Do your debts keep you awake at night? You’re not the only one. Americans have a combined debt of about $2.15 million, mostly due to credit cards, according to the U.S. Federal Reserve.
But how do you recognize how serious your problem is?
The first thing you need to do is learn to recognize the signs. Take paper and pencil and answer yes or no to the following questions:
- Do you pay only the minimum amount required for your credit cards?
- Are you often late with your bills?
- Are you over the limit on your credit cards?
- Do you experience anxiety and stress due to your debts?
If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, you may benefit from a debt consolidation plan.
The debt consolidation program is a plan in which your debts are restructured into a single monthly payment. Interest rates and late payment penalties can be drastically reduced in most cases.
After a careful analysis of your financial situation, which is completely free, debt management consultants negotiate with your creditors to lower your monthly payments, interest charges and late payment penalties.
Danger Signs of Credit Card Debt
The vast majority of people are unaware of the danger signs of credit card debt.
Here are some of the most common dangerous situations so you can avoid a major financial crisis.
- Your credit cards are maxed out and you only pay the minimum amount required. Failure to fully cover your account can lead to severe finance charges. If you miss a payment, you will be charged late fees in installments.
- An increasing amount of income is allocated to pay off your debts. Only 10% to 15% of the income you bring home must be used to pay off debts taken on credit.
- You use one card to pay for another. Don’t be fooled into avoiding your debts. All you are doing is borrowing more money.
- You decide that your next doctor’s visit should wait. If you’re risking your health for money, it’s time to re-evaluate your credit situation.
- Bills are paid with money that was intended for other things.
- The money borrowed from credit cards is used for items that were previously paid for with cash.
- Savings are used to pay current bills.