It’s almost like running on a treadmill- the speed steadily increasing. You want desperately to get off, but you can’t. We’re here to tell you that you CAN! We’re talking credit card debt and how to keep from drowning in it. The holidays, which are the most popular time to spend, are now over, but its remnants remain – bills – lots of them—pushing you and your credit card limits to the brink.
Here at Your Consumer Services, a debt management company, we’re experts at helping you pay off your debt and stay on financial track. Are you beginning to feel overwhelmed with your credit card balances? Here’s a guide that can help: Three Red Flags that You’re Heading for Major Credit Card Debt.
Consumer Debt is Alive and Well
The final numbers are still being calculated for 2018, but near the end of the year, consumer debt was on track to top $4-trillion dollars. Of that amount, so-called “revolving credit” or credit card debt comes in at just over $1 trillion – a number that continues to climb, each year.
What’s your contribution to those numbers? How high is your credit card balance, in total? And is your debt beginning to make you feel unsettled?
RED FLAG #1: Your Credit Card Balance is Maxed Out, and You’re Beginning to Make Minimum Payments
Perhaps the first sign that you’re in credit card trouble is that you’ve reached your credit card spending limit. How did you get there? Plus – you’re now making only the minimally-required payments on your credit cards. Ideally, you want to pay off your entire balance, each month. But we know that’s not always possible, especially right now. But you should at least try to pay more than the minimum. The more you pay, the quicker you’ll get down your debt.
RED FLAG #2: You’re Beginning to Miss Payments
Your financial problems are about to seriously get worse when you start missing credit card payments. For starters, late payments will drive-up the interest you pay on your credit cards. But wait – there’s more. Every single time you miss making a payment, your credit card issuer will hit you with a late-payment fee. Here’s something to think about. Say you have 4 credit cards and each one charges you a $35 late payment fee. You’re looking at an additional $140 dollars added to your debt load. And that’s every time you miss a payment. And don’t forget about the constant phone calls from creditors, who want to get paid. It can be overwhelming.
RED FLAG #3: You’re Getting Cash from Your Credit Cards
Right about now, you may be strapped for cash. But don’t be tempted to get money from your credit cards, also called a cash advance. If you do so, more than likely, you’ll be hit with a credit card cash advance fee. That fee is typically 3 to 5 percent of the money you’re withdrawing – or $10, whichever is greater. And yes, you will still get hit with interest on that transaction. In most cases, that rate is even higher than the rate you pay for your credit card purchases.
Manage Your Money and Control Your Spending
Here are some steps you can take that can help you better manage your money and spending habits:
- Get on a serious budget and track your spending (a budgeting app can help.)
- Take on an extra job to help pay down credit cards
- Eat out less to save more money
- Downsize your over-spending lifestyle
- Buy with cash instead of credit cards (We tend to spend more money when using credit cards.)
We Can Help You Get Out of Credit Card Debt
Heavy credit card and any other type of heavy debt can also lead to other financial and emotional issues. Not to mention your credit score will suffer, tremendously. If you feel you’re beginning to collect red flags, and you’re falling deeper into a credit card trap, don’t stress out.
Paying off your debt is easier than you think. Start chatting with our debt repayment experts now to find out how. Let us help you make 2019 the year that you get out of serious debt. Let’s get started!