By Stephen Green
on April 20, 2024
Read in 1 min

Credit cards can be a helpful financial tool when used properly. Unfortunately, some people can relate to the slippery slope that credit cards create when they spend money they don't have. Below are some signs that mean you are getting into financial trouble.

1. You're using your credit cards to buy food, gas and other basic essentials.

If you need to use credit cards to buy life's necessities, then it is time to review your budget.

While it's fine to use a credit card to buy food and gas if you plan to pay the bill off every month, it does not make sense to pay more for these monthly expenses by adding interest to the totals.

2. You are paying debts with your credit cards.

Anytime you need to use one credit card to pay another card's payment, you may be in trouble. This type of snowball effect means you might need to take drastic measures to regain control over your financial life.

3. Your credit card debt is making it impossible to save.

If you are unable to save money because the interest charges, then it is urgent that you make a plan. Banks make it far too easy to stay in debt. When this happens, you must vow to stop using credit to restore your financial health.

4. You can only afford to pay minimum payments.

If you can only afford to pay the minimum payment on your credit cards, then you are already overextended. It can happen relatively fast if youstart using credit cards as a way to buy things you really can't afford. When you find yourself in this position, set up a strategy to consolidate your debt. This way you can escape this terrible financial trap that can make it difficult to recover.

5. You have reached the limit on many of your credit cards.

If you reach your credit limit on several cards, then it is time to evaluate your debt versus your income. Determine why exactly you are using so much credit. Using credit is fine if you pay it off each month without paying interest. If the balances are growing monthly though, you are paying more interest each month. There is no sound reason to pay extra interest if you can pay cash for these items instead. Self-discipline is key for responsible financial dealings.

This is not legal, financial or professional advice. Please consult a legal, financial or professional advisor for your specific situation.