A credit card or loan can bring you a feeling of freedom. If you are short on cash, you can still get the things you want. However, like any good thing, too much can be detrimental. The freedom you feel using that credit card may soon turn into a feeling of imprisonment.
It is not always easy to recognize when debt is becoming overwhelming. You may think you are on the right track. What you may not realize is that one financial setback, such as a job loss, car repair or medical emergency, can send your budget tumbling down around you. So how can you know if your debt is reaching the danger zone?
See the signs
While using credit can be a handy way to get through life, the money you spend on interest and fees is often money you could be using for other things, such as saving for the future. Of course, it is possible to do those things and still carry a certain amount of debt, but if any of the following are true, you may have more debt than you can safely carry and still avoid a financial disaster:
- You continue to use your credit cards while trying to pay down their balances.
- At least one of your credit cards is maxed out or near the limit.
- You are only able to send the minimum payments to credit card companies each month.
- You don’t always pay your bills on time because the money you make is not enough to cover your debts.
- You aren’t really sure how much debt you have.
- You sometimes use your credit card or take cash advances when you need to pay other bills.
- You have no savings and no emergency fund.
- You are ashamed to talk about your money problems to your family or friends.
- Bouncing checks or overdrawing your account is not unusual for you.
- A credit card company or lender has recently denied your application for more credit.
You may already realize you are in over your head, but you keep chipping away at it each month: one step forward with a minimum payment and three steps back with more fees and interest added. If you are tired of living this way, you may be looking for answers. Reaching out to a skilled Oregon attorney for information on debt relief options may set your financial course toward a brighter future.