Are you consistently charged late fees on all your bills? Is it hard to decide which bills to pay each month? Do you spend more than 20% of your net monthly income to pay for your credit cards? Have you ever borrowed money to make payments on existing loans? Are your credit cards maxed out most of the time? Do you have so many credit cards that you can only pay the monthly minimum? Have you ever put off something important, like going to the doctor, because you didn't have enough money?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you're not alone. You probably have friends or family members who've been in some of these situations before. You might even know people who've struggled to stay afloat financially their whole lives.
It's easy to fall into the trap of financial instability. But, while it may seem difficult at first, it's not impossible to get yourself out of the trap. If you can recognize the warning signs of credit problems, you can do something about it.
Credit experts at ACCION recommend that you call your lenders and creditors when you recognize the warning. Let them know you're having financial difficulties. Work with your creditors to get on a payment plan. However, don't make promises with creditors that you can't keep. If you really can't afford to make a payment until next month, tell the truth. Don't be discouraged. It might take longer than you predicted for your financial crisis to go away. Be persistent with your creditors.
Establishing a good relationship will get you farther than running away from your obligations. This is very important - your future financial stability is at stake. Pay yourself first. As you start to pull yourself out of the financial crisis, remember to set aside money for savings. This will give you a cushion for financial crises in the future.
Go ahead, take action and breathe again knowing that you are on the road to financial health!