How to Regain Control When You Feel Overwhelmed By Debt

Being overwhelmed by debt is a common issue among the millennial population in Canada. In 2022, millennials were responsible for nearly half of the total insolvencies filed, indicating a significant financial strain on this demographic. If you’re dealing with a similar situation, it’s crucial to understand the signs of a looming debt spiral and the steps you can take to regain control of your financial health.

Recognizing the Signs of a Debt Spiral

Falling into a debt spiral can have severe implications on your mental health, leading to feelings of depression, anxiety, hopelessness, and even suicidal thoughts. Physical symptoms may include headaches, insomnia, stomach issues, joint pain, weight gain, and high blood pressure. Recognizing the warning signs is the first step towards resolving the issue.

Here are some signs that you might be in a debt spiral:

  • Frequently using credit cards for necessities without paying the balance each month.
  • Maxing out your credit limits.
  • Missing bill payments or having services cut off due to late or unpaid bills.
  • Borrowing from one lender to pay off another and consistently relying on borrowing to cover expenses between paydays.
  • Being denied new credit.
  • Using or considering payday loans.
  • Actively avoiding calls from lenders and collections agencies.

Taking Control: A Comprehensive Guide

If you find yourself in a debt spiral, it’s crucial to take immediate action to regain control over your financial situation. Here is a comprehensive guide that can help you navigate your way out of debt.

1. Develop a Budget

Building a budget is the first and most crucial step towards regaining control over your finances. Understanding your income and expenses will help you identify the areas where you can cut back and save more towards debt repayment.

2. Check Your Credit Health

Your credit report and credit score are essential tools that lenders use to assess your creditworthiness. A good credit score can help you secure loans at lower interest rates, thereby reducing your overall debt burden in the long run.

3. Devise a Debt Management Plan

There are numerous strategies to manage and pay off your debt. You could focus on paying off the debt with the highest interest rate first to minimize the total interest paid over time, or prioritize clearing smaller debts to gain momentum.

4. Seek Professional Assistance

If you’re struggling to manage your debt, consider seeking help from a budget or credit counselor. These professionals can help you understand your financial situation and devise a debt reduction strategy tailored to your needs.

5. Implement Your Plan

Once you have a plan in place, it’s time to put it into action. Be consistent with your payments and try to pay more than the minimum amount whenever possible.

6. Stretch Your Dollar

During your debt management phase, it’s essential to find ways to stretch every dollar. This could involve cutting down on unnecessary expenses, negotiating better rates with your service providers, or finding more cost-effective alternatives.

7. Plan for the Future

While managing your current debt, it’s equally important to prepare for the future. This includes setting up an emergency fund, planning for large purchases, and setting long-term financial goals.


Dealing with overwhelming debt can be challenging, but it’s possible to regain control with the right strategies and professional assistance. Recognize the signs of a debt spiral early, seek help when needed, and commit to a comprehensive debt management plan to regain control of your financial health and pave your way towards a debt-free future. Remember, the sooner you deal with your debt, the better.

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