Warning Signs of Credit Trouble
Credit is one of the financial tools available to consumers today to help them reach
their financial goals. However, it is one of those tools that needs to be used with caution.
If you think that you might have been overusing credit there are signs to help you
determine if you are heading toward credit problems.
Here are six of the warning signs that indicate the potential for financial trouble
- First, your current debt load is making you feel uncomfortable. Do you ever spend time
worrying about the amount of money you owe?
- Another sign is that you pay only the minimum amount due on your credit cards each month
because thats all you can afford.
- A third sign is that you borrow money to pay expected expenses like insurance and taxes.
These are expenses that you should be able to cover out of current income.
- If you put off one creditor to pay another, or skip some payments so you can make other
credit payments, this is a sign you may be heading for credit trouble.
- A fifth sign is you take out new loans or cash advances on your credit cards to pay off
- And finally, if you paid late penalty fees more than twice within the last year, you
should take notice.
If any of these warning signs apply to you, you may be heading toward serious credit
trouble. Take some time to review the way you currently use credit and take corrective
action. Or if you cannot see a way out of your dilemma, seek professional help from an
accredited financial counselor or a credit counseling agency.
Carole Bozworth, BozworthC@missouri.edu
Regional Specialist, Consumer and Family Economics
Jackson County, MO
University of Missouri Extension