Many NFL players go from a low to middle class lifestyle to upper or wealthy lifestyle in an instant and are not taught how to manage their finances and are not sure who they should or should not trust. Many NFL players are taken advantage of because of their financial status.
In other instances they succumb to guilt from family and friends to take care of them, peer pressure, impulse shopping, unable to say no to those asking for money, living above their means, trying to impress others, being overcharged, or bad investments which causes them to lose their homes, have their cars repossessed or file for bankruptcy due to their bad spending habits and poor financial choices. Family and friends see players on television and don’t realize how many expenses players have each month due to their lifestyle.
Some players forget to pay taxes, don’t keep track of their finances, make bad investments, get caught up in scams and lack basic business knowledge. This lack of financial experience and financial literacy education causes NFL players to buy things they can’t afford and try to portray a certain image that is difficult to live up to.
Approximately 40% of NFL players end up bankrupt after retirement. According to MSNBC approximately 380 players of the total 1,700 players live paycheck to paycheck. The average rookie salary is $320,000. When players get paid, after they pay taxes, pay their agent, publicists, accountants, lawyers and others on their payroll, pay for their lavish lifestyle with a home, multiple cars, jewelry, clothing, helping family and friends, they have very little left.
Some NFL players are borrowing money from friends due to the lockout. Some players are getting payday loans called “lockout loans” provided by lending agents. Lockout loans for more than $60,000 can have interest rates as high as 36%. The NFL Players Association in advance of the lockout advised players to save at least 3 game checks and find additional ways to make money but many did not follow this advice. The NFL Players Association also provides financial seminars and classes for players who do not heed the advice provided or may not understand the advice provided.
Many rookie players try to keep up with the spending habits of some of the veteran players and end up filing bankruptcy or foreclosure on their homes. In many instances players are taken advantage of by lawyers, accountants, agents and others who steal or do not keep their clients informed about their spending habits. In other cases, clients are advised about their poor spending habits but continue to spend until all their money is gone.