Households around the world are currently experiencing record levels of personal debt.

When the economy is buoyant, interest rates are low, inflation is low and unemployment rates are low, it is easy to be positive about our debts. It is easy to think we will always be able to pay the mortgage, the car loan, the credit cards and the other personal loans. And it’s easy to keep swiping the credit card or to accept additional credit.

Debt and credit are siblings and they are a symptom of our consumer society.

Debt is the not the problem and nor is credit. The problem is us the consumer. The problem is how we manage our debt and use our credit.

Some people manage well and use debt to create wealth. For others debt can lead to misery and despair.

So what is debt? Debt is simply how much you owe to others. Put simply debt is money you have spent which you do not have.

Too much debt can lead to trouble. It is easy to become over committed and unable to pay. Consider Dave. He had a good job in IT and earned over $80,000 a year. He lived the highlife, purchased an expensive car, wore expensive clothes and ate at fashionable restaurants.

Then the IT industry changed and Dave lost his job. It was not long before he began defaulting on his car payments and couldn’t pay his credit cards. It took some time for him to find another job only this one paid less than half his previous salary. Debt had got Dave into trouble.

If you are in debt there are options which may be available to help you. These options include debt consolidation, mortgage refinancing, debt agreements or an informal arrangement for instance.

Which option will be of most benefit to you is dependant on your individual financial situation. Do some research online and read up on each before deciding on one.

About the Author:

Fox Symes & Associates has guided over 10,000 Australian individuals and families resolve their financial position and regain control of their lives. If you are in debt and want to know more then visit their website at or contact them on 1300 559 899 (in Australia).