We all know about interventions. Whether you’ve ever been part of one yourself is another story. An intervention (popularized by exploitive television) is an attempt to make a stubbornly destructive person see the error of their ways, by getting all the people in their life that they care the most about, then tell them how it is. Usually interventions are for emotionally fraught “moral” situations. Addictions, unresolved personal issues, all these are grist for the mill of the typical intervention. What you usually don’t hear about is an intervention for someone in debt.
Debt can be every bit as dangerous for a person and their family as addiction or abuse. It might not leave the emotional scars of those problems, but it can cement someone’s future, as well as that of the people they care most about. Debt grows faster as it increases. It may start as a symptom of lifestyle creep, then grow to something more. Without swift action at a critical moment, it could be allowed to grow indefinitely, swallowing a whole family’s financial future with it. This shouldn’t be allowed to happen, but these are socially murky waters.
While the financial advice you have to give may be, theoretically, helpful, it won’t be well received unless the following issues are taken care of in advance.
- Involve a Professional. In many cases, people on the receiving end of a financial intervention will not listen to family and friends. After all, they’ve been going it alone for months or years, enough to rack up the debt they already have. Without the help of a professional voice in the room, your wisdom might fall on deaf ears. Even worse, you might deepen emotional rifts between you and the person you love. A service like Rescue One Financial would be the place to call about how to facilitate a financial rehabilitation, in order to help get a loved one on the path to healthy debt behaviors.
- Stick to the Facts. Interventions can be emotional affairs. After all, this is something of an ultimatum which you are presenting to an adult who probably loves you very much. It’s important not to attack the person, but to focus energies instead on the facts of the issue. If possible, understand how much debt is at play, and how it is set to grow in the next years. Also have facts prepared about the path ahead, and how this is a new beginning, not a dead end.
- Provide Continued Support. An intervention isn’t the last stage in a process; it’s the first. If you are asking someone you love to change deep-seeded behaviors that have hurt himself and others, this person may not be able to pull off these changes solo. In fact, you can almost count on it. Following an intervention, communication is open. Keep it open, but always be supportive. Provide emotional support and practical help in the days, weeks, and months that follow a conversation of this sort.
In the end, you will hopefully see that your efforts pay off. Your loved one’s financial future will turn out much better, and there will no longer be the financial fallout that threatens the security of the people around them.