“I’ve never missed a payment.” “I have a good credit score.” “I’ve had this credit card for 20 years.” These are just some of the things that people say in order to convince themselves that their credit card debt is not a problem. Even if these statements are true, you still could be in too deep.
Here are some of the signs that your credit card debt is out of control and you need help:
- You regularly use your credit cards to pay for basic living expenses such as food, gas and medicine - If this is happening to you, your credit card payments are unaffordable. By continually using the cards, you will never pay them down. Eventually, you will max out the cards and you’ll have to make a choice between putting food on your table and making a credit card payment.
- You are only able to make the minimum payment – Making a minimum credit card payment is not a victory. By only paying the minimum, not only are you paying a TON of money in interest, but you are going to spend the next 10-20 years of your life paying off your debt.
- You rely on balance transfers – Balance transfers are putting off the inevitable. Even though it may give you a lower interest rate and a slightly lower payment for a short period of time, you are not solving your debt problem.
- You have or have considered taking a loan from your retirement to keep up with debt payments – Unless you have enough money in your retirement account to pay off all of your credit card debt and you are a long way away from retirement, this is almost always a horrible idea. In my experience, people that take retirement loans might be able to get caught up on credit card payments for a few months, but once the loan money is exhausted, they are in an even worse position. They still can’t afford their debt, they have less money in their retirement account and now they are bringing home less money in their paycheck, because they have to repay the retirement loan.
When looking at your finances, you have to be brutally honest. If you don’t see a way that you can pay off your credit card debt in the next five years, it’s time to stop making excuses and get the help that you need. At Steidl & Steinberg, we have been helping people get their debt under control for over 30 years. We can offer you ways to be rid of your credit card debt in no more than five years. Doesn’t that sound a lot better than paying just the minimums for the next 20 years?