It is natural for people to rely on debt to get by at some point in time in their life. Almost everybody has experienced the stress of running out of cash in their pockets and having nothing left in their accounts and were questioning what to do. When this happens, it naturally puts people into a situation where they have to borrow money for immediate needs with the intent of paying it back later. Run through this process even a few times, and you’ll quickly find yourself in a scenario where you are drowning in loans and you have to keep using them. It is easy for this accumulation of debt to make it difficult to repay it or keep it from getting bigger for the average person. If you happen to find yourself in a similar situation, chances are you are still trying to catch up on your past debts.
When this occurs different people process it in different ways. Some individuals are painfully aware of any missed payments and or bills, whereas others are more relaxed. More often than not, it is the latter that find themselves in deeper than they thought. Often clients of ours mentioned they didn’t even realize they were on a precarious edge of insolvency until it was too late.
Fortunately, we’ve identified four signs that things are getting out of control and you are like drowning in debt. If you are experiencing any of the following signs it is probably a sign that you need to make a change as soon as possible:
1. You’re Constantly Receiving Calls from Collectors
Lenders are relentless when it comes to due dates. If you fail to pay them more than once, you will likely receive a barrage of collection calls, that could even occur on the weekends and into the late hours of your evenings.
It is much worse when it is compounded and if you have multiple creditors or collection agencies calling you. They will call your phone non-stop, to the point that you’ll consider having it disconnected, just to get a moment of peace.
They often will try calling family, friends and co-workers until they get you to respond. This tactic is often used to try to embarrass you and add additional pressure from those same people to try to make you make payments and stop the calls.
Take collection calls as a warning sign that you are already over the limit when it comes to debts.
2. You’re Constantly Paying but the Balance Amount Never Decreases
Too much debt can feel like taking water out of a container directly placed below a running faucet. No matter how much you scoop the water out, the process will never end until you turn off the tap.
Learn from your mistakes and avoid borrowing more money from other lenders if you can avoid it. People often use the term that “they are borrowing from Peter to pay Paul”. You may have been lucky the first time around, but you will find it increasingly more difficult to stop this pattern. After three or more lenders, you may find yourself at odds against your creditors with an amount of money that can seem almost impossible to deal with or get rid of. This is further complicated if you are dealing with high-risk lenders or payday loans, where the interest accumulates much quicker and it seems that you’re drowning.
3. Your Credit Score Is Slowly Decreasing
Unpaid debts will significantly affect your credit score, so much so that it may hinder you from relying on your credit score when trying to borrow or get financing in the future. Focus on improving your credit score first by making your minimum payments on time and also by paying down your current balance of debt. Full credit utilization and missed payments will have negative effects on your score and ratings.
No matter how hard it may be, practice self-control and avoid buying more items and especially expensive items that you do not have the money for. Remember, the only person that can get you out of debt is you, and what better way to do that than by avoiding more debt and payment obligations.
4. You’re Passing Your Debt from One Credit Card to Another
Passing your debt from one credit card to another is not going to help you at all. It will only trap you in a constant loop of transferring balances until someone says no.
Balance transfers can be helpful if you can pay off the debt immediately or within the reduced-interest timeframe. But as a long term strategy, keeping balances on higher interest credit cards is rarely, if ever, advised.
Don’t commit the same mistake as others have, pay for your items with money you have instead of using another credit card to cover it.
It can be hard to admit that you’re drowning in debt, and perhaps even harder than paying the debt itself. The truth is, denial will only make the situation worse, so instead of jumping from one lender to another, just keep your head on one lender and focus on paying them little by little.
Yes, there are interest and penalties for late payments, but paying them something will help you manage everything better, preventing collectors from coming after you. The financial slump won’t last forever, but sometime we need help to break the cycle. If you would like help or feel you need help, please contact us.
If you want to review your options and learn about consolidation loans, debt management programs, credit counselling, proposals, consumer proposals and bankruptcies, we at Paul J. Pickering and Associates are here to help you, backed by over 30 years of experience in helping our clients resolve their financial problems. Let’s discuss the right plan for you!