Many people have a mortgage, and often a car payment as well. On top of that, using credit cards for certain purchases is sometimes necessary or even a smart idea. Borrowing isn’t always a bad idea.
But some people do overextend their credit, and can cause damage to their long term financial outlook and retirement plans. How do you know if you fall into this category? These seven signs are clues that you may be relying too much on credit, and should probably rein in your spending.
You can only make minimum payments. One part of your credit card bill should display the length of time it would take to repay your debt, if you only make the minimum payments each month. For many people, that could be years, and the interest can put a major dent in your wallet over time. You should be making more than the minimum payments each month; if you can’t, this is a major sign that you’ve overextended yourself.
Your paychecks disappear right away. If most of your paychecks go toward loan payments and credit card bills, this is a clear sign that your budget is strained.
You’re hiding things from your spouse (or others). If you feel the need to hide it, you already know something is wrong.
Those pre-approved credit card offers don’t arrive in the mail anymore. You never thought you’d miss receiving junk mail! But because those offers are based upon your credit worthiness, it might not surprise you that they’ve stopped landing in your mailbox now that you’re overextended.
But you do receive mail about debt consolidation. Again, these offers are based on information in your credit report. Following up on one of these offers might not be a bad idea, but make sure you research and choose a reputable company.
You can’t get a loan anymore. If you’re overextended, this will show on your credit report. Unfortunately this means that you might not be able to get a loan when you need one.
You just know it. You feel stressed by bills all the time, or you’re even having bad dreams. Your gut is trying to tell you something.
If you’ve overextended your credit, let’s talk about that at our next meeting. After taking steps to get out of debt, we can rearrange your financial priorities to help you put long term savings back on top.