Canadians have a lot of debt. In fact, debt levels reach a record high almost every single year. Most recently, Statistics Canada showed that the household debt-to-disposable income ratio has hit a record 163%. What does this mean? It means that, for every dollar of disposal income that the average Canadian made in the last year, they had $1.63 in credit market debt. Credit market debt includes consumer credit, mortgage and non-mortgage loans. The average debt held by Canadians, excluding mortgage debt, increased by 2.9% in the last year to $20,967.
So how do you know when you have too much debt? How do you know when you need debt relief help? Every person is different, but here are a few signs that you may have too much debt and need assistance.
Signs that You May Have Too Much Debt
As mentioned, every situation is different. However, if any of these signs apply to you, you should at least consider reviewing your finances and seriously consider if your debt load is too high.
You don’t know how much you owe
Do you have so much debt that you can’t keep track of it? Are you avoiding dealing with debt by ignoring it and hiding from it? If you are, you can’t hide forever. Your debt will come back to haunt you and your creditors will come after you for unpaid debt.
You hide your spending or debt
If you’re hiding your spending habits or how much debt you have from your loved ones, it’s likely because you know you’re in trouble and you don’t want anyone else to find out.
You’re unable to pay your bills regularly
Are you unable to pay your monthly bills? Do you find yourself missing payments or making payments late because you don’t have the money? If so, you could have too much debt. Debt relief help could put you back on track.
Your debt stresses you out
High amounts of debt are incredibly stressful. If you’re worried about your debt, unable to sleep at night due to debt concerns or you can’t focus because of the stress of your debt, you probably need help with debt relief.
You can only afford minimum payments
Paying only the minimum payments on your credit cards is costly and the interest on these debts quickly adds up over time. If you can’t afford to pay more than the minimum, you probably have too much debt.
You’re borrowing money to pay your bills
If you’re in a situation where you can’t make your regular bill payments without borrowing more money, you have too much debt and need debt relief help. While you might be currently getting by with lines of credit, credit cards, payday loans and borrowing from friends and family, you’ll eventually run out of places to borrow from.
You have nothing left over at the end of the month
If too much of your income is going towards paying your bills and your debt, and you have no money left for savings or an emergency fund, you could have too much debt.
You get calls from creditors
Calls from creditors are stressful, annoying and can lead to a variety of health and well-being issues. If you’re getting calls from creditors due to missed payments, late payments or for any other reasons, you are having trouble handling your debts and likely need a debt relief solution.
Do these situations sound like you? Are you feeling the crunch of high levels of debt? If you are, it can sometimes feel like there is no hope. You might be tempted to bury your head in the sand and resign yourself to a life of high debt levels and financial stress. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. Debt relief is possible and rebuilding your financial life can be done.
One of the first steps is to recognize your situation. If you’ve realized that you’re in debt trouble and need help, you’ll then want to consider speaking to a financial professional. For example, sitting down with a trustee in bankruptcy can help you get a better understanding of your debt situation and allow you to understand the debt relief options available to you.