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Warning Signs of Financial Stress

The following are warning signs of an individual's financial stress:

  • Making only the minimum payments month after month.
  • Paying important payments (such as rent or mortgage) late.
  • Using money from one lender to pay another.
  • Using cash-advances to pay daily living expenses.
  • Applying for or accepting new credit cards because the credit limits on your existing cards have been exhausted.
  • Transferring balances to new accounts to avoid paying off debt.
  • Running out of cash (often or always).


If your finances are in stress, seek professional advice and counseling.

  • Talk to your local banker about managing your money and reducing debt. Your banker may also offer our Budgeting booklet to help you get on track.
  • Contact the National Foundation for Credit Counseling for confidential advice at 1-800-388-2227 or visit for a referral to an office near you.
  • Remember that most creditors are almost always willing to work out alternate payment plans, especially in emergency situations such as job loss or major illness.
  • Be wary of anyone who claims they can “fix” your credit for you. Some information may not be erased from credit reports. Use only reputable organizations as recommended by a trusted source.
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