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Guarantor loans money talk: this week we’re looking at the taboo that still surrounds talking about money and how this can stop you from applying for guarantor loans. Here in the UK, we have a lot of things we like to talk about; the weather, the news, the weather some more, what the neighbours are up to, whether the milk goes in before or after the tea bag (before, definitely before)… But according to a recent study, there’s one thing we don’t like to talk about at all: money.
In fact, a recent Old Mutual Wealth study found that 52% of UK adults never or rarely talk to their friends and family about their savings and 50% would not want to talk about debt at all. In fact, the only thing they felt more uncomfortable talking about was their bedroom activities!
Digging a little further into another study, this result isn’t an anomaly. A 118 118 survey also discovered that:
- Over one in ten (13%) people are embarrassed to talk to anybody at all about money and their financial situation.
- 43% of people don’t feel comfortable talking to their friends about money.
- 41% of people don’t feel comfortable talking to their parents about money or finances.
- Almost a tenth of us (9%) don’t have a clue how to tackle difficult conversations about our money issues.
This situation is nothing new, either. In fact, some people believe that it’s an inherently British trait. Jodi R. R. Smith of Mannersmith Etiquette Consulting has said in the last century or so ago:
People who were wealthy didn’t need to talk about it because they knew — from how many houses you had, what cars you drove, how many servants you had, the yachts that you had, where you vacationed. They could figure out what your net worth was.
As such, it quickly became considered impolite and taboo to discuss money, and that tradition of keeping a stiff upper lip continues to this day. The only problem is, it isn’t just a silly taboo that needs to be broken, it’s also costing people money.
The same Old Mutual Wealth study also discovered that only 17% of over-indebted people (8 million in the UK) seek any sort of help or advice because they’re scared or embarrassed to talk about money. On top of that, this debt can continue into old age, with three in ten pensioners in serious debt (the average debt of people aged 65-69 in the UK is £32,767).
At Bamboo, we sometimes hear stories of people who have chosen to apply for an unsecured loan with a much higher APR because they didn’t want to speak to their family about getting a guarantor loan or people getting themselves in trouble with payday loans because they don’t want to speak to their family about their money situations.
5 steps to having the guarantor loans money talk with you friends and family
Step One: The first step is to choose who you want to speak to
Now, there’s no hard and fast rule for this, but it helps if you choose somebody you’re close to and that you feel comfortable with. If you’re not very close to the person that you’d like to ask for help, you can ask somebody to come along for moral support and to stop the conversation getting awkward.
Once you’ve chosen, ask them to meet up to chat about something important. You can tell them that you want to discuss money, guarantor loans or leave it vague, but it’s important to prime them for a serious conversation from the off.
Step Two: Plan what you’re going to say
Before you go to meet them, sit down with a pen and paper and write down what you’re going to say. Some people write notes, others write it down like an essay; pick whatever suits you best, but make sure you think everything through properly.
The point isn’t to hand this bit of paper over, by the way, but to have a chance to fully think through what you’re going to say and commit it to memory. It’s been proven that writing things by hand helps you remember them better.
Plus, when you’re asking somebody for help with money or guarantor loans – or even just chatting to them about finances – it’s important to be clear and communicate well so that you inspire trust and openness, rather than confusion.
Step Three: Pick a meeting place that makes you both comfortable
For obvious reasons, coffee shops and public places aren’t the best settings for discussing money, especially if you’re a little nervous. Instead, perhaps invite them over for a coffee, cake or home-cooked dinner and try to set a relaxed, chilled-out mood. Make sure you choose a place they feel relaxed in too. This is a two-way conversation, so it’s important they feel comfortable giving honest responses.
If you feel nervous or awkward, tell the person you’re talking to how you feel. Not only will it make them be a little more sensitive to your situation, but it’ll also demonstrate that you’re taking the situation seriously and understand the importance of what you’re asking.
Step Four: Explain your situation
Finally we get to the part when you talk to the other person about money. Now, if you did section 2, you should find this part slightly easier, but it’s still going to be a little uncomfortable, and when you’re uncomfortable, it’s not uncommon to deviate from the script or change what you want to say as you go along.
That’s fine of course – you want to appear human and natural – but these are the top thing you shouldn’t do if you’re having the guarantor loans money talk:
- Make excuses or blame anybody else: Own the situation and take responsibility for what has happened. This shows you’re a responsible adult who takes their finances seriously. If you’re thinking about guarantor loans, it’s important for your guarantor to completely trust you.
- Skip over any details that are important: You want your friend or family member to get an idea of the whole picture, rather than the abridged version, especially if you want their help.
- Bend or stretch the truth: It’s important to be honest with your trusted friend or family member.
Remember, the goal of this meeting is to be honest with your friend or family member, start an honest dialogue about money. If you’re thinking about guarantor loans – convince them you’re responsible with money, even if you are in a spot of bother.
Step Five: Focus on goals and moving forward, rather than blame
Encourage your friend or family member to focus on goals and fixing the problem rather than blaming you (or anybody) else for the situation by owning your mistakes and asking for help moving on from them. Not only does this show them that you take responsibility for your actions and have thought about what got you into a bit of trouble, it also prevents the meeting from going pear-shaped.
While you are having the guarantor loans money talk, it can be easy to get defensive when somebody blames you for something, even if they have got a good point. Instead, try to work together to think of goals, strategies and actions you can take to start fixing the situation.
Talking to your friends and family about money – especially asking them to help you apply for guarantor loans – is never going to be a walk in the park, but by establishing an open, honest dialogue as early as you can, you’ll find somebody to help you work towards solving your money troubles and who you can talk to about money-related stress.
- Author The Bamboo Team
- Posted 22 October 2018