Ask the Dolans: 6 Signs You're in Debt Trouble
Ken and Daria Dolan are widely known as America's First Family of Personal Finance.
Dear Ken and Daria: I'm worried that I might be in over my head when it comes to how much debt I'm carrying. How can I tell?
Well, the fact that you are even asking the question is a good sign in itself that you need to get your debt under control. But most people ignore the warning signs until it's too late....so good for you for tackling it head on, right NOW!
Here are some signs you are in over your head...
- You are at or near the limit on your credit cards
- You are paying bills late that you used to pay on time
- You are only making the minimum payment on your credit cards
- You are tapping into your savings to cover your bills
- You don't know how much you owe
- You worry all the time about being able to pay your bills
If any of that sounds familiar, it's time to take action!
Your very first step is to get a true handle on how much you owe (here's a handy worksheet that can help).
If you are in over your head, contact a non-profit consumer credit counselor NOW before you end up dealing with collection agencies and damaging your credit long-term.
A good source for help is the non-profit National Foundation for Consumer Credit at www.nfcc.org or 1-800-388-2227 to speak with a counselor near you. The initial consultation is free; after that, you will pay a monthly fee of up to $50 while you are in the program.
Well worth it to protect your credit.
Do you have a question about credit? We'd love to hear from you and will do our best to answer it here. Click here to shoot us an email.
Ken and Daria Dolan of Dolans.com have hosted their own national radio program for 22 years, anchored their own television shows on CNN, authored six books on money matters, served as money contributors on CBS This Morning and have now launched a comprehensive web site and free e-letter at Dolans.com.