If you're struggling with debt, what's your preferred method of management? A growing number of people seem to be turning to the internet, with research from Experian highlighting the fact that people increasingly want to settle their debt without having to talk to anyone they owe money to.
According to the findings, traditional methods of debt collection can increase customer stress, which is why so many prefer to create repayment plans online to help manage their borrowing commitments. This allows them to avoid confrontation and take back control of their finances, without needing to worry about unwelcome phone calls keeping them up at night.
The figures show that the three most popular options when it comes to dealing with unmanageable debt are an online solution (32%), with a far lower proportion wanting to go into a branch to discuss repayments face-to-face (23%). The least popular option is to deal with things over the phone (20%), which is perhaps understandable considering that most people want to avoid stressful phone calls and conversations.
The top reasons for seeking an online solution include the convenience and ease of online planning (cited by 62% of respondents), the ability to take control of debt more easily (56%), and the fact that branches aren't open at convenient times (17%). However, 49% said it was because they don't want to be hassled by phone calls and overdue letters, while 26% said that having to talk to someone would only add to the stress about the debt, so it's no wonder that online solutions have become so popular.
"The majority of people struggling with debt actually want to regain control of their finances," said Nick Grant of Experian, "but during what can be a very stressful and emotional time, the fear and embarrassment of speaking to someone about their debts can be barriers to taking those first steps to recovery."
It's for this reason that online options are so popular, but he also pointed out that online solutions increase the likelihood of a payment arrangement being kept. This is a win-win situation for everyone involved – not only will companies be less likely to bombard you with debt-related communications, but if you stick to your repayment plan, you'll be building up your credit score at the same time.
Check out our top tips to help you build your credit score and make sure to head to Experian CreditExpert to get an idea of where you currently stand, and remember that if you're truly struggling with debt, make sure to speak to your provider by any means necessary – there could well be an online solution to your problems.
Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.
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