How Do You Know If You're in Financial Trouble?
By Jim Brown
It is hard to tell how much trouble you are in when you are in the thick of it. There are, however, some questions that could tell you what you need to know about your financial situation. While it may be easy to think that if you are scraping by you aren't in trouble, you may want to think, "Am I putting necessities on my credit card?" or "Will I have to take out more loans to pay the debts I already owe?"
Whether you are in financial trouble or not depends on a few factors. How do you feel about your current situation? Everyone handles stress differently and some people, though they aren't in as much debt, need help quicker than others. Are you telling yourself the truth? Being honest with yourself is hard. It requires you to face some facts that you may not be prepared to face. If it is a struggle to pay your monthly bills with your paycheck, you may want to ask yourself the hard-to-answer questions. Let these questions guide you into an open and honest discussion about the truth of your financial situation. If you answer yes to any of them, you may need to start looking at options for help.
Are you spending more than 20% of your paycheck on credit card bills?
Are you dipping into your savings just to get your monthly bills taken care of?
Are you putting things like groceries, mortgage payments, or other necessities on your credit card because you don't have enough money to pay for them?
Do you have more than 2 or 3 major credit cards?
Are you getting overdue bill notices?
Have you been denied additional credit?
If you are being honest with yourself, the answers to these questions might surprise you. You can ask more extensive questions and figure out what your next move should be by searching for free information from experienced attorneys in your area.
What can you do if you are in financial trouble? While it may seem that there are many options out there, some have proved to help people better and more thoroughly than others. Loan modifications aren't as easy as you think they might be, especially in the current recession. If you are one of the lucky few to get a modification, it may actually help you. If you are behind on your payments, the lender may roll your late fees and missed payments into your new balance, leaving you with a higher balance and higher payments than before the modification.
Debt settlement is also an option but it comes with hefty upfront fees and no guarantee of protection. Bankruptcy comes with the protection of federal law—stopping your creditor calls, wage garnishments, repossessions, and even foreclosure while it also helps you eliminate your debt. To find out if bankruptcy is right for you, start by looking up free information. Most bankruptcy attorneys will talk to you for free the first time—and talking to an experienced attorney may give you the right information to make sure you can really get the relief you need.
Missouri Bankruptcy attorney James Brown has been working to relieve the debt of average, hard-working American families for over 15 years. He has dedicated his career to educating consumers about their options for debt relief and has consequently released 5 publications, including, "Get Out of Debt: Secrets Your Creditors Don't Want You to Know." You can find more information by visiting his website at http://www.CastleLaw.net .