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10 Signs That You Have a Debt Problem

Do you have a debt problem?With family budgets becoming smaller and smaller and prices on everything going up, it may be time to have a family discussion about the household budget. Talking about money “later” or “some other time” just doesn’t seem to happen. It may be necessary to find a time on a regular basis when everyone involved can sit down and discuss financial matters and avoid unwanted arguments over money.

When you decide to have the discussion will depend on family schedules. Try to avoid meeting between 5:00 and 7:00 pm when people are usually tired and hungry. A good time to meet is right before payday or when your bills are due.

Choose an area of the house where there will be a minimum of distractions. Including all family members in the discussion can be a learning experience for children. Everyone will be more likely to support the decisions that are made if they are included in the process.


10 Signs of Debt Problems

If any of the statements below are occurring, you may have debt problems.

  1. More than 20% - $1 out of every $5 – of your paycheck goes to pay off car loans and credit cards.
  2. You are borrowing to pay off other debts.
  3. You do not know how much money you owe.
  4. You make only the minimum payments shown on each bill.
  5. You miss payments, or you pay your bills late.
  6. Creditors telephone you or come to your house.
  7. People or stores refuse to give you credit.
  8. You borrow from retirement accounts or use credit cards to pay normal monthly bills.
  9. You write postdated checks – checks with dates later than the day you write them - or you bounce checks regularly.
  10. You take an extra job to pay bills.

Source: National Endowment for Financial Education


For more information, contact Buncombe County Cooperative Extension at 255-5522.