Let’s face it: in today’s day and age, it is all but impossible not to have a credit card.
Having a credit card and using it responsibly is one thing. But, as you might know yourself, it is all too easy to let credit card spending get out of line.
Simply put, it is easy to overuse your credit card to the point that you fall behind on your monthly payments or max it out. At the same time that this puts financial stress on you due to increased interest rates and hefty fees, it also negatively affects your credit rating.
Worse still is that credit card overuse often becomes a habit. In fact, using a credit card can become similar to an addiction for some people. And oftentimes it can be hard to realize that you are addicted to using your credit card.
Below are five warning signs that might mean you need credit card debt help. If you find that one or more of these warnings ring true for you, then you need to get to work on breaking your credit card spending habits.
1. Hiding Spending From Your Partner
Perhaps the biggest and boldest sign that you have a problem with your credit card spending is that you are hiding this spending from your partner.
When you are spending so much on your credit card that you feel it is necessary to hide the bills from your partner, there is no getting around the fact that your credit card use has become out of control. Constantly covering up how much you are charging or secretly piling on more debt is a surefire sign that you need to make changes.
If you are hiding your spending habits from your partner, you need to take a good hard look at your financial habits and make some serious changes.
2. Maxed Out Cards
There are situations where maxing out a credit card is necessary. These are generally emergencies where you need to use your card because you don’t have the cash to cover the emergency expenses.
If you have maxed out one or more cards for expenses unrelated to emergencies or essential needs, then chances are you need credit card debt help. This is especially true if your day-to-day spending was what maxed the credit card out in the first place.
The key to fixing this is being honest with yourself. Even if you aren’t exactly sure where the money went, you need to figure out why you are spending more than your income dictates and why you maxed the cards out.
3. Not Using Your Credit Card Makes You Panic
Another big indicator that you need debt help for your cards is if the thought of not using your credit card makes you panic.
Many people nowadays are overly reliant on their credit cards and are not comfortable with the thought of being in a situation where they can’t use their cards. Those that are truly addicted to using their credit cards downright panic at the idea.
One of the primary reasons people experience this panicky feeling is because they are short on actual cash to the point that using credit is their only means of buying anything.
If this sounds like you, then you might not just need credit card debt help. You might be an actual credit card addict.
4. Continue Opening New Cards Despite Your Debt
The majority of people take a maxed out credit card as a sign. They realize that they need to slow down, look at their budget and spending habits, and figure things off before getting another card.
Credit card addicts on the other hand wave such maxed out cards off. Instead of getting their finances in line, they open new cards once their old ones are at their limits.
It should be taken as a definite sign that your finances are in trouble if you regularly find yourself opening new cards without first paying off the debt that has accumulated on others.
5. Desperate for Ways to Pay Bills
When you are overspending and misusing credit cards, your bills will eventually catch up with you.
When this happens, you might find that you can no longer open a new credit card. Collectors might be calling you each day demanding that you pay off your debts. You might be scrambling to come up with cash.
If you are so far in the credit card debt hole that you feel the only option is to take out a payday loan or a cash advance, then you need to stop and get help immediately. These drastic measures to obtain money will only cause you even greater problems down the road.
Scrambling to get cash when you can no longer use your credit cards is a surefire sign that you need to make huge changes to your life to counter your out of control spending problem.
How to Get Credit Card Debt Help
If you are having trouble managing your credit cards or believe you are a credit card addict, fortunately, there are several means to seek credit card debt help.
The three most important of include:
Coming clean to your family – By telling your family and close friends about your overspending problem, you are able to come clean and lay it out on the table. This is bound to make you feel better in itself, especially if you have been hiding your spending habits. It will also help you feel less burdened by the problem and open the floor to outside help.
Cut yourself off – The most effective way of handling a credit card spending problem on your own is by cutting yourself off from your cards completely. Stop using them at once. Cut them up if you need to. The most important thing here is to stop using them immediately.
Look into credit counseling – As mentioned above, credit counseling is an excellent way to learn better credit and spending habits. Better yet, a credit counselor can help get you set up with a budget and debt repayment plan.
At the end of the day, the bottom line is that overspending and overusing credit cards is a serious problem. In some cases, it might even be an addiction.
By recognizing the warning signs, you can deal with the problem before it becomes an overwhelming issue. Take control of your poor spending habits as early as possible. It’s never too late to change, but the earlier you catch yourself, the easier things will be to turn around.