You know you need help from a credit counselor when …
It may sound like a comedy routine opener, but lots of people know it’s definitely not a laughing matter.
Many who are weighed down with debt opt first for self-help, trimming back on spending and keeping a close eye on accounts. But much like losing weight, some people have the willpower to shed pounds on their own while others require the help of a personal trainer.
When do you need to call in a financial fitness expert? Here are 15 instances that could indicate that your balances are getting the better of you and that credit counseling might help.
Look for a pattern
But if you spot a trend, beware.
For example, don’t panic if you occasionally shop surreptitiously, not letting the spouse in on your splurge. Similarly, paying of minimum balances once in a while could be acceptable. But if it’s more than an isolated money management misstep, you could be headed for trouble.
Don’t wait too long
Once you’ve hit rock bottom financially, it’s much harder to work your way out of it. Seeking credit counseling before tipping over into the abyss eases the stress and financial burden on families.
Any trip to a credit counselor should be preceded by a thorough analysis of your family’s personal finances: how much money you have saved, how much you owe, how much you have coming in each month and so on. Such an analysis will help you assess how much trouble you’re in and how much assistance is required.
In the end, getting organized may be all the help you need.