More often than not, those who have gambling problems or an addiction to gambling fall deep into debt. The debt becomes a major problem when it transcends owing money to casinos. Instead, gambling addiction can rack up major credit card debt, loan debt, and even extremities (though not completely unheard of) such as home equity debt. If this sounds like you, whether you own $500 or $5000, there are ways of dealing with the debt that follows the addiction.
Seek Help for the Gambling Addiction
Before you begin dealing with debt, it is imperative you get help for your addiction. It’s been proven in many cases that gambling addicts are less willing to admit their problems than someone with a substance abuse problem. Not only should you get help for yourself, but for the ones who love you; your family and your friends. Take the time to really evaluate your situation, and how it has affected you, your family and the general quality of living surrounding it all.
Cut Off Funding
It could be half to all of your paycheque, a credit card, or maybe you’ve been dipping into your savings. In either case, put a complete halt on any money put towards gambling. Cancelling a credit card is never a good idea, as it worsens your credit situation and lowers your credit score. But in the grand scheme of things, putting a stop to it now rather than racking up another large amount of money is probably for the best.
You Won’t Win Back what you Owe
Statistically speaking, the chances of you winning back what you owe are next to impossible. In fact, you’re only damaging yourself even more by putting yourself further in debt, and deluding yourself into believing something along the lines of “well I’ll win back what I owe, and then some for good measure!”
If you find doing your best and trying your hardest toward helping yourself isn’t working at all, you may need to seek a professional. In some cases, your health insurance provider may cover some or all of the treatment necessary to cure the addiction.
Pay Off Your Debt!
When you’ve controlled your addiction, begin focusing on your debt. Recognize this won’t be easy. You’re going to have to work hard, and do everything in your power to get the debt off your back. Write out a list of everyone you owe. You may have overdrafted bank accounts, or past-due credit cards. If you’re in real trouble, you may even owe a bookie or loan shark. In either case, it’s incredibly important to get your debt paid off.
Borrowing money from a loved one or a friend is a huge shot to your ego, even more so that you’ll have to fess up about your addiction and your debt. If they’re willing to help, not only do they trust you and love you enough to help, but they trust and love you enough to support you. Make note of the close friends and family who really help you; if you ever feel the urge to indulge in your former (or current) addiction; talking it out with them might help.
You could also start by selling your valuable assets. While undesirable, it’s even more undesirable to carry a debt on your shoulders, especially a gambling debt. Furniture, electronics, jewellery and even your care can bring in some money to put toward the debt.
Getting a second job could help as well, even short term and part time. Any penny counts when it is as important as a gambling debt.
In the last and extreme case – file for bankruptcy. Gambling debt can be discharged by bankruptcy, though if you incurred the debt under false pretenses, or through fraud, you will not be able to file for bankruptcy.