10 Signs You’re a Credit Card Addict
Having trouble putting down the credit card and resisting the swipe? If you feel like you might have a problem with overspending from your little plastic buddy, you probably do. We all have to use credit from time to time, but overuse can cause some serious debt. Here are some signs that you might have a problem with swiping the card.
Credit Card Addiction Red Flags
You Deny, Deny, Deny
If you find the people around you see an issue and try to talk to you about it, you may be denying the problem. If you are not checking your balances, and just pay minimum payments, there is a chance that you are denying a brewing problem. And denying something like credit card addiction could really put you in a bad spot with your money. That’s a problem you should never deny.
You Never Leave the House Without It
Sometimes when we run out the door in a hurry, we run back in because we forgot our keys or cell phone. If you find yourself running back home to get a credit card for the just-in-case moments, you may be overusing it. Instead of picking up the little plastic card, opt for some cash in your wallet to really help you stick to your budget.
You're Constantly Filling Out Applications
Are you applying for credit cards once the others max out? If this is your strategy, it's a big sign that you are spending money that you don't have. The point of a credit card is to build credit and to use it for small things that you can afford to pay off. With multiple overextended credit cards, you can actually damage your credit, rather than build it. And damaging your credit is one thing you do not want to do. That’ll put all kinds of hurdles in front of you.
You're Borrowing Money
Do you find yourself borrowing more and more money from friends and family? If the answer is yes, you may have a money spending problem. Taking money from family or friends will only temporarily solve the problem. Yes, you will have the money to pay your bills, but you'll owe it to the people you love. This can cause conflict in your life and find yourself losing friends and relationships if you don't have the funds to pay them back.
You Keep Your Debt a Secret
Find yourself hiding or keeping your debts a secret? That could also be a sign of trouble. If you feel like you will be judged or lectured, you may decide to keep it a secret. But keeping your debt a secret shows that you know your loved ones will not agree with your spending. This means you don't have the support you need from the people you love to help you out of the mess you are in.
You Don't Have Any Savings
Having a savings account is a very important aspect of life. It is your backup plan in case of emergencies. If you get laid off, your car breaks down, or you get a big parking ticket, having a savings account is your “saving” grace. But, if you do happen to drain your savings, you can look into online title loans in Louisiana for some help with unexpected situations.
You Pay the Bare Minimum
If you can only afford to pay the minimum payment of each credit card balance, you may be overspending. Making minimum payments could mean that you are in a tight spot with money. By continuing to use your credit card, your minimum payments will only get higher, and you may come to a point where you can not afford them at all. If you want some financial relief, you want to eventually pay off more than just the minimums on your bills.
You're All About the Sales
Do you find yourself unable to resist a good sale? At first glance, this may look like a steal, but it is a way to get you to spend money that you may not have. You may even be buying things you don’t really need just because they are on sale. You're taking advantage of the BOGOs, but those credit card fees are really taking advantage of you. Instead, you have to really think about whether or not you really need that item and how much you’ve already spent.
You Don't Think About the Fees
When applying for credit cards, do you skip over the fine print? If you are not looking at the APR and fees, you may be a professional at applying for credit cards. The fine print is important: it tells you everything that goes along with having the extra cash that credit card provides, including fees. Next time you have any credit applications in front of you, take extra time to read and reread that fine print. You have to make sure you understand everything before you sign anything.
Your Credit Score Has Dropped
If you have noticed your credit score is slowly decreasing, this may be a sign of having one too many credit cards. Without credit, you may not be able to purchase a home or take out a loan down the line. If you currently own your vehicle, however, you may want to look into getting a title loan near you to help some of those outstanding bills. Instead of looking at getting more credit cards, you have to sit down and really think about how you can start to improve your credit.
Take Away Message
If while reading this article you find yourself answering yes to these questions, you may need to cut your spending. Stop using your credit cards and start paying the balances. This will improve your credit score and also eliminate the daily stresses of overwhelming bills.
Note: The content provided in this article is only for informational purposes, and you should contact your financial advisor about your specific financial situation.