With so many different ways to borrow money, from credit cards to loans, it is very easy to land yourself in debt without even realising it. Reckless spending, living beyond your means or failing to read the small print isn’t wise, so it’s essential to avoid debt that will be difficult to clear.
If you have credit cards, loans or any other form of borrowing, you should be keeping a close eye on your finances. If you’re in debt, you need to know that you’re in debt and by how much. So many people with debt problems run away from their money problems, refusing to face up to the situation in the vain hope that it will disappear on its own. Needless to say, burying your head in the sand will not do a thing to clear your debt problems. You need to look your money worries square in the face and take decisive action to get yourself out of the red and back on the right track.
Debt might seem like an easy thing to spot, but not if you’re in denial. Here are a few tell-tale signs to look out for:
- You receive demands for repayment in the mail, or calls from credit card companies or other creditors, at least once a week
- You can only afford the minimum monthly repayments on your credit card bill
- You have no savings – all your money goes towards paying back what you owe
- You can never quite manage to pay your bills on time – and not simply because of forgetfulness
- You are near to or over your credit limit on all of your credit cards
- You’ve been denied when you apply for credit card or other new credit products
How to start tackling your debt problems
Now that you’ve recognised the signs of debt, you need to take action. Clearing debt problems is not something that can be done overnight, and it can seem quite a daunting task. So, where do you start? The first thing to do is to take stock of your financial situation, adding up the full amount of money you owe. This isn’t a pleasant task, but you need to know. The next thing to do is to get together figures for your income, savings and any other payments you have to make each month and take them to a debt advice service. There are many free, unbiased services you can use that will get you started on a debt repayment plan.