It may seem likely this is an obvious thing to know
but the fact is that being in debt is not always as clear cut as you might think. Of course if your debts are unmanageable then you will undoubtedly know that you’re in trouble already. But, one of the major problems with having debts
in the first place is the fact that the circumstances of debt can change very quickly. You can, quite simply go from having a few debts to service through to finding yourself unable to cope in no time at all.
The problems that many people have with their debts at the moment are mostly down to the economy. People lose their jobs, earn less money and find it harder to get credit to tide them over as they have been used to doing in the past. Lenders are cracking down more on the credit products they are willing to give to consumers and this can also make it harder to stay on track.
The best way to manage your debts
is to recognise when you have a problem that could well turn into a crisis. If you get to this stage and can see that you need help then the situation will be far easier to handle and far less stressful for you. So, what are the 16 warning signs that you need to look out for?
You don’t need to hit all 16 of these warning signs to really seriously be in trouble with your debts.
- Once you have paid your essential bills and debt commitments at the beginning of the month you don’t have enough money left to live on until you next get paid.
- You need to use your credit cards to start paying for everyday spending early in the month because your salary is running out.
- You use your credit card to take out cash advances from a cash point because you’ve maxxed out your current account balance.
- You can’t make anything more than the minimum payment on your credit card debts because you don’t have the cash spare to pay off more.
- You have missed payments on a credit product and have run up arrears.
- You stop opening bills and credit card statements when they arrive in the post because you find it too depressing to think about how you can pay them.
- You’ve applied for a new credit card or a loan and have been turned down.
- You have multiple store cards/credit cards and have to juggle them to manage your spending every month.
- You use a credit card to pay an essential bill or to make a minimum payment on another credit card.
- You are close to or at the maximum credit limit on most of your credit cards.
- You have been turned down for a credit card limit increase by your provider.
- You actually don’t know exactly what you owe and to whom anymore.
- You panic if an unexpected bill or expense comes in and start to feel ill.
- You are not being honest with your partner/spouse, family or friends about the position you are in.
- Your bank has refused to increase your overdraft and is starting to make noises about your paying it off.
- You’ve started using payday loans as a regular cash injection every month and you aren’t always paying them off when you need to.
If you are having problems with your debts then you are likely to find that more than one of them will ring a bell with you – but, just one will do it. Your problem really is the fact that these warning signs all tell you one thing – you’re teetering on the edge of not being able to cope with your debts and it will only take one more small shove to push you over.
So, if any of these warning signs sound familiar to you then you should seriously think about getting some debt management advice
. Get help early enough here and you could well find that you can take back control of your finances before it’s too late.