Those who have addictions to gambling be it in a regular or online casino often end up in deep debt. The debt has often extended beyond the money owed to casinos or riverboats when gambling debt becomes a problem. Alternatively, you might have credit card debt, loan debt and even home equity debt all related to gambling issues. There are ways to handle all the debt you generated by playing gambling.
Treating Gambling Addiction
You need to handle your gambling addiction before you deal with the gambling debt. The first step is to know you have an issue with gambling. Take some time to look at your condition and determine if you have a gambling addiction, for your sake and the sake of your family and loved ones. For example, if you’ve ever played away bill or food money you might have a gambling addiction.
Cutting Off Your Source of Funding
If you’ve been credit card gambling, lock them. Closing a credit card usually doesn’t help with your credit score. However, if closing your credit cards prevents you from creating more debt, then you need to do that. To make it harder to open a new credit card or loan account, you can put a freeze on your credit report, because they require a credit check before issuance.
Realizing That More Gambling Is Not a Solution
Most gamblers believe they can win enough money to repay their debts, but quite the opposite is happening. You just end up creating more debt to pay back on gambling. Even if you’ve earned enough money to pay off your debt, you’re likely to have gambling the money away too, assuming if you win once you’ve been able to win again.
Seeking Treatment for Your Gambling Addiction
Your health insurance provider can pay for the gambling addiction treatment. Check with your insurance provider to find out what options exist. Some states will even pay treatment costs if your policy does not cover addiction therapy. Further information about State programs for gambling addiction may be available from your State Consumer Affairs Office.
Paying Off Gambling Debt
Once you’re done with the addiction you should concentrate on debt repayment:
Write a List
Start by writing a list of everyone you owe money to. Some of your gambling debt could be on credit cards; you might have overdrawn bank accounts; or you might even owe casinos money. Include any debt on the list which comes to mind. If you are learning about new gambling debts, add them to your list. The key is to know who you owe to take action, and how much you owe.
Borrow Money From Family or Friends
When you owe bookies or loan sharks, you may need to borrow money from a friend or family member to quickly pay back the gambling debt. Borrowing money from a loved one means you’re going to have to be honest with them about your gambling problem, but you can get a support system in return to help cope with the addiction.
Sell Your Assets
You can sell valuable assets to pay off your gambling debt, and use them. That’s if you haven’t already sold them out to get more gambling money. All items that could be sold to pay off debt are furniture, electronics, jewelry, or even your car.
Get a Second Job
Having some extra hours each week will help you get more money than relying solely on your primary source of revenue. If you can’t find a job, you might have a hobby that could turn you into a small part-time business.
Negotiate a Settlement Payment
If you can come up with a percentage of what you owe within a few days, your creditors might be willing to accept a settlement payment on your gambling debts.
Bankruptcy and Gambling Debts
Gambling debt may be discharged into bankruptcy, including debt incurred from casinos or paid on credit cards and loans. It is important to know that any creditor will object to the filing of bankruptcy by alleging that you caused the debt on false pretenses or by fraud. Of example, if you take out a credit card cash advance realizing that when you borrowed it, you didn’t have the money to repay the advance, the borrower may ask the court not to discharge the debt. The creditor must however prove you have committed fraud. Bankruptcy may be your only way to deal with a gambling debt.