Are You in Credit Card Crisis?
Get a cold, clammy feeling when you think of your credit card bills? If so, you are not alone. 40% of Americans carry credit card debt and the average balance is $5,700. If we exclude people who pay their balances in full every month, the average debt is $9,333. Profuse anxiety is only one sign that you may have bitten off a bigger bite of plastic than you can chew. Ask yourself the following questions to determine if you are in over your head.
- Do you avoid creditors by not answering the phone?
- Do you ignore bills by stuffing them into a pile or box unopened?
- Do you pay for other charge cards, food or utilities with cash advances or credit?
- Is more than 20% of your net income committed to revolving debt payments?
- Do you regularly bounce checks?
- Have any creditors closed your accounts?
- Do you skip certain bills every month?
- Do you make only minimum payments on credit cards while continuing to incur charges?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you’re likely in over your head or in a credit card crisis.
Here’s a few ways to get in control.
- Stop all spending on credit
- Pay more than the minimum
- Use-non-retirement/non-emergency savings
- Sell stuff you no longer need
- Start a side hustle
- Get a part-time job/better paying job or BOTH
- Cut cable
- Lower your cell phone plan (doesn’t have to be forever)
- Take lunch to work every day
- Skip the movies & nighs out for a few months
- Use extra money like tax refunds or bonuses
- Cancel unused (or rarely used) subscriptions
- Go on a “no spend” diet
Feeling overwhelmed because of credit card debt is natural, but with commitment and a step-by-step approach you can turn crisis into conquest.
If you need more help with budgeting, guidance, assessing your credit card debt dealing with collections or just have questions, we offer free financial counseling as a perk of Green Country membership. Offered through Balance Pro (not Green Country employees), you can call (888) 456-2227 or chat online www.greencountryfcu.balancepro.org.