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By Courtney Levin, Police1 BrandFocus Staff
In recent years, the topic of welfare among law enforcement officers has become increasingly prevalent. From thorough cardiovascular evaluations to mental health assistance programs, cops have more resources at their disposal than they probably ever had before.
However, there is one aspect of overall well-being that tends to get overlooked, and it can make a huge difference in job performance: financial well-being.
It’s a good idea to plan for unexpected expenses, but cops can’t even begin to think about future financial plans when they’re burdened with debt. Whether it’s rising childcare costs, the need to replace a vehicle, or unexpected medical expenses, it’s easy to suddenly find yourself scrambling to make ends meet.
In a time when being in debt is often a closely guarded secret, there are resources to help cops regain financial stability. The impact of debt stress is deeper than many realize, but programs like those offered by Americor Debt Relief can help.
THE DANGERS OF DEBT
Trying to get out of debt looks like an unsolvable puzzle. No matter how many times you calculate how to move forward, finding a solution often becomes a never-ending search. This mental strain can create prolonged stress levels that can significantly affect a police officer’s health.
“Financial stability is one of the most basic essential needs,” said Dr. David Farcy, chairman of the department of emergency medicine at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach, Florida. “In order for anyone to have a clear mind and function to their maximum capacity, they must know that their basic needs are being met.”
Many cops consider making more money to be their only option for financial stability, but this too can lead to serious concerns.
“Officers struggle to make ends meet, especially early in their careers,” said retired City of Doral PD leader Don De Lucca in Florida. “They accumulate debts, so they take a second job. Some of them will work 24, 36, even 40 overtime hours a week to try to make ends meet. It affects their well-being – their ability to come to work and give 100% to do their job properly.
Unfortunately, being preoccupied during service can lead to disastrous consequences. There is no room for the mental distraction of crushing debt in a role where situational awareness and forethought are required to ensure safety.
TOOLS FOR FINANCIAL WELLNESS
Getting out of debt can be difficult. Credit card companies often encourage making only the minimum payment each month while compounding exorbitant interest rates, creating a situation that makes it incredibly difficult to get ahead.
Cops with different types of debt have a solution available – one that may even prevent them from having to work overtime just to pay off their financial obligations. Americor gives law enforcement options to manage their finances and has worked with individuals to provide relief from more than $2 billion in debt.
Americor offers several options that can be tailored to each agent’s specific situation:
- Debt settlement can be useful for large credit card balances, medical bills, or personal loans that seem impossible to pay off. Americor will negotiate with your creditors on your behalf and work to reduce the amount you owe, sometimes as much as 50%, while canceling the rest of your debt. Once a debt is settled, high interest ends for good, saving you thousands of dollars and years of interest payments.
- Debt Consolidation loans combine multiple high-interest debts into one convenient monthly payment. The key to this option is the significantly lower interest rate these loans are often able to secure, allowing your money to stretch further to pay down your balance.
Keep in mind that every agent’s financial situation is different and there is no one-size-fits-all solution to managing your debt. The Americor team can work with you to create a plan that best meets your needs and takes some of the stress out of your finances.
START THE JOURNEY TOWARDS FINANCIAL WELL-BEING
Like any other aspect of health and wellness, the first step towards improving your financial well-being is the most important. Not only does every law enforcement officer deserve to get out of debt, but the benefits of reducing financial stress can be monumental.
“I wish this program had been available when I was chief so I could offer it to officers who have fallen into this hole and are struggling with their finances and are in debt,” said Ray Martinez, chief at the retirement from Miami. PD of the beach. “It gives them the opportunity to get out of debt faster and to be able to restore their financial health, because it will help them at work.”
Visit America for more information or call 855-220-2493 for a free debt analysis.