This section provides information, advice and links to resources on finance and debt.
Don't forget that the Veterinary Benevolent Fund is available to provide financial support to vets and their dependants where appropriate. If necessary, they will pay for you to talk to a professional money advisor about your situation.
Not all debt is bad. We live in a debt dependent culture. We need to buy a house, set up or expand a practice, pay for our education and often provide for that of our children. Let's be clear here - in these pages we are not talking about credit. We are talking about out-of-control debt - debt that can't be reasonably serviced by your income. Debt isn't wrong but it needs to be understood, planned and affordable.
Debt becomes bad debt when it is not properly managed. Out of control debt can become serious and overwhelming.
Bad debt happens, by and large, for two reasons. The first, and probably the most common, is financial mismanagement (or more commonly non-management). With a busy and demanding career it is only too easy to develop a lifestyle and to make commitments which cause our expenditure to exceed our income. We get very unconscious around money. This, ultimately, is a recipe for disaster.
The second reason for bad debt is, of course, sudden and unexpected disaster - the loss of a job - the failure of an investment - the unexpected big bill.
Balance is key
It's virtually impossible to avoid borrowing money. It is equally important to make sure that you can service whatever borrowing you undertake.
Here are some of the ways in which veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses can get into debt.
Debt crisis is defined by moneysavingexpert.com as "when you can't afford to make even the minimum repayments on all debts or meet all necessary outgoings."
"Mental health problems can cause serious debt and serious debt can cause mental health problems."
Of course – but this is a vicious cycle from which it can be difficult to emerge.
According to a study by MoneySavingExpert.com – 44% of people who have or have had mental health problems have severe or crisis debts as opposed to only 10% of people who have never had mental health problems.
A veterinary practice is a small (and complex) business. There are many ways in which unmanaged debt can overtake vets who, tired from long hours spent in the business of animal welfare, can be tempted to neglect the financial aspects of their business.
As a director of a limited company, you have legal obligations and if you allow your company finances to get out of control, you could be personally at risk.
See the resources page for specifically business help and advice.
Do not ignore the problem!
Debts do not go away on their own. Any delay could make matters worse.
We have included a section on student debt in the Student Finance section of the website. Loads of links to student specific material here.