relief fund, they spend that and more on games of chance and slot machines with the intentions of winning enough to pay off their debts. They falsely believe their small weekly spending is not hurting their financial situation but the reality is the money spent on any type of gambling is money poorly spent.
How can you tell if gambling is affecting your credit and financial life? Here are some tips to help you decide:
Seeing the Problem
No one likes to admit they have a problem of any kind let alone a gambling problem. A gambling addiction is a real-life psychological condition. Much like alcohol and drug addictions, treatment may be necessary to turn things around. Admitting you have a problem with gambling is a big first step but it is the most important one. If you can answer ‘yes’ to one or more of the following questions, you may be in need of additional help.
- Do you gamble daily such as playing the lottery, buying scratch-off tickets, visiting a casino, gambling online?
- Do you often borrow money from family or friends to gamble?
- Do you use your money set aside for bills to gamble?
- Do you go out and spend money on gambling when you do not have enough to pay your basic financial obligations?
- Do you rely on gambling to supplement your income?
- Have friends or family confronted you about gambling concerns?
How to Deal
If you can truly admit to yourself that gambling in the hopes of winning big to pay off debts is your only financial game plan, it is time for some serious consideration. You will need to change your priorities and focus on getting helps with your gambling issues as well as your financial concerns.
If you have let your financial obligations go far too long without attention, your first step is getting back in touch with your creditors and see exactly where you stand. The only way to know where you are going is to understand where you are at. You may need to seek the help of a debt counselor who can help you prioritize your finances and income.
You may also need to seek professional help to stop gambling and put your money to better use. Quitting gambling cold turkey without the proper professional and emotional support may mean a relapse in your thinking and priorities. There are many counselors who are now specializing in gambling addictions that can help you reorganize your life and your goal focus.
Undo the Shame
Understanding you have not been on to of your finances and have wasted a lot of money on gambling can be shameful. But there is no shame in resolving to make things better and turning your financial life around. The only shame comes from doing nothing. The first step of admitting there are issues is the hardest part but there is plenty of support resources to walk with you every step of the way.
- Heavy Debts: Why Credit Cards Aren’t Meant for Daily Expenses
- Does Debt Management Assistance Hurt Your Credit?
- Dispelling a Credit Myth: Medical Bills Can Hurt Credit
- Prepare Your Teens to Avoid Bad Credit
- How Are Collection Accounts Handled on a Credit Report?