Here are some of the warning signs that you have a credit/debt problem.
If you answer yes to one or more of the first six questions and no to the rest, you may have caught the problem before it's unmanageable, as long as you act now to change your spending habits. If you answer yes to one or more of questions 7 through 15, your problem is much more serious and will require more drastic steps. Time is of the essence.
Warning Signs of Debt Problems
1. You don't have any savings.
2. You make minimum payments on your credit cards.
3. You use credit cards for things you used to buy with cash, such as groceries.
4. You use increasing amounts of your total income to pay off debts.
5. You have more than two or three major credit cards.
6. After you pay your credit card bill, you increase your balance by the same amount (or more) the following month. 7. You're at or near your credit limit on your credit cards.
8. You count on the float in order to pay your bills, writing a check hoping that you'll be able to cover it by the time it clears your bank.
9. You're unsure of the total amount you owe on all your debts.
10. You take out cash advances on your credit card to pay other bills.
11. You've tried to make a purchase with your credit card and been declined.
12. You've been denied credit.
13. You bounce checks.
14. You get calls from collectors.
15. You lie to your spouse or other family member about your spending or hide credit card statements from family members.
If you realize that you are in over your head, the sooner you act, the easier it will be to get out from under the burden of debt. Beware of companies that promise to fix your credit or debt consolidation companies. There's no easy fix, but it is possible to turn your finances around if you work at it.