debt

8 signs you're flirting with financial ruin

Are you heading for a financial fall?
Are you heading for a financial fall?

The line between a future of financial solvency and one of distress is thinner than you might think.

Unfortunately, many people don't realize they're on the wrong side of that divide until it's too late, says Jessica Cecere, South Florida regional president for CredAbility, a nonprofit credit counseling agency.

"I call it ostrich syndrome. You know that things aren't good, but you just don't want to face up to it right now," she says.

But the earlier you realize you're having issues with debt, the better chance you have of fixing them, Cecere says.

Bankrate offers eight signs you're flirting with financial ruin. If four or more of these signs sound familiar, it's time to seek help, Cecere says.

Cecere recommends looking for a free, nonprofit credit counseling service. You can search for a free or low-cost counseling provider in your area by visiting the National Foundation for Credit Counseling website or by calling (800) 338-2227.

Another alternative is contacting a fee-only financial planner. The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors maintains a database of fee-only planners on its website.

Here are the telltale signs you're heading for a financial fall.

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Dear Debt Adviser, I appreciate your column. It is very informative. I was wondering if working with a credit counseling service to lower your interest rate affects your credit score. While our scores are good (715-730),... Read more

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