Warning signs of too much debt

Are you in debt trouble? Read each item to learn the warning signs.

A calendar        A close-up of a check
Your timing

  • You’re always late in paying your bills.
  • It takes you 60 or even 90 days to cover bills you once could pay monthly.
  • You juggle payments to keep creditors satisfied.

Your checking account

  • Your checking account is frequently overdrawn.
  • You can make only minimum payments on your revolving charge accounts.

Your paycheck

  • You race to deposit your paycheck because you’ve already written checks that require the money in your paycheck.
  • A small reduction in your income or an unusual expense would make you unable to pay all of your monthly bills.

Your credit cards

  • Your credit accounts are usually at their maximum limits.
  • You apply for more credit cards because you have reached the limit on the ones you have.
  • You are spending more than 20% of your take-home pay on credit payments (not counting your rent or mortgage).
  • Your loan or credit card balances stay the same or go up each month.

Your purchases and bills

  • You’re still paying off purchases you made a year ago.
  • You put off medical and dental visits because you cannot pay the bill.

Credit cards         A piggy bank with coins scattered around it

Your savings

  • You don’t have a savings account, or have stopped making deposits to it.

Your emotions

  • You are always worried about your debts.
  • You argue with your spouse or partner over bills.

Your shopping

  • You sometimes wonder why you made certain purchases.
  • You feel free to spend more after clearing up a debt.

Your living expenses

  • You use savings or credit cards to cover everyday living expenses, such as groceries.

Your creditors

  • You ignore the telephone or mail to avoid dealing with creditors.

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