Debt Relief Tactics

How To Help Someone With Debt (Follow These Simple Steps)

How To Help Someone With Debt (Follow These Simple Steps)
Reviewed by Nima Vahdat
Updated April 2, 2024

Money is always a delicate subject but there are strategies you can use to assist someone in debt without the need for a handout.

While it may seem as though everyone else has their finances in order, many people encounter challenges behind closed doors. Credit card debt, for instance, which affects 3 in 5 Americans, can adversely impact one’s relationships, mental well-being, and overall quality of life.

Debt often arises when various expenses pile up over time. While you may manage to handle one high credit card payment, missing multiple payments can quickly lead to a downward spiral.

It’s hard to see someone you care about under stress from drowning in debt and the urge to step in is natural. 

Whether it’s a friend, family member, or loved one, offering support and guidance can make a significant difference in their financial journey. 

However, discussing finances can often be uncomfortable and sensitive.


  • Supporting someone with debt requires empathy, understanding, and non-judgmental assistance.
  • Recognizing warning signs of debt distress is crucial for offering timely help.
  • Recommending professional debt relief programs can provide long-term solutions for sustainable financial recovery.

Be Sure There’s A Problem

Before offering assistance, it’s crucial to ascertain whether there is a genuine issue with debt. 

Engage in candid discussions to gain insight into their financial circumstances, refraining from assumptions or judgments. Encourage open communication, allowing them to express their concerns and challenges freely. 

By understanding their situation thoroughly, you can provide more effective support tailored to their specific needs and circumstances. 

Spot The Debt Warning Signs

Recognizing warning signs of debt distress in the person’s attitudes and actions is crucial for providing timely support. 

Watch for indicators like:

Persistent stress about money – Notice if the individual frequently expresses worry or anxiety regarding their financial situation. This could manifest as constant preoccupation with bills, expenses, or debt obligations, impacting their overall well-being and causing emotional debt distress or even debt depression.

Avoiding discussions about finances – If the person consistently evades conversations about money or becomes defensive when the topic arises, it could indicate underlying financial difficulties. They may feel ashamed or embarrassed about their financial situation, leading them to avoid addressing it openly.

Missing bill payments – Keep an eye out for instances where bills are consistently paid late or not paid at all. This may result in accumulating late fees, notices from creditors, or even threats of utility disconnection or legal action, signaling financial instability.

Relying heavily on credit cards for everyday expenses – Dependence on credit cards to cover basic living costs, such as groceries, utilities, or rent, suggests a lack of available funds or an inability to manage expenses within their means. This reliance often leads to increased debt and financial strain over time.

These signs may indicate underlying financial struggles that require attention and intervention. 

By identifying these cues early on, you can help and guidance to help alleviate their financial burden before it escalates further.

How To Help Someone With Debt

There are several helpful actions you can take to assist someone you care about with their debt problems without them feeling shame about their situation.

Help But Do Not Judge

Approach the situation with empathy and understanding. 

Avoid accusations, pity, judgmental comments or criticism, as they can discourage the individual from seeking help or opening up about their financial struggles.

It won’t be helpful for you to say things like “You’re too smart to have such a huge debt.” Such statements may come across as dismissive or condescending, and they fail to acknowledge the individual’s unique challenges and circumstances.

Offer A Listening Ear

During times of high stress, a friend often seeks the comfort of a caring presence. 

Debt is often a symptom of an underlying issue. Simply offering a listening ear over a cup of coffee can provide significant support and solace. Initiate conversations about their financial well-being in a supportive and non-confrontational manner. 

Express your concern and offer to listen without pressure or expectations.

Share Your Personal Debt Experience

If you’ve had your own battles with debt, sharing your own experiences with debt can help them feel less alone and more comfortable discussing their situation. 

It also emphasizes that overcoming debt is achievable with the right support and resources.

We’ve found that our clients at Americor have often become incredible ambassadors for the debt relief process to those who have unmanageable debt and are looking for a solution.

Become An Accountable Partner

Now that both of you have started being open about money and debt, it’s an ideal moment to propose becoming each other’s accountability partner. 

Encourage them to set realistic financial goals and hold them accountable for progress. Regular check-ins can provide motivation and support throughout their debt repayment journey.

However, avoid being overly controlling or critical, as this can strain your relationship.

Avoid Giving Handouts

Resist the urge to provide quick fixes or bailouts that may alleviate immediate financial stress but fail to address underlying issues. 

Instead, focus on long-term solutions that promote financial stability and independence.

Be Supportive But Take Care Of Yourself Too

While it’s admirable to assist a loved one with their struggles, it’s essential not to overlook taking care of yourself as well. 

To be the most effective support for someone, it’s crucial to prioritize self-care and ensure your own well-being.

Supporting someone with debt can be emotionally draining, so remember to prioritize your own well-being. Set boundaries, seek support from others, and practice self-care to avoid burnout.

Be Cautious About Cosigning

While cosigning a loan may seem like a gesture of support, it carries significant financial risks if the borrower defaults. Cosigning makes you responsible for your friend’s debt.

Encourage them to explore alternative options and seek professional advice before considering cosigning.

Recommend A Debt Relief Program

Occasionally, you might find yourself unable to offer all the support your loved one requires by the end of the day. And that’s perfectly alright! 

Fortunately, there exist financial resources and services designed to assist them on their debt journey.

Suggesting reputable debt relief programs, such as Americor’s debt settlement or debt consolidation services, can provide professional assistance tailored to their specific needs and offer them a viable path towards financial recovery.

When I Can Tell Someone Is Having Financial Difficulties, How Do I Bring It Up?

When you notice signs that a friend may be experiencing financial difficulties, it’s important to approach the topic with care and sensitivity. 

Here are some steps to consider when bringing up the subject:

Choose the right time and place – Find a private and comfortable setting where you can have a candid conversation without distractions or interruptions.

Express concern – Start by expressing your genuine concern for their well-being. Use empathetic language to convey that you’ve noticed they may be going through a tough time.

Be non-judgmental – Avoid making assumptions or passing judgment about their financial situation. Instead, focus on offering support and understanding.

Use “I” statements – Frame your concerns using “I” statements to avoid sounding accusatory. For example, say, “I’ve noticed you seem stressed about money lately,” rather than, “You’re terrible with money.”

Offer to listen – Let them know that you’re there to listen and offer support without pressure or expectations. Assure them that they can confide in you without fear of judgment.

Share your own experiences – If applicable, share your own experiences with financial challenges or difficult times. This can help them feel less alone and more comfortable opening up about their situation.

Offer practical help – Depending on your relationship and their comfort level, offer practical assistance such as helping them create a budget, researching financial resources, or providing emotional support.

Respect their privacy – Respect their boundaries and privacy. If they’re not ready to discuss their financial situation, let them know that you’re available whenever they’re ready to talk.

Follow Up – Check in with them periodically to see how they’re doing and offer ongoing support. Let them know that you’re there for them whenever they need it.

Closing Thoughts On How To Help Someone With Debt

Helping someone with debt requires patience, empathy, and a commitment to their financial well-being. 

By offering non-judgmental support, recommending practical solutions, encouraging accountability, and getting them involved in creating the solution, you can empower them to overcome debt and achieve financial freedom.

If someone you care about is struggling with debt, tell them to contact us today with no risk or obligation to explore personalized debt relief solutions and take the first step towards a brighter financial future.

At Americor, we understand the importance of managing your finances wisely. 

As America’s trusted source for debt relief solutions, we aim to empower you with financial knowledge that can lead to informed decisions, whether it’s about savings, investments, or managing debt.

If your debt has become unmanageable and you have difficulty making your debt payments each month, then you should consider a free consultation call with one of our certified Debt Consultants, who can provide personalized advice tailored to your specific needs.

By taking proactive steps today, you can put an end to your financial stress and work towards a brighter financial future. 

Remember, there is always hope for debt relief, and our team of experienced professionals are ready to guide you on your journey to regaining control of your finances.

For more information on Americor’s debt relief services, contact us today to see how we can help you eliminate your debts, and get on the fast-track to becoming completely debt-free!