If you sense that a family member or friend is in major debt trouble:
Help Get Them Started.
- Ask them about the problem. They might be relieved to talk about it.
- Let them know they are not alone. There are avenues for them to seek help in Malaysia. For instance, the Agensi Kaunseling dan Pengurusan Kredit (AKPK) is an agency set up by Bank Negara Malaysia to provide financial counselling and debt management to individuals as well as financial education to help individuals take control of their financial situation and gain peace of mind that comes from the wise use of credit. For more information, please visit their website at www.akpk.org.my or call AKPK’s toll free hotline at 1-800-88-2575.
- Encourage them to look at their financial situation and, if they are in debt trouble, to create a plan to get out of debt - and commit to it. Let them know you have confidence in their ability to succeed
- Suggest this web site and other helpful sources of information that are listed under Helpful Links to give them the tools and knowledge to tackle their debt.
- Only lend money to a friend or family member if you are able to afford the repayments should the need arise. Many emotions are wrapped up in lending money to a loved one. If you lend a friend or family member money, put the amount and payback schedule in writing.
Help Clear Their Path, Don't Create Hurdles.
- Focus on the future. Don't blame them for poor spending decisions or bad money management in the past. Look to the past only for clues to understand how to avoid the problems or pitfalls that got them into trouble in the first place.
- Debt and money problems often are very personal. Most people are uncomfortable talking about money, so don't expect or push for details of your friend or loved one's personal financial problems.
- Be emotionally supportive. This support and encouragement should extend beyond their finances to helping create a positive environment in which they feel empowered to succeed.
- Don't ask or encourage your friend or family member to make purchases outside of their debt reduction plans.
- Suggest inexpensive outings and get-togethers.
- Invite your friend or loved one for dinner and a video at your house.
- Enjoy outdoor activities, such as biking, hiking, or picnicking at local parks.
- Encourage participation - along with you - in a charity event, such as a walk-a-thon or service day, that raises spirits but not expenditures.
- Encourage by example. If you have had debt problems in the past, talk about how you overcame them, or how you are better controlling your finances now.
- Third party testimonials. Log onto http://www.akpk.org.my/SuccessStories for true stories of successful debt management
Help Them Stay on Course to Their Personal Finish Line - For Most it's a Marathon, not a Sprint.
Find Helpful Links
- Celebrate your friend or family member's small successes. After all, the first steps - just like the first few pounds on a diet - can be the hardest. Once they change their attitude toward spending and debt, developing and maintaining good financial habits will get easier.
- Provide ongoing, positive feedback and support. No one gets out of serious debt problems overnight, so don't expect your friend or family member will either. Encourage achievable goals, and continue to be supportive.