Personal wealth coach Steve Down explaining mental effects of his past debt.

Have you ever been in debt?

One online search about debt will plunge you into endless scrolling. The internet is riddled with debt conversations, posts and websites offering solutions and advice on clearing debt.

But, you don’t have to believe and take every advice you get. This is where your financial fitness helps you discern sound financial advice and practical solutions.

Some of the most common statements concerning debt include:

  • Debt is bad
  • Small debts never go into collections
  • Its okay to make minimum payments
  • Debt is a bad idea and you should avoid it all costs.

Unfortunately, all these statements are far from the truth when it comes to debt. These statements are however, a true reflection of what majority of people think and feel when they hear about debt.

The truth is:

  • Not all debt is bad. There’s good debt and bad debt
  • Small debts go into collections and your lender takes them into account
  • While everyone may want to go the minimum way, you have to know that the interest rates continue to increase overtime and you may end up paying more interest than you should have.
  • Good debt fulfills its purpose and has a well thought plan on risks and repayment

Those who understand how money works are able to discern the above. That’s why their financial decision to get into debt has an end goal and a plan.

There are two different types of debt:


Good debt is a debt you take to help you generate more money that helps build your Net worth. It is considered good because of its positive impact on your finances.

Bad debt is a debt you use in any other way and it doesn't help you generate more money. It is considered bad since it has added no value to you and has instead put you in a worse financial situation.

With this in mind, debtors are either working towards fully paying it back or thinking of how to avoid it. Trying to get rid of debt can be mentally cumbersome. Our emotional and physical wellbeing ca be directly affected by how we handle clearing debt.


  • Anxiety; debt gives us financial uncertainty. This clouds our judgement in making financial decisions.
  • Depression; bad debt makes it harder for us to enjoy our finances and lowers our hope of a better financial future.
  • Denial; The inability to process the financial changes we have to make because of debt repayment can lead us to a ‘debt catch-up’ lifestyle.
  • Stress and Tension; owing debt limits our spending flexibility to situations we need money to solve. We get stressed by lenders asking us to pay back and from balancing our finances with our needs. Tension comes in where unforeseen yet unavoidable expenses cannot be paid due to a commitment to debt repayment.
  • Embarrassment; we can easily equate owing money to not being financially capable. Many lenders call guarantors. Some lending apps also use debt shaming tactics to collect debts. These affect our social image and behaviour in social spaces.

Before STEVE DOWN became the reknown personal wealth and financial fitness coach is today, he had to graple with the mental and physical effects of an outstanding family debt. The principles shared in his book Financially Fit For Life are what he can personally attest to applying. From falling in a debt trap to being debt-free within five years, he knows all to well about this sensitive subject.

With Steve’s challenge “run on cash” he provides solutions to getting rid of debt.


  1. RUN -ON CASH; Don’t acquire any more debt. Choose to be debt-free. Take personal responsibility to evaluate your financial position before borrowing. Be committed to live debt-free.
  2. Check your attitude towards debt. evaluate whether borrowing healthy or unhealthy to your financial health. Read more on debt attitude in Steve Down’s book, Financially Fit For Life.
  3. Evaluate your cashflow and debt repayment sources- Figure out where your money is going and are they of priority.
  4. List down all your debt and create a plan to clear them in order of priority.
  5. When paying off debt, pay more than the minimum balance. This helps you clear it faster.

6. Sell what you don't need - You not only get rid of unnecessary things but also earn money you can use to clear your debts

7. Learn the seven steps to becoming financially fit and debt-free for life.

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Financially Fit

Financially Fit


Financially Fit is the global leader in personal wealth education offering personal finance education to individuals, families and businesses and nations.