If you are struggling with debt, you may be wondering if it’s time to get some help. Many people hesitate to get help with debt for a number of reasons. One reason is that they are not willing to let other people know about their debt levels. They might want to hide their troubles from everyone, including those who can help them. People often worry that, if they go to someone for help with debt, their friends, relatives, coworkers and neighbours will find out. While this is typically not true, this fear keeps them from getting help. Other people do nothing because they aren’t sure of how much debt they have or whether or not they are in a situation where they will need help with debt. Some people may feel that their situation is hopeless and that there is nothing they can do. If this sounds like you, it’s important to know that there are options available to help with debt. Not sure if you need help? Here are a few signs that can help you recognize if you need help managing your debt.
You Don’t Know How Much You Owe
Do you know how much you owe? Many people who have a lot of debt don’t keep track of what they owe. For some people, they simply owe so much that they’ve lost count. Other people purposely avoid knowing the details of their debt because they’d rather not know the truth. If either of these scenarios represent your situation, you may need to get help with debt.
You Can Only Pay the Minimum Balance
Paying the minimum balance on your credit cards isn’t a good idea. It’s better than not paying anything, of course, but paying only the minimum means that you will end up paying a lot of money in interest and that it will take you a very long time to repay your debts. If you are only able to pay the minimum, you could have too much debt.
Your Debt Causes you Stress
Does your debt keep you up at night? Are you feeling anxious or depressed by your financial situation? Do you avoid answering the phone or opening the mail in fear of being faced with another creditor call or bill statement? If your debt is causing you stress and worry, you may want to look into getting help with debt.
You Miss Payments
Whether you miss payments because you lose track of your bills or because you just don’t have enough money to make payments on time, missing payments is a sign that you are carrying too much debt. Skipping bill payments or making payments late can have serious negative consequences for your credit report and credit rating.
You Hide your Debt from Others
To you take steps to hide your debt, such as stashing bills away before loved ones see them or lying about how much money you owe? Many people who have high levels of debt take drastic steps to ensure that no one else finds out about their debt. Unfortunately, this makes it difficult to get help with debt. Plus, all of the effort you spend hiding your debt can get exhausting and lead to additional stress.
You Receive Calls from Creditors or Collection Agencies
If you’re getting calls from collection agencies or creditors, this is a clear sign that you have too much debt and that you likely need help paying it down. These calls are stressful and lead to anxiety. They can even become harassing and overwhelming. If you are receiving calls from creditors, you know that you have too much debt and need help.
Getting Help with Debt
If one or more of the signs above apply to you, you likely need help with debt. The good news is that there are options available. Many people who have high levels of debt or who have problems with debt do nothing because they aren’t sure where to start. A good place to start is by speaking with a licensed trustee in bankruptcy. A trustee in bankruptcy isn’t just there to help you file for bankruptcy. Instead, a trustee works with you to help you understand the options available to you. If you need help with debt, a trustee will review your financial situation and provide you with details on debt relief options. It is then your decision as to how you wish to proceed. Most trustees offer a free consultation, so you can meet with them and discuss your situation at no cost to you.