Does your credit card frown at you when it comes out of your wallet? Has your mortgage statement ever broken out in tears? You're not alone. Fortunately, Dr. Shari Reiches has completed the following research study on this small but growing phenomena in the world of financial planning, UDD (Unhappy Debt Disorder).
Unhappy Debt Disorder - Consequences of Lack of Attention
- Mr. Christopher Credit Card
- Ms. Mollie Mortgage
Research Goal: Analyzing the impact of attention given two common forms of household debt.
Methodology: Dr. Reiches reviewed the time, attention, and follow-up given to these examples of credit card and mortgage debt, including review of interest rates and plans to lower balances.
Mr. Christopher Credit Card was diagnosed with UDD - Unhappy Debt Disorder, due to lack of attention.
- He is often ignored by his owner
- His owner has no control over Mr. Credit Card’s interest rate – and doesn’t even know it is in the high teens. Mr. Credit Card’s response – “It’s like my owner forgot my birthday. Sad…”
- Mr. Credit Card’s balance has gained weight over the last several months, with no plan in place to slim down.
Proposed Treatment Plan:
- Mr. Credit Card should have a “heart to card” discussion with his owner.
- Owner should make a list of all credit card debt and come up with a plan to pay it down over a certain time period, starting with the highest interest rate cards.
- Mr. Credit Card should encourage his owner to go on a “low shopping” diet to reduce spending while paying down debt.
Ms. Mollie Mortgage was given a clean bill of health:
- Her owner pays lots of attention to her – she was recently refinanced at an extremely low rate.
- Ms. Mollie Mortgage is slowly slimming down, with her owner using extra cash as it becomes available to pay down principal.
Debt that is not given proper attention is subject to UDD - Unhappy debt disorder. Help reduce the symptoms of UDD by paying off your credit card balance each month. If you do maintain a balance, know the interest rate and come up with a plan to pay it off. Next, take a look at your mortgage. Now is an excellent time to review the terms and possibly refinance at a lower rate.
About the Participants and Author
The names of the participants have been changed to protect their anonymity. You should diagnosis your own debt's happiness, and your results may vary from test subjects.
Shari Greco Reiches is not an MD, but cares a lot about your financial health. She is Co-Founder and Co-Managing Director of Rappaport Reiches Capital Management.
Would you like additional thoughts on reducing debt or have other financial planning concerns? Please connect with us.