7 warning signs that you may have a debt problem 5 years ago

7 warning signs that you may have a debt problem

Brought to you by the Insolvency Service of Ireland.

Debt is that rarest of things - it grows when you don’t look after it.

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It can sometimes become a problem before you realise what’s happening. One minute, you’re grand. The next, you’re wondering why you can’t get ahead of yourself and how you ended up with so much debt.

Maybe your circumstances changed or an unexpected event threw a hand grenade into your financial plans. Either way, recognising the warning signs is the first step to fixing a potential problem.

You’ve maxed your credit card

If your credit card debt has been growing for months, making the minimum payments isn’t going to tackle the problem.

It’s a bit like having a bear in your spare room and throwing it the odd meal to keep it happy. Ultimately, you still have a bear in the house and it’s only going to get bigger and nastier.

You borrow money every month before pay day

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Are you constantly getting subs from mates at the end of every month?

If you’ve less money for the month, you’re more likely to borrow from friends, which means you’ll have to pay them back, which means you’ll have less money for the month. This is a pretty good example of a vicious circle.

You pay your credit card balance with your other credit card

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Paying debt with more credit is never a solution. It’s like trying to fill in a hole by digging deeper.

You don’t know how much you owe

If you have various borrowings but don’t know the total balance of your debts, it’s a sign that you're avoiding the issue.

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If you’ve stopped opening bills or answering calls from your lenders, you’re probably in denial.

Debt is one of your top two expenses

Most people’s rent or mortgage is their biggest monthly expense. After that, you might have your groceries, household bills or transport.

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If debt payments are your biggest or second biggest expense, it’s safe to assume that your debts are becoming a problem.

You’ve been rejected for credit

If you’ve recently been turned down for a credit card or a loan, it could be a sign that you’ve too many borrowings or that your unpaid bills are coming back to haunt you. It may just be your current circumstances but it’s also worth asking yourself what lending institutions see when they look at you.

You can’t sleep

You may be able to forget about your debts during the day but it comes to a head when you lie in bed at night. If you’re losing sleep and stressing out about money, it’s time to do something about it.

Problem debt can have a serious impact on your wellbeing and mental health. Debt can be overwhelming but there is help at hand.

The Insolvency Service of Ireland (ISI) can help you to address the issues and offer you protection from your creditors while you work on a solution. It’s an independent government body that offers four solutions for all levels of debt so it can help you to restructure or write off your debts.

For more information, visit www.backontrack.ie, freetext GETHELP to 50015 or call the ISI’s information line at 076 106 4200.

Brought to you by the Insolvency Service of Ireland.