ROHNERT PARK, Calif., August 7, 2018 (Newswire.com) - Discussing debt has become a bigger taboo for Americans than talking about religion or politics, despite most of the population having some form of it. America’s student loan debt alone is astounding: 45 million borrowers with $1.5 trillion owed. Even with many people being in the same boat, 55 percent of student borrowers say they feel self-conscious or embarrassed by their student loan balance. Ameritech Financial, a document preparation company that helps student loan borrowers with federal student loan repayment plan applications, acknowledges the importance of discussing student loan debt for financial wellness and mental health.
“Student loan debt isn’t uncommon, nor is it something that people should feel ashamed of,” said Tom Knickerbocker, executive vice president of Ameritech Financial. “A lot of people seem to think it reflects poorly on them somehow.”
In our society, money is often linked to success and impacts how people view themselves and others. Some graduates may feel ashamed because they end up in a high-paying field after graduation, but their debt severely limits their ability to get ahead. Others may be unable to find a job or find themselves still living at home with their parents. On average, a college graduate under 35 will put 20 percent of every paycheck toward their loan repayment. With such a large chunk of their income going toward debt, many student borrowers are putting off important life decisions like getting married, starting a family or buying a home. This can be a source of shame, as well. Some student borrowers may compare their lives to others and feel ashamed that they aren’t able to celebrate important milestones like some of their peers. Many people say they’d rather not think about their student debt, but research has shown that this can lead to poor financial decisions and mental health issues. Research has also found that those who have trouble paying off student loan debt are twice as likely to suffer from depression and anxiety, with depression increasing 14 percent for every 10 percent debt increase.
“Talking about student debt with others is a difficult conversation,” stated Knickerbocker. “But it can be an important part of acknowledging it to yourself and a stepping stone towards getting your debt under control. It also prevents feeling like you have to deal with it alone.”
According to wealth psychology expert Kathleen Burns Kingsbury, 44 percent of Americans say personal finances are the most difficult subject to discuss with friends and loved ones. Having an open, honest conversation about student debt can offer a support system and allow for better financial decisions. If the borrower hasn’t talked about their debt with their partner before, this can be a tough conversation to have. Prolonging the subject can cause more conflict in the future and can lead to feelings of isolation. Debt avoidance can put a strain on relationships, causing stress, arguments, depression and anxiety. Partners who are unaware of their significant other’s debt may also see it as a large breach of trust as time goes on.
In addition to interpersonal problems, avoidance of debt can keep borrowers from looking into repayment options, such as income-driven repayment plans (IDRs). An IDR may allow student debtors to reduce their monthly payment relative to income and family size so they can focus on other areas of their life. With lower monthly payments, borrowers may hopefully start to feel less financial stress.
“At Ameritech Financial, we want our clients to realize that they have options and aren’t alone,” said Knickerbocker. “Personal relationships, wellness and mental health shouldn’t have to suffer due to student debt. We believe that federal IDRs have the potential to reduce feelings of shame and we are proud to offer document preparation services that can make the application process easy.”
About Ameritech Financial
Ameritech Financial is a private company located in Rohnert Park, California. Ameritech Financial has already helped thousands of consumers with financial analysis and student loan document preparation to apply for federal student loan repayment programs offered through the Department of Education.
Each Ameritech Financial telephone representative has received the Certified Student Loan Professional certification through the International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators (IAPDA).
Ameritech Financial prides itself on its exceptional customer service.
To learn more about Ameritech Financial, please contact:
5789 State Farm Drive #265
Rohnert Park, CA 94928
Source: Ameritech Financial