Do you know the
warning signs of too much debt? Credit
is great when it's used wisely, but
more and more Americans are getting
in over their heads and threatening
their financial futures.
Just because you
can pay your minimum payments each month
doesn't mean you don't have a credit
problem. Remember, low minimum payments
benefit the credit card company, not
you. They are the means by which many
people become enslaved to their debt,
taking decades to pay off purchases
whose prices have become grossly inflated
by interest charges that have accumulated
for years. This is how credit card companies
make their money.
Don't allow yourself
to be lulled into a false sense of security
that you have your debt under control
just because you're not late on any
payments and you can manage the monthly
Here are some
of the warning signs that you have a
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
have any savings.
You make minimum
payments on your credit cards.
You use credit
cards for things you used to buy
with cash, such as groceries.
You use increasing
amounts of your total income to
pay off debts.
You have more
than two or three major credit cards.
pay your credit card bill, you increase
your balance by the same amount
(or more) the following month.
or near your credit limit on your
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.
of the total amount you owe on all
You take out
cash advances on your credit card
to pay other bills.
to make a purchase with your credit
card and been declined.
You get calls
You lie to
your spouse or other family member
about your spending or hide credit
card statements from family members.