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Detecting Early Credit Problems
A quick guide to help you detect early signs of financial problems. Some of you options available to you if you find yourself in some financial trouble.
Keeping yourself trouble free with your credit requires a close eye on your credit report and asking yourself some difficult questions. Sometimes it is harder to be honest with yourself than with a stranger. In order for you to stave off credit problems, you must be brutally honest with yourself. Getting into financial trouble is easier than ever nowadays. Credit card companies are competing harder than ever for your business. People are getting and carrying more credit cards. Just a few years ago most people only carried one maybe two credit cards. Now, it's not unusual for someone to have eight or nine cards on them. With so many cards on your person, it's real easy to get into trouble. To keep yourself out of trouble you need to sit down and evaluate your credit situation. Do you really need that many cards? If you think you are in or heading for financial trouble, ask yourself: 1. When you buy groceries is your credit card the only way you can pay? 2. Are you borrowing money to make payments on existing loans? 3. Are you being charged late fees on your bills month after month? (Don't have to be consecutive months) 4. Do you have a hard time deciding which bills to pay? 5. Are your credit cards at the limit most or all the time? 6. Can you only afford to pay the minimum each month? 7. Have you deferred going to the doctor or some other important appointment because you couldn't afford it? 8. Do you spend 20% or more of your net income on credit card bills? 9. Do you have a second job or a lot of overtime to pay your basic expenses? Answer yes to any of these and you are either heading into or already in financial trouble. Chances are that you or someone you know is now or have been in this situation. Although it may seem difficult to get out of this kind of trouble, it's not impossible. You have to recognize that you are in trouble and learn to cope. Then start looking for a way to stabilize and restore your credit. There are several options open to you. Talk to your creditors and try to work out a payment plan that you both can agree on. Try to get them to waive your fees and/or lower your interest rate. If you can't do that or think you need help you can hire a credit counseling organization. The last thing you can do is file for bankruptcy. Bankruptcy is not to be taken lightly as it can stay on your credit record for 10 years. This should be your very last option. Make absolutely sure you have exhausted all your options before you consider bankruptcy. Copyright 2007 Robert Hughes You have permission to publish this article free of charge in your e-zine, newsletter, ebook, print publication or on your website ONLY if it remains unchanged and you include the copyright and author information (Resource Box) at the end. You may not use this article in any unsolicited commercial email (spam).