Consumers in Denial about Credit Card Debt May Find Help with Tennessee Bankruptcy
You can't really solve a problem until you admit you have a problem in the first place. For many Americans, this means coming to terms with the fact that we need help with unmanageable credit card debt.
There's no doubt that the majority of Americans are struggling with debt - it's estimated that the average U.S. family carries $4,200 of it, though many folks have much more - yet few are willing to admit to having a problem. In fact, a recent Bankrate.com survey found that 9 in 10 Americans say debt does not interfere with their lives.
Whether the problem is gambling, alcoholism, or credit card spending, denial is often the biggest barrier keeping us from making a life-improving change.
Time and time again, our Tennessee bankruptcy attorneys have seen people make their money problems worse by ignoring the issue, whether it's by underestimating what they owe or holding out hope for a miracle that will magically wipe out debt.
The only way to get out of debt is to take action. If you're not doing something to solve your problem - or if your solutions just aren't working - it's time to consider seeking help from a financial professional. Bankruptcy was created by the government specifically to provide people the opportunity to legally eliminate debt.
You can't ignore your debt burden forever. Do you want hidden fees, foreclosure notices, debt collection phone calls, and wage garnishments to be running your life? You don't have to let it happen.
Bankrate.com features a list of the biggest signs you have a serious debt problem. Find yourself identifying with many of the signs on the list? Filing for bankruptcy in Tennessee may be able to help.
You Don't Know How Much You Owe
Have you conveniently been avoiding the little box on your credit card bill that tells you your balance? Paying just the minimum may help you avoid a late fee - at least momentarily - but it doesn't do anything to stop your debt from growing.
Approaching Your Credit Limit is the Norm
You know that exceeding your credit limit will cost you. But if you're routinely approaching the limit, you're not doing yourself any favors. Much of your credit score is determined by your credit utilization, or the ratio of your debt to your credit limit. Anything over 30% will hurt your score. If it's a one-time scenario, you can probably recover - but if it's happening almost every month, you're carrying too much debt.
You Routinely Open New Credit Lines to Transfer Debt
Do you frequently take advantage of those 0% balance transfer offers? If you transfer debt to a much lower rate and proceed to pay off your balance before the introductory period ends, there's no problem. But if you often find yourself carrying debt and paying interest on yet another credit card, maybe it's time you stopped shifting your debt around and started actually paying it down.
You Almost Never Pay More than the Minimum
The No. 1 sign that you have too much debt is regular reliance on minimum payments. Many credit cards require such low minimums that you may only be covering interest. Can't afford to pay more than 2.5% most months? By failing to actually pay off your balance, you're allowing your debt to grow unchecked.
Debt Is Growing; Income Is Shrinking
When you're dealing with job loss, medical bills, or other overwhelming expenses, you need money. That's why most folks in these situations turn to credit cards. The problem is that by accumulating debt, you actually end up spending even more money thanks to interest and fees. If you're struggling at your current income level but your debt is getting bigger and bigger, getting it under control may require outside help.
Getting out of debt is no easy task, but, for many people, bankruptcy can make it a lot more manageable. If you would like to speak with one of our experienced Tennessee bankruptcy attorneys call the DebtStoppers Bankruptcy Law Firm at 800-440-7235 today for a free debt analysis.
More Blog Entries:
15 Signs of Serious Debt Trouble, by Bankrate.com
Denying Our Debt, by Lucy Lazarony, Bankrate.com