According to a CNBC report from 2021, the average American has $ 90,460 in debt. While that number represents everything – from housing to credit card debt to auto loans – it is still a burden to many. Research has shown that debt can trigger anxiety and depression, and can cause headaches, insomnia, or an inability to concentrate. This is probably because most of us worry when we go in too deep, fearing that we don’t have an exit strategy.
Before we detail what to do in the event of over-indebtedness, let’s see how to know if you are overwhelmed. Here are 10 signs that debt may be a problem in your life.
1. Avoid mail
If you can barely bear to walk to the mailbox or open your email for fear that another bill is staring you in the face, debt might be to blame. If you let bills pile up on the kitchen counter because you know you’re going to have a hard time paying them, the problem could be excessive debt.
2. Receive collection calls
Once you start getting phone calls, letters, emails, or texts from creditors or debt collectors, you can be sure that you are too involved.
3. Being denied credit
If you are denied a loan and the creditor says it is due to âuse of credit,â that means you have too much to do.
4. Lie about how you spend
When you find yourself lying to your loved ones, telling them that you used money for one purpose when it was spent another way, there is a debt problem.
5. Use of credit card advances
If the only way to find cash in an emergency is to take a cash advance on a credit card, debt has crept into your life.
6. Pay the minimum
If you’ve been racking your brains for a way to pay more than the minimum payment on your credit cards but can’t seem to find anything, it’s probably because debt has robbed you of enough. money to move forward.
7. Debt transfer from one card to another
Transferring high interest debt from one credit card to another with a promotional 0% APR can be a great strategy to pay off a credit card faster and save money on interest. However, if you’re doing this because a card is chock full of fees and you need to free up some credit, there’s a problem that needs to be addressed.
8. Spending impulsively
If you’re so stressed out about your finances that the only thing that makes you feel better (if only for a moment) is spending more money on something you can’t afford and don’t don’t need it, it could be due to overwhelming debt.
9. Lose sleep
Turning around and back at night, trying to find a viable solution to your money problems, is a sure sign that you have too much debt.
10. Feeling hopeless
If you’ve almost given up on taking control of your debt, you know you’ve got a problem. As discouraged as you may feel, there is hope. In fact, there are several avenues that can ease the financial burden. Read on to find out what you can do. And if one approach doesn’t work for you, try another method. No one else is going to fix it for you.
Find the right solution for you
The next time you step out of the house, take a look around. Every person you see, every person you meet, has their own unique issues. It is a condition of life. No matter how burdened you feel with your current financial situation, it won’t last forever. Take a look at these debt repayment plans and see if any of them are right for you.
If you’re the type of person who likes to do things on your own, that’s not a bad thing. If you are determined enough, these steps can help you reduce your debt to a more manageable level.
- Pay more than the minimum. Go over your budget with a fine tooth comb, looking for all the expenses that can be cut. For example, can you do without one streaming service or two? How long has it been since you shopped for new owners or auto insurance? The change can save you money every month. The goal is to find as many small savings as possible and divert those payments to your debt.
- Adopt a new debt strategy. Because you aren’t the first person to be in debt (and won’t be the last), there are several debt strategies designed to help you systematically reduce debt in your life. They are called things like âdebt snowballâ and âdebt avalancheâ, and they work.
- Use “money found”. Make a commitment to use every tax refund, bonus, and birthday check for debt.
- Sell ââwhat you can. If you’re like most people, you probably have a lot of things lying around your house that you don’t use anymore. Sell ââthem to raise enough money to pay off some of the debt.
- Settle for less. There’s no rule that says you can’t call a creditor and negotiate to pay off debt that is less than you owe. Get it in writing first and know that a settlement for less than what is owed to you will hit your credit report hard. But if your credit score is already on, it’s worth considering.
If your credit score is still relatively strong, you may be able to take out a debt consolidation loan that is large enough to pay off all of your debt at once. If you are a member of a credit union, this would be a great place to start. Otherwise, there are many online lenders who deal with debt consolidation. Ideally, you’ll get an interest rate that is lower than the average rate you pay on your current debt and save money in interest. The issue after you take out a consolidation loan is to avoid taking on new credit.
Non-profit credit counseling
There is no reason to go it alone. A nonprofit credit counseling agency can help you do everything from creating a realistic budget to eliminating late fees, stopping collection calls and lowering loan rates. interest. The National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) has been around since 1951 and can help you find a nonprofit organization that will work on your behalf. If you go this route, be sure to ask questions, including the impact of participating on your credit score, for better or for worse.
As serious as it may sound, debt overload does not have to be a permanent condition. Find a plan that works for you, believe in yourself, and as you reduce your debt, start planning for a better financial future.