11 Signs You Have Too Much Credit Card Debt (and What to Do About It)

Are you in denial about how much credit card debt you have? Here’s how to tell.

Credit cards can seem like lifesavers when you want or need to make a large purchase. It’s so easy; it’s like buying something on someone else’s dime.

That is until you overextend yourself and realize that what you will ultimately pay goes way beyond the initial purchase price. And credit card issuers are quite skilled in luring consumers with affordable monthly payments, until they wake up one day and realize that their credit card balances are out of control.

Sound familiar? Let’s start with a recent video about finding help with debt.

Now, here are 11 signs to determine if you are carrying too much credit card debt.

1. You’re in denial

Does the thought of being in credit card debt frequently cross your mind, but you tend to push it out of your brain? This may be the first sign that you are in over your head.

You may find yourself lying to your spouse, family and friends, who may be concerned about your outrageous spending habits with the magic plastic. Or maybe you routinely ignore phone calls in fear that creditors are on the line wanting to know when you will catch up on those past-due balances.

From our Solutions Center: Help with credit card debt

2. You don’t know your outstanding balance(s)

Although you’re aware that your credit card debt exists, you don’t feel obligated to check the outstanding balances because you can’t pay them off anyway.

3. You can only afford to make the minimum payment

Known as the minimum payment trap, this behavior is a recipe for disaster because no damage is being done to the outstanding balance; you are simply paying the interest as the balance continues to grow. This is the sad reality for many, because they cannot afford to pay anything more than the minimum amount.

4. No wiggle room exists in your budget

Once all the bills are paid each month, you can barely enjoy the little things in life. Enjoying a night out on the town or a even ordering a pizza without using a credit card is not feasible because funds are always extremely low. Even worse, you may resort to credit cards to cover basic necessities, such as gas and groceries, because your bank account is overdrawn or barely hanging in there.

5. You have a hard time saving

It is impossible to save money because the credit card bills quickly absorb any available cash on hand after the household bills are paid. Unfortunately, not having a savings account in place will only make the debt worse, because you will not be able to handle financial emergencies without resorting to the magic plastic.

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  • A Medena

    I have heard many people paying minimum payment and then charging on that card, I find that much worse then just paying of minimums. If no charges are done with minimum payments balances will be paid of – eventually.

  • Jenny M.

    The problem is that most Americans borrow to the max and then whine about not having enough money . So you have a nice house, car, and boat. Can you afford them or does it really matter at this period of time?

    I’m just gonna make smart decisions with my money so I don’t end up with an empty bank account:

    1) Paying off my debts as they come to me. Never holding a credit card balance longer than a month. If this means living in a small studio apartment and eating ramen, rice, and beans, so be it.

    2) I will always buy small, fuel efficient and durable cars. I drive a 2006 Honda Civic now. It costs me nothing to fill up and next to nothing to insure ($24/month from InsurancePanda… woohoo!). I will not drive when I don’t need to, and use public transportation whenever possible.

    3) Developing multiple revenue streams. Doing side jobs. Building up small businesses. Doing contract work. Basically doing whatever I can to generate income from multiple sources.

    4) Grow my revenue and assets no matter what. Make sure I am always expanding and develop them to the point that they consistently generate reliable cash flow.

    5) The most important one – make as much as I can. Save as much as I can.

    iPhones… ecigarettes… Starbucks… Chipotle Burritos…new clothes.. organic lipgloss… expensive yoga classes. Why not try living in your means for once? No wonder we have a debt crisis

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