Living in a capitalistic society can bring both joy and grief. The ability to choose between a $10 sweater and a $100 sweater is a privilege. We have been brainwashed to think that more is better, regardless of what more is. Our society is largely commercialized. We are bombarded with subliminal messages, urging us to buy and buy and buy; and many of us do just that. We buy without knowing how we are going to pay. We live above ours means trying to keep up with the neighbors. The cost of living increases but our income seems to stay the same. It is virtually impossible to avoid going into debt. In our diverse society, we have one basic commonality: debt. Debt can be controlled, but we all need to understand it and learn to avoid whenever possible.
This report will address the aspects of debt from different perspectives. It will address getting into debt and options for getting out of debt. This report will be informative and can be used by thousands of people searching for an understanding of debt and a way out.
Americans give little consideration to the consequences of overspending. Being in debt is serious and there is help for those who need it. Loans are justifiable in many instances, but the funds to repay those loans must be available. Joe Smith, for example, has fallen into the debt trap. Although Joe was already obligated to repay $60,000.00 in student loans, he had daily living expenses and owes approximately $13,000.00 in unsecured debt. Joe completed his education and is employed, but now finds that he cannot fulfill his obligation to repay the money he has borrowed on his $40,000.00 annual income. Joe is employed and he has to pay his bills or his creditors may refer his accounts to a collection agency. Collection agencies sue and garnish paychecks to get the money owed. Although Joe is way over his head in debt, he wants more. He wants a new (expensive) car and a house. Joe realizes that his paychecks can only stretch so far and that he needs help to manage his debt. Getting out of debt requires an understanding of debt, as well as, simple applications that can help in the process.
Debt Relief is intended to lead people in the right direction and to assist those plagued with poor money management. The information provided will cover topics such as financial planning, debt consolidation, credit reports, and bankruptcy. Realistic answers will be offered for questions asked when debt is overwhelming. Web sites will be listed to allow those interested to review the services offered. Information will be gathered from credit counseling services, financial planning institutions and collection agencies. Alternatives to debt will be discussed as well. In addition, an original survey will conducted on debt. The intent of "Debt Relief" is to inform the reader of the options available when there is a need to get out of debt and control spending.
Week 1: Oct. 26 & 28
- Reasons for getting into debt
- Distinguish between “good” debt and “bad” debt
- Statistical information about debt; the average American debt, the correlation between age and debt, the average number of years it takes to “get out” of debt., and any inferences about the direction the country, as a whole, is heading when it comes to debt
Week 2: Nov. 2 & 4
- Debt relief agencies
- The pros and cons
- Consequences of getting involved with such an agency
- Distinguish between a credible agency and a bogus one
- Thing to consider when contemplating going to a debt relief program
Week 3: Nov. 9 & 11
- Financial planning
- Places that offer these services- private and public
- Credit ratings: what do they mean
Week 4: Nov. 16 & 18
- Alternatives to debt
- Managing debt
- Being “debt-free” as an option
- Staying debt-free
Week 5: Nov. 23 (the 25th is a holiday)
- Options to becoming “debt free”
- Improving your credit rate
Week 6: Nov. 30 & Dec. 2
- Revise and make corrections as needed.
Week 7: Dec. 7 & 9
- Turn in project.
Teams and Responsibilities
There will be a total of three teams (A,B, and C). The three teams will have a specific task each week, but will rotate the weekly task between researcher, typist, and editor. This way, each team will have the opportunity to conduct each aspect of the project. Each team will have a “Team Leader”, which will be elected by the team members. There may be a different Team Leader each week if the team so desires.
- The researchers will look up each particular week’s topics which are outlined in the tentative schedule.
- The typers will consist on extracting relevant information done by the researchers and typing it down to be turned in to the “editors”.
- The editors will then organize the information and revising it for any possible errors; whether it be grammatical or informational. In addition, the editors will be responsible for turning in a hard copy of the work to the coordinators.
- The Team Leader will be responsible for the team’s progress.
- The coordinators will facilitate the process by offering advice, helping with any task, and being the liaison between the teams and the professor.
The class has split into groups and has been assigned specific areas of research to include:
- Statistical data
- Debt Consolidation
- Financial planning and budgeting
- Credit counseling
- Collection agencies
Request For Authorization
Being in debt should never be taken lightly. Whether it be a small department store credit card to an outstanding home loan; essentially, both are the same- the balances need to be paid-off in order for those things to be yours. As prices rise, interest rise, and salaries stagger, it has never been so crucial to understanding what debt really means. In the mist of the depth of these statistics, however, there is hope. This report will be an informational tool as well as an applicable one. Being able to differentiate between a “good” debt and a “bad” debt can be the difference between buying the home of your dreams or renting an apartment. Should bankruptcy even be an option? Is there such a thing as being “debt-free” now a days? What is the best budgeting strategy for me? These and endless other questions can be answered in our report. This is why we are asking for authorization for our project. So that in the darkness of debt collector’s dinner time calls, there may be someone who may benefit from the information.