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Is Credit Card Debt Putting Your Financial Future at Risk?

credit card danger

How do you know if you need debt help? Credit cards offer convenience and allow us to purchase the things we need and want, but how do you know when your credit card debt has become a financial problem? It’s important to know when credit cards become an issue so you can identify when it’s time to get the debt help you need.

The list below provides some of the warning signs of credit card debt problems. If you are experiencing any of the below Danger Signals, it may be time to find a way to reduce your debt. Call 1-800-320-9929 to speak with a certified credit counselor or take our Free Debt Analysis to see what kind of debt help you need.

How Credit Cards Get You in a Bind

As unsecured debts, credit cards often carry higher interest rates than you see with secured debts like your home or auto loan. Credit card interest rates often cause a problem, particularly if you don’t pay off your balances right away. You can also get into trouble if you don’t pay on time, because creditors may apply fees and/or a penalty APR.

In some cases, credit card debt problems are simply caused by not fully understanding how your credit cards work. It’s vital to know how credit card debt works to avoid getting into trouble.

Danger Signals You Need Credit Card Debt Help

Here are some of the common signs your credit card debt has become a problem for your finances:

  • You spend more than 15% of your take-home income on credit card debt. On average, you should only spend about 10-15% of your income per month on credit card bills. If you spend any more, you may need debt help to get your finances back on track.
  • Money in your budget is moved around to cover credit card bills. If you take money intended to pay for one thing to cover credit card bills instead, seek debt help. Moving finances around to make sure you can cover credit card bills indicates a debt problem.
  • You are using savings to pay your bills. If you take money out of your savings to stay afloat, you’re not actually breaking even and you are not financially stable. Explore debt help solution to at least reduce monthly payments to make your debt more manageable.
  • You borrow money to pay bills. If you take out payday loans or payday advances to cover your credit card bills, you are teetering on the edge of debt disaster. Payday loans carry extremely high interest rates and can easily spiral out of control—especially when they’re used to cover bills. Seek debt help immediately!
  • You make only the minimum payments each month. Making minimum payments may be keeping you afloat for now, but most likely it’s not really helping pay down your debt. Often if you only pay minimums, you’re only paying off the interest and not the actual debt itself. Only a debt help solution will start to reduce your debt.
  • Your credit cards are maxed out. If you’ve reached the maximum credit lines on all of your credit cards, you don’t need another credit card—you need debt help! Maxed credit cards are a sure sign of credit card debt problems.

Besides financial indicators, there are other lifestyle indicators that often show credit card debt problems:

  • You screen phone calls to avoid calls from creditors or collection agencies
  • You hold off going to the doctor because you can’t afford it this month
  • You lose sleep worrying about finances
  • Finances cause arguments in your household
  • Kids’ extracurricular activities are limited because you can’t afford fees and/or equipment

If you show any of the above lifestyle factors, seek debt help immediately! Credit card debt shouldn’t run your life or limit what you can do as a family. Financial stress also causes health issues and emotional strain in your home. Finding the right debt help solution not only frees up money in your monthly finances, it also helps you live a happier and healthier life.

If you still have questions about credit card debt, find more information in our Credit Card Debt FAQ. We also invite you to call us at 1-800-320-9929 or take our Free Debt Analysis to find out what debt help solution if right for you.

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Self-Help Booklets
Credit Cards: What You Need to Know

This basic ‘Credit 101' publication explores the pros and cons of using credit, provides a guide and calculation formula to help consumers find out how much credit they can afford, and offers advice on what elements should be considered before applying for a credit card, how to build a positive credit history, and existing credit rights.

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