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Here are two ways you can judge when you might need help with your finances. First, there’s the technical rule of thumb that says you’re in serious trouble when your monthly payments for debt (not including your mortgage/rent) are more than 20 percent of your income. If you don’t have the time or patience to crunch your numbers, however, there’s a simpler, more common sense approach to evaluating your situation.
The truth is, any time your financial situation feels at all uncomfortable to you is a good time to seek help—before things get worse. Still not sure you whether you need to worry? Here are some of the most common warning signs:
- Menacing phone calls from bill collectors
- Making only the minimum payment on your credit cards (without reducing the principal amount you owe)
- Putting off paying one creditor so that you can pay another
- Using a cash advance from one creditor to pay another
- Applying for another credit card because you’ve maxed out the ones you already have
- Requesting an increase of the limits on your credit cards and/or lines of credit
- Difficulty paying monthly bills
- Borrowing from a friend or family member to make ends meet
- Inability to save money
- Inability to create or stick to a budget
Remember that financial help can take many forms, including credit counselling if you just need a little help getting yourself on track with budgeting and/or cash flow, or filing a consumer proposal or bankruptcy if your financial issues are more serious. You can find out which option is best for you by calling today for a free, no obligation consultation with one of our insolvency experts. In Ottawa call 613-237-5555; out of town, call toll-free 1-800-517-9926 or book online.