When Debt Comes Knocking

Credit: Olivier Le Moal

There’s a reason you don’t want to have any debt if you can help it.

I think, as more millennials enter the workforce and the subject of student loans becomes more mainstream, people have begun to think much more carefully about debt. Not that debt wasn’t a thing twenty years ago, obviously, but people do seem to be a little more overtly concerned about it. Or maybe it just seems that way because of social media. Either way, as long as you’re careful and fiscally responsible, you’ll be able to deal with debt without too much trouble nine times out of ten. But what about that one time where debt slips through the cracks and you’re saddled with it long-term?


When debt goes delinquent, there’s a good chance whoever you owe it to will hire out a collection agency. The good news is that the lengths to which collection agencies will go to get you to pay up have been highly exaggerated by movies and TV. Nobody is going to break into your house and cut off your toes. The bad news is that dealing with collection agencies is a much more drab, irritating endeavor. Usually, it’ll start with phone calls to remind you to pay up, potentially followed by in-person visits. Debt collectors can be reasonable people, so you might be able to work out some manner of payment plan to get them off your back. If you can’t, though, expect to start having things repossessed like your car.

Credit: Credit.com

The longer the collection process drags out, the harsher collection methods will become, though this also depends on how big your debt is. If you owe, say, fifty bucks, you’ll maybe get a phone call once a week telling you to pay up. If you owe several thousand dollars, there’s a distinct possibility you’re going to get sued, either by the collection agency or whoever you owe the debt to. No matter what happens, it’s an extremely draining process, not to mention murder on your credit score.

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