How often do small problems turn into big problems, simply because we’re too embarrassed to talk about them? More often than you think.

 

I volunteer at Lifeline, and it’s astonishing (and depressing) how often I find myself talking on the phone to someone who has got into a desperate state because a problem has been left to grow larger in silence.

 

Strangely enough, I find the same sad syndrome in my day job. I’ll be sitting down with a client, working through their financial options, and I’ll hear this phrase:

 

“I’m really embarrassed by this…”

 

Then out it comes. Perhaps there was a life-changing event such a death in the family, or an unexpectedly large bill. Payments were missed and debt collectors were called. Maybe money was borrowed from a dodgy lender at an eye-watering interest rate, and the debt spiralled out of control. Maybe credit card bills have piled up at 22% p.a. and stern letters are now landing in the mailbox.

 

These are all common scenarios I encounter every week. People have been suffering in silence, panicking and making poor decisions, while friends and family remain blissfully unaware.

 

This culture of embarrassment and shame has to stop. We all need to communicate with those we care about.

 

We need open, sincere conversations about money, so the scammers and abusive lenders can no longer exploit their victims’ silence. Whether it’s your best friend, an aging parent or financially naïve offspring, they’ll be better off if they feel they can talk to someone who cares. It doesn’t mean becoming their financial saviour, but simply being a non-judgmental listener who can offer empathy (and perhaps some practical suggestions).

 

At Sue Tierney Mortgages we’re here to talk, too. We don’t want to see anyone scammed by loan sharks, or end up paying too much on a poorly structured mortgage. We’ll take the time to really understand what’s going on. We’ll help find a solution, and we won’t judge.

 

Would you like to work with Sue to get the most from your money? Get in touch.