9 Warning Signs You Need Debt Help Now

  • By Jillian Taylor-Mancusi

Asking for debt help is a wise, responsible, courageous move. It can take everything in you to pick up the phone and call a professional to ask for help. From what we hear at LCTaylor in Winnipeg, by the end of the first phone call, you’ll wish you had called sooner. You’ll feel like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders!

You may be hesitating to ask for help with your debts for many reasons. You may feel ashamed, embarrassed, or fear being judged. But by waiting to get help, you can actually make your financial situation even worse. And the longer you wait, the fewer debt solutions are available to you.

Do you need debt help? Here are 9 signs you do!

9 Signs You’re in Debt Trouble

1. You live in overdraft

If there is a minus sign in front of your chequing account balance, this means you are overdrawn on your chequing account. Overdraft protection allows you to make purchases with your debit card, even if you don’t have the money in your account to cover them. There is interest charged immediately on the money you use; often costing the same as, if not more than, if you were to use a credit card.

The trouble with overdraft protection is that it allows you to live beyond your means. Unless you are monitoring your spending carefully, it is easy to keep using your debit card until you finally get that “declined” message. And at this point, it means you are now owing $500, $1000 or even more.

2. You have credit card debt

“What do you mean? Doesn’t everybody have credit card debt?” Actually, no. There is a difference between having credit cards and having credit card debt.

It is common to use credit cards to make purchases, especially with the ease and accessibility of online shopping. However there are two types of credit card users; those who pay their credit card balance in full, every single month, and those who do not.

If you are not able to pay your credit cards off every month (not just the minimum payment, the entire balance,) you are in debt trouble. You are in a position where you have purchased items you could not afford, and have spent more money than you were bringing in. And now you have to find a way out.

3. You pay your debts, but have to reuse them each month

It feels good to make large payments on credit cards and see that balance disappear! Or when your paycheque brings your chequing account balance out of overdraft and back into the positive. But, do you have to reuse that money again right away? If so, you are stuck in a debt cycle, and a professional can help break that cycle.

4. Bill payments aren’t made on time

Whether it’s your cable bill, internet bill, cell phone bill, electricity bill, or any other bill, they are supposed to be paid in full, on time, every single month. Paying late (or missing them altogether) adds late fees, interest charges, and makes paying them in the future even harder. If you are missing your bill due dates, ask for help to get yourself back on track. You don’t have to figure it out alone!

5. You don’t open your mail

One of the biggest reasons bills go unpaid is because bills don’t even get looked at. When you know you’re struggling with money, it can feel better to stick your head in the sand and pretend you don’t have any money problems at all. Unfortunately, doing so won’t make the debt go away. Getting help with your debt, on the other hand, will.

6. You don’t know how much debt you have

Quick – how much debt do you have right now? Without looking at statements, can you add up the balances owing on your credit cards, overdraft accounts, car loans, student loans, consolidation loans, lines of credit, payday loans, furniture loans, and so on?

If you have no idea how much debt you owe right now, there’s a good chance you have no idea how you’re going to get out of debt either.

7. You hide purchases and statements from your partner

Have you ever found yourself hiding that pair of shoes you bought, or throwing out that credit card statement as soon as you receive it, so that your partner doesn’t find out?

Financial infidelity is not only a sign that you feel afraid, guilty, or ashamed of your money situation, but is also one of the leading causes of marital troubles. Hiding your spending from your loved ones doesn’t have to be your way of life.

The best way to present a problem is to also present a solution along with it. By meeting with a financial professional, you will feel safe, accepted, and feel like you have a plan of action to tackle your debts – together.

8. You have payday loans

A payday loan is an amount of money given to a person, at a very high interest rate, that is to be paid back when the borrower receives their next paycheque. The struggle for most people, however, is that once they pay back their payday loan, they are out hundreds or thousands of dollars, and have to borrow another payday loan just to make it through to the following paycheque.

Borrowing from payday loan companies is one of the most serious signs that debt help is needed, immediately. It can feel impossible to get out of the payday loan cycle, but we can help.

9. You feel stressed, have trouble sleeping and feel worried

Are you constantly wondering how you’re going to pay the bills? Do you feel anxious, overwhelmed and stressed? If your debt is keeping you awake at night, the best sleep remedy is meeting with a trusted financial professional to help you find a solution.

Do You Need Debt Help?

If any of these debt warning signs are resonating with you, you may have a serious financial problem on your hands. We can help. Getting debt help with one of LCTaylor’s Licensed Insolvency Trustees is free, completely confidential, and could be the best thing you have done for yourself in a very long time.

What to Expect When Getting Debt Help in Winnipeg

LCTaylor’s Licensed Insolvency Trustees are here to help you work out the best solution to your specific set of circumstances. We have access to a wide range of solutions, including consumer proposals, credit counselling, and personal bankruptcy.

We will help you analyze your situation so that you can explore and understand all of your options. We will help you to make a decision as to which course of action is in your own best interests. And most importantly, we will guide and support you through the process.

Why Is It Important to Seek Debt Help Early?

It’s simple – the earlier you seek help, the more options will be available to you. By asking for help now, you may not need to file a consumer proposal or personal bankruptcy. But by waiting, sometimes just a few more weeks or months, you may be limiting yourself, your family, and your debt solutions.

Debt help in Manitoba is just a phone call away. We look forward to helping you find the right solution for you.

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