If you are like many Marylanders, you do not carry cash. Why should you when you can use more convenient forms of paying for your purchases, such as bank cards or credit cards? However, being part of a cashless society often means losing track of the amount of money you spend. For many, this means acquiring more debt than they realize.
It often does not take much to fall hopelessly behind on your payments to creditors and lenders. You may be keeping up with the minimum payments until an unplanned major purchase, a car repair or medical emergency tips the delicate balance. Are you aware of the indicators that you may be reaching the danger zone with your debt?
Does this sound like you?
Knowing when your situation is dire is the first step to finding a way back from a financial nightmare. You may assure yourself that times are hard, but perhaps things do not have to be as difficult for you as they are. If you are experiencing any of the following scenarios, you may be at the point where reaching out for help soon is a wise decision:
- You make the minimum payments on your credit cards, but even that is often difficult to manage.
- You run out of money before your next paycheck.
- You add more debt faster than you pay it down each month.
- You use credit cards, loans, or borrowed cash from family or friends to pay your bills.
- You have taken a second job, cut unnecessary expenses and tried to consolidate your debts, but you still struggle to pay your debts each month.
- You have so much debt that your credit score has dropped.
- You have no savings and no money to create an emergency fund.
Having nothing put back as a safety net against an unexpected financial hit is a recipe for disaster. If you lose your job or face any other hardship, you may find yourself unable to dig out of the hole your debt has created.
Are you out of time?
Perhaps the clearest sign that your debt is out of control is that you are afraid to answer your phone or open the mail because of the threats and warnings from debt collectors. Since it is their job to get you to pay what you owe, they are likely to persist in any way the law allows until they collect. If the phone calls and letters warn you of foreclosure, wage garnishment or repossession, you have a right to be concerned.
You may wish to avoid any delay in reaching out for information about your options. Speaking to a bankruptcy attorney will provide you with details about the alternatives that are most appropriate for your circumstances and most likely to improve your chances of a brighter, debt-free future.