What are some of the warning signs that credit card debt is starting to be a problem for you?
Maybe you started using your Visa or another card for ordinary purchases like gas or food, thinking you could pay off the balance in full at the end of the month. But what you found is that so often income runs out before the month does – and suddenly a high credit card balance puts you in need of debt relief.
If that is the situation you are in, keep in mind that bankruptcy may be one of your best choices for making a fresh start.
It’s also good to take a cold, hard look at your spending patterns. For example, are you frequently using a credit card to buy gas? And are you often paying only the minimum amount that is due each month on your credit card bill?
If so, these are indicators that you are at risk of falling deeper into debt.
After all, life happens. Unexpected medical bills or car repair bills will be difficult to sustain if you are already running a balance on your credit card and using it to buy gas or food.
This is why many financial counselors encourage people to create an emergency fund. If an illness or accident occurs, the fund is there to help you get through tough times and back on your feet.
Of course, if you’re already financially distressed, creating such an emergency fund may seem beyond your means. But again, that may be where filing for bankruptcy comes in.
Source: “Survey Compares Credit Card Use by People who are Struggling to Pay their Bills to People Who are Economically Stable,” Houston Chronicle, 5-22-12