When credit card debt is out of control: how much consumer debt is too much?
If you’ve recently been surprised to discover that you have too much credit card debt, you’re not alone. In fact, having excessive consumer debt is a common financial issue — one that’s frequently noticed too late!
Since your card issuer won’t tell you if there’s cause for concern, you need to be careful about your spending habits. Be on the lookout for these signs before you find yourself completely unable to pay off your credit card debt.
1. Maxed out cards
If you have multiple cards and they’re all maxed out or close to maxed out, this is a clear indication you need to get your spending under control. Credit counselling would likely help you understand your situation and what you need to do to fix it.
2. Minimum payments
Being unable to make more than the minimum payment every month should send alarm bells ringing. If you can only make the minimum payment, your debt is getting bigger every month instead of smaller.
3. Missed and late payments
In addition to indicating that you’re in too much debt, missed and late payments will wreck your credit score.
4. Paying credit with credit
If you find yourself taking out loans to pay down other loans, you’re likely in need of assistance to manage your debts.
5. Living on credit
It’s common for people to use their credit card to pay for gas and groceries, but if you’re not able to pay down your basic expenses, it means you simply can’t afford your current lifestyle and need to reassess your financial situation.
6. Credit score issues
If your credit score is hurting or you’re finding it hard to secure loans, it’s a strong sign that your finances aren’t in good shape. If you aren’t sure what your credit score is, ask to see your credit report. You may spot an error or a fraudulent credit application, but more importantly, it’ll allow you to get a clear picture of your situation.
7. Hiding debt
If you’re hiding you debt from your spouse or the people you’re close to, ask yourself why. Chances are it’s because the situation would likely shock them, which should be a clue that you need to take steps to fix it.
8. No savings
If you find that you’re unable to save any money, it’s time to reassess your spending habits.
How to get out of credit card debt
If it’s become clear that you are having a problem paying down your credit card debt, you should know that there’s help. The licensed insolvency trustees at D. & A. McLeod Company Ltd. can assess your situation and outline solutions. To get started, contact us today for a free consultation.