Debt Articles

Forget About Financial Literacy. What About Debt Illiteracy.

For years there has been also sorts of chit-chat and discussion about how financial literacy will magical cure the woes and troubles of consumers and prevent them from getting into financial trouble. That’s just simply wrong.

While financial education course may create more awareness on how to evaluate some financial products, that training is no good if it’s not applied. And not everyone is going to be a good financial manager no matter how much training you give them.

It’s not like we have an obesity problem in America because people don’t know about eating well, portion control, and expertise. And it’s not going to be tremendously different in the financial world if we trained everyone about interest rates, contract clauses, and fees.

Even recent work by the Consumer Financial Protection bureau is trying to work hard to dumb-down financial transactions so we can make some sense about getting a mortgage, credit card, or taking out a student loan.

But as one author noticed recently:

When consumers make poor financial decisions, they often do so because they lack information and understanding of product features. Financial literacy and sophistication is shockingly low: About one-third of the U.S. population understands the concepts of compound interest or how credit-card debt works. Such financial illiteracy is correlated with high levels of debt and high fees for financial services, and is greater among people with low incomes and low education, as well as minorities and the elderly.

I’ve never seen a study that shows the average debt literacy rate among the population. Debt literacy would be the skills, knowledge and experience to properly handle a debt emergency. While a third of the population might be considered to be grossly financially illiterate, I would estimate that close to 90 percent of debtors would be debt illiterate.

Studying the issues surrounding debt is just not something people do in advance. instead, rather than become experts on how to get out of debt when they land in trouble they often believe or turn to the first person that gives them a magical solution they want to hear about.

The idea that paying for exceptional advice and an independent opinion from a debt coach is a smart thing to do seems foreign to people in trouble. Yet that professional and experienced advice is just what the doctor would order for a higher chance of a better result.

Debt relief companies are not in the advice business. They are in the widget selling business. Rather than independently evaluate your situation and provide fair, independent or balanced recommendations they most want to sell your their services and the “consultation” is really not more than a closing sales pitch.

And am I wrong about this. Well, let’s consider some recent ads from some debt relief companies.

Inside Sales — Debt Settlement

We are looking for REAL. . . TRUE closers! PROS only need apply! Meaning, you can CLOSE!!!

These are Inbound calls. . . HOWEVER. . .. These are NOT “Lay-Downs”. You must be THICK SKINNED. This is NOT EASY!



This is for self motivated REAL Money Makers!

Sales commissions targeted between $8,000-$18,000 monthly. – Source

$$$ Money, Money, Money $$$

Atention all closers!!! We are The Mathys Law Group and have been in the business for over 29 years. We are looking for motivated, energetic people with positive energy and great work ethics. The most important thing you can ask for during these difficult times is having a product that the general public needs. Debt settlement is one of the most “NEEDED” services in today’s economic climate and as a result of it, our company is growing tremendously. We are looking to fill a few positions right away. – Source

OPPORTUNITY! Our company is growing and we are looking for TOP SALES AGENTS who can field Inbound Marketing!!!


1. Fully licensed & compliant debt resolution company, 100% legal -in business for over 5 years and here for the long haul.
2. NO SHORTAGE OF LIVE LEADS – all our leads are INBOUND with people that want to speak with you.
3. EXCELLENT PAY – your paycheck is unlimited – agents have the ability to make $12k a month CONSISTENTLY. – Source

“We are looking for top producers that can close.”

What it takes to be a Sales Consultant at our company:
If you’re a highly motivated sales professional seeking a career with a stable growth-oriented company that greatly respects all individuals, we are the company for you! If you’re tired of cold calling and working through old leads, we have plenty of clients ready to speak with you. We are looking for top producers that can close. If that is you, we have more real time live leads than you can possibly handle. Our top sales representatives are rewarded with perspective clients constantly, no dialing is required.

If you’re an experienced closer, but have been frustrated by the boiler room companies that tend to dominate Manhattan, we strongly suggest you see what separates us from everyone else.Source

As a successful associate, we will rely on you to promote DR Options, LLC products, services and affiliated services to increase sales and gain referrals from our existing customers. The primary mission of every Debt Reduction Specialists is: “To persuade every qualified customer to enroll in the DR Options, LLC program or for those that do not qualify to refer their friends and family to you.” You will oversee the process of collecting all pertinent information for a complete contract, and your experience and judgment will allow you to plan and achieve individual sales targets.Source

Does anyone think the people that fill those positions will really have your best interest in mind when you are talking to them?

Or do you think their most important goal is to close the sale and fill their quota?

While the fields are full of closers and sellers for debt relief services, they are surprisingly absent of good independent debt coaches like Damon Day. Someone who can evaluate the situation of someone and guide them in the most logical direction based on their circumstances, needs and goals.

The difference is that talking to a debt coach costs money. You are paying for professional advice. But how much will a free sales pitch cost in time, money and lost time as you head down the wrong path to achieve the wrong goal, using the wrong tool?

This post is not a sales advertisement for Damon Day but for all independent debt coaches that offer independent best advice to people facing a tough debt situation and guide them based on what is right for them, not to close the sale.

In my case I happen to do that through education and answering questions here in the site. In Damon’s case he does that through one-on-one telephone consultations over the phone to provide customized advice.

A good debt coach is like a financial planner that charges you professional fees for advice instead of primarily making money on sales commissions of financial products. Wouldn’t you rather work for someone that was working for you rather than just trying to close the sale?

So if you are facing debt problems, I can’t stress enough how important it is to seek and get good independent debt advice from this site or others before you leap for a magical solution sold to you by a closer desperate to tell you the story you want to hear to meet their quota.


You are not alone. I'm here to help. There is no need to suffer in silence. We can get through this. Tomorrow can be better than today. Don't give up.

About the author

Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.

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