Financial trouble can happen to the best of people through no fault of their own. Unexpected expenses can pile up, especially if you have no reserves to cover them. And beyond bills, you must meet your basic needs to survive. While you may intend to pay all your debts off one day, it’s important to understand if you’re in over your head too far to do so.

Missed credit card payments

If you’re forced to choose between bills, paying off your credit card may seem like a low priority. Yet, by skipping your monthly payment – or paying it more than 30 days late – you run the risk of accruing interest and late payment fees. These charges can add hundreds of dollars to your current balance, making your total bill more insurmountable than before.

Covering credit card bills with another credit card

While you technically cannot use one credit card to pay off another, you can move debt between two cards if one allows for balance transfers. When used properly, this provision helps people lower their interest on a small amount of debt. But you may be transferring balances to free up spending room on a maxed-out card. In this case, you will continue piling up more debt rather than paying it off. You’ll face similar challenges if you routinely take cash advances on one credit card to make payments on others. This practice comes with hefty fees and interest charges.

Calls from creditors

Constant calls from creditors can indicate serious money issues. You have ways to protect yourself from harassment by third-party collection agencies, such as writing a cease-and-desist letter. But you will still owe the debt they’re calling for to the creditors you’re indebted to. And debt collectors can still send you reminder letters or threaten to sue you if your payment remains past due.

Many people don’t have enough money to cover their expenses each month. If you’re drowning under the weight of yours, you may feel there’s no solution. A bankruptcy attorney can help you understand if filing is the best option in your circumstances.

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