Spotting Credit Trouble

Cleo Holder |

Americans who have credit card balances, carry an average debt of $6,028 per individual.1

The wise use of credit is a critical skill in today’s world. Used unwisely, however, credit can rapidly turn from a useful tool to a crippling burden.

There are a number of warning signs that you may be approaching credit problems:

Have you used one credit card to pay off another?

Have you used credit card advances to pay bills?

Do you regularly use a charge card because you are short on cash?

Do you charge items you might not buy if you were paying cash?

Do you need to use your credit card to buy groceries?

Are you reluctant to open monthly statements from creditors?

Do you regularly charge more each month than you pay off?

Do you write checks today on funds to be deposited tomorrow?

Do you apply for new credit cards, so you can increase borrowing?

Are you receiving late and over-limit credit card charges?

It is important to recognize the warning signs of potential credit problems. The quicker corrective action is taken the better. Procrastinating is almost a sure way to guarantee that you may face financial difficulty down the road.