How do I know I have Debt Issues?

Debt issues run rampant in the United States. This is one of the main reasons that the US went into a bit of an economic mess throughout the beginning of the 21st century. Credit was incredibly easy to get, and because of that, people got a lot of it. As the stock market started to struggle, people were unable to pay their debts off, banks started to have issues because more and more people were not paying their loans off, and then the economy kept going down and down. People are slowly trying to get out of debt, so while the market struggles from a lack of new purchases, the economy is very slow on the upswing.

One of the biggest problems with this is that people didn’t realize that they had a debt issue. Since it became commonplace, people used the thought process that their debt wasn’t as bad as anyone else’s. I had this issue; I was only $3,000 in debt, not a big deal, right? Wrong! Here are some ways you can tell you have a debt problem.

  • Rotating minimum payments. I was $3,000 in debt for a long time. Why? Because I’d pay the minimum payment only, and on top of that, I’d normally put back on the card the amount of money I spent on a payment. If you’re doing this, the rest of your budget is obviously not working. You shouldn’t have to do this if your budget is balanced.
  • Your debt load is more than 20% of your income. This is the high end of the suggested average. If your debt is more than 20% of your annual income, think about all the money you’re wasting on interest and paying off your debt.
  • You use your card no matter what. Even if you have the money to buy groceries, you whip out the credit card. Not only is this bad practice, you may have an addiction to using credit.
  • You don’t know how much you owe. This is a huge problem. If you’re throwing out random numbers just to get inquisitive people off of your back, you may have a lot more than you think you do.
  • You have no savings. It makes sense doesn’t it? If you’re swimming in debt, you’re not going to be able to save a dime.
  • Necessities get pushed off because you’re too far in debt. I had this issue at one point; I had to go to the doctor for a severe knee injury, but I kept pushing it off because my debt controlled my life. Don’t let this happen to you; the last thing you need is for something horrible to happen and not be able to pay for it.
  • You’re borrowing a lot of money. At one point, I owed friends and family around $500. I would ask different people for that money so they wouldn’t suspect anything. Does your situation sound similar? If you can’t even afford to live and have to bum off everyone, it’s time to rethink things.
  • You’re barraged with phone calls and notices from creditors and collection agencies. This is probably the most obvious. If places that you owe money are stalking you to try and get it, you probably have a big issue with your credit.

There are lots of ways to get help with your debt. Make sure to check out any and all counseling agencies or debt reduction agencies before you use any of their paid services, but if you need help, don’t be afraid to go after it.

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