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17 Signs you’re struggling to cope with personal debt and need to take action

Sharon McDougall - Updated - 3rd May 2024 - 2 minutes to read

Debt seems to be a way of modern day life. For some things in life, such as buying a home or paying for a university education, taking on debt and paying this off in instalments may be the only way of being able to afford some things. However there comes a time when taking on debt hinders, rather than helps you in your life. Once debt becomes a problem, the situation can quickly escalate.

Problem debt does not happen overnight, it is a gradual process which takes months, sometimes even years to happen. It can therefore be difficult to know when you’ve reached a crucial point with your debt. Below are 17 warning signs that your debt may be becoming a problem.

Of course not all of these signs will apply to everyone, however if you do recognise yourself in a number of the statements, you may want to consider getting some help to sort out your debt.

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  1. Taking out more credit to make payments towards your existing debt
  2. Struggling to pay the minimum balances on your debt
  3. Your payments are barely covering the interest being charged each month
  4. Being afraid to answer the phone, not opening credit card statements, jumping every time there is a knock on the door
  5. Being rejected when applying for balance transfers or consolidation loans
  6. Missing payments on loans or credit cards
  7. Your credit cards are maxed out
  8. Your debt has been sold on to a collection agency
  9. You are facing legal action, being threatened with Sheriff Officers, or have received a CCJ
  10. All your disposable income is going towards servicing debt
  11. You are finding it’s affecting your day-to-day life and you are struggling to concentrate on anything else
  12. Losing sleep over money worries
  13. Not being sure how much debt you are in, who all your lenders are, and the amount of interest being charged
  14. Lying about your debt to your partner and those closest to you
  15. Using credit cards to pay for your basic living expenses
  16. Going over the credit limit on your cards/overdrafts
  17. Your debt is increasing, whether this is through continuing to take out credit or the compounding of interest

If you recognise your situation in any of the above statements, it may be time for you to seek professional help with managing your debt. While it may be scary to admit that you have a debt problem, facing up to it is the first step towards finding a solution.

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Sharon McDougall


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