Debt can be a crippling weight for any person, but often, those people do not seek out help. There are many reasons people do not ask for help, but when it comes to family and friends, most of us want to do whatever they can to help. There are quite a few ways in which you can come to the conclusion that someone close to you is in a lot of debt. Check out these common ways to identify a person in debt, along with a few ways in which you can help.

Identifying Debt

  • Change in Spending Habits

Noticing an overall change in spending habits is one of the biggest indicators of debt. It works both ways, too. If a person starts spending more than before, you can get a sense that they are digging themselves into debt. If a person drastically cuts their spending, they may be doing so to pay off the debt they have accrued.

  • Person Becomes Withdrawn

Do you have someone in your group of friends who has started to become withdrawn from the group? If they are shying away from hanging out, especially when there is money involved, that person may be juggling too much debt.

  • Drastic Fluctuation in Weight

Debt causes a lot of stress for most people. Under extreme stress, individuals can either gain a lot of weight in a short amount of time or rapidly drop weight. Either way, the extreme fluctuations are not good and could be a sign of debt.

  • Life Event Resulting in Impact on Income

Large life events can often be debt-inducing. Things, like having a child or losing a job, can result in an accrual of debt at a rapid rate.

How to Help

Helping a family member or friend out in a time of need is a great thing, but also is a delicate subject – especially when money is involved. Here are a few ways to help loved ones who could use a hand.

  • Gift Money

The easiest, but often hardest, way to help out a friend or family member in need is to gift them cash. The no-strings-attached gift can be hard for some to swallow, so do not be offended if they turn it down. If they do accept it, be sure that you’re willing to truly gift it to them. Never hold the favor over their heads – it was probably very difficult to accept in the first place.

  • Provide a Personal Loan

A way to help out a stubborn loved one is to provide a personal loan. This way, they aren’t receiving assistance without having to pay it back. Assistance like this can be easier for people to accept because they are held accountable and it doesn’t take a toll on their sense of pride.

  • Help them Create a Budget

If the two forms of assistance above are turned down, see if you can help them create a budget. Most times, people are truly unaware of the money that comes in versus what’s coming out. Taking a hard look at finances is often the best way to take hold of them. After their budget is complete, help them stick to it and provide guidance where necessary. If they are open to the help, your loved one will be back on track in no time at all.