I recently saw one of those internet memes that said: “No matter how slow you go, you are still lapping everybody on the couch.”
I love this. It really confirms what I have believed for years which is that STARTING is really the hardest part of anything. If you just start, the rest just kind of flows even if you have small setbacks.
It works this way when paying off debt too.
Let’s say you have $10,000.00 in credit card debt in a card that charges you 17% in revolving interest. We all know the damage revolving interest can do. Under normal circumstances it will take you 6 years to pay that debt down at 222.46 per month. If you want to cut that time in half, you need to pay 356.53 per month. Either way, you need to start! Do you know how long it will take if all you give them is the monthly minimum? It will take almost forever. It may not actually be forever but it is closer to a mortgage timeframe than anything else.
What if you have an account in collections? When is the best time to start communicating with the debt collector or creditor? You need to start immediately. Contrary to popular belief, your debt collector or creditor wants to help you get your debt paid off. I understand that there are some bad debt collectors who badger people because they had bad childhoods or something but most of them really just want the debt resolved and they are willing to listen to you if you are sincerely interested in STARTING. If you start the process now, you have really done the hardest part. Everything after that is really much less stressful.
You see, we are really primal beings. We have sort of evolved to want the “now” reward. In other words, we would rather enjoy the ready cash and perceived freedom of not starting to seriously repay our debts in a realistic timeframe. I think psychologists use the word: “Metacognition” which deals with “thinking about thinking”. We don’t want to think about the process so we don’t START the process. That’s freedom, right??? Wrong. It’s emotional prison.
If we just START we are free from the metacognition surrounding the situation. Once we START to make those $222.00 payments, we are free!! If you’ve ever done this, you know what I’m talking about.
There are over 600 books published right now about procrastination or not STARTING. It’s no small thing. It’s the hardest thing.
Brent Anderson, P.C.S.
Brent is a Professional Debt Collection Consultant and Speaker with 20 years of experience in all aspects of the business of debt collection