6 Signs You've Got Too Much Credit Card Debt

Swiping the plastic so much your credit cards have skid marks? Via Kiplinger, here’s six warning signs to watch out for that might indicate you’re abusing your credit cards.

6. You often rack up fees for late payments and/or exceeding your credit limit
5. You borrow from one card to pay another
4. You don’t contribute to savings or retirement plans because of your debt
3. More than 20% of take-home pay goes to making payments on credit cards and non-mortgage loans
2. You use plastic because it’s the only money you have right now
1. You can’t make minimum payments on your cards.

If any of these describe you, give 10 Ways To Break A Compulsive Spending Habit a read.

Don’t Let Debt Get You Down [Kiplinger]
(Photo: moacirpdsp)


Edit Your Comment

  1. JustAGuy2 says:

    How about a much simpler 1 point answer:

    1. You don’t pay off your balances in full at the end of the month.

  2. UpsetPanda says:

    More than 20% of take home pay…for a year, or per paycheck?

  3. emona says:

    Only #4 describes me, though I can say with confidence that I definitely have too much credit card debt. I’m paying off with the avalanche (snowball?) method, which has been a godsend.

  4. Abusiveelusive says:

    None apply to me. I still think I’m in over my head.

  5. enm4r says:

    #3 is misleading. If you live in a high cost of living area, and ONLY use credit card, more than 20% of pay could easily be going toward your credit card each month. I’d pay my rent with credit if I could…

  6. protest says:

    so yeah, about that #3…i spend 30-40% per monthly take home on my student loan payments which i assume is a “non-mortgage loan.” it would be awesome if i could cut those up like credit cards to break such a “bad” habit.

    seriously, am i an idiot for doing this?

  7. vex says:

    I say there’s only one sign…you’re paying interest charges. If you really need to borrow money for more than a month, there are far better options than a credit card – and you shouldn’t be doing it regularly.

  8. sonichghog says:

    Ya, #3 gets me too. Its not the CCs that take up the 20%, its the CCs + Car Loan. My Car loan alone takes up about 14%

  9. UpsetPanda says:

    @enm4r: You can pay rent with a credit card, but it’s most likely not worth it. My old apartment complex rental office tacked on a fee for credit card payments because they’d rather just have the check.

  10. savvy9999 says:

    #3 is arbitrary. We charge about 80% of our discretionary income (groceries, gifts, some utility bills) to our CC, and get back between 1-3% of it every month. Which goes straight into a Roth IRA cranking out 12% returns.

    We’d put even more of our non-disposable income on it (mortgage, student loan), if the banks would let us.

    I heart cashback
    I !heart balances

  11. krom says:

    @1: Sorry, I had a hard time finding work a few years ago, and lived off the cards (rent, food, etc.). It’s not always got to do with irresponsible spending.

  12. swalve says:

    @krom: Your fixed expenses should never be more than what unemployment insurance will cover.

  13. humphrmi says:

    I agree with others that three needs to be removed, especially since it says “if any of these describe you”… Come on, I charge all of my expenses and pay it off every month and get free cash and airlines miles. Just because 80% of my income is expenses that get paid in full once per month doesn’t mean I have a problem with debt.

  14. Frapp says:

    I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m seriously starting to get sick of all these posts and articles telling me about a problem I already know I have. It’s like your boss telling you that you suck at your job and doesn’t bother to try and fix the problem!

    How about instead we have some posts and articles on workable methods of reducing debt. I’ve read about the snowball method, swapping balances to new cards, and taking things on little by little. Is there any other methods out there that don’t involve selling myself, my body parts, or everything I own to make a buck?

  15. anatak says:

    @protest: “seriously, am i an idiot for doing this?”

    No. Not if you are systematically paying extra to pay them off early. At one point nearly half of our income was going on debt because we were using the debt snowball. Now – 0.0% goes to non-mortgage debt.

  16. nardo218 says:

    @krom: Yeah, me too. What else can you do? I live with my parents but I still need health and car insurance. I’m temping and paying it off, but I was sick for a while and just couldn’t work. Not everyone in CC debt are spending it on game systems and tropical vacations. I’m sick of the blame game on this site.

  17. krom says:

    @swalve: What happens when UI runs out — as it did for very many people at that period of time?

  18. IRSistherootofallevil says:

    By the way the card on the far right is a Citibank debit card, not a credit card. Just being nitpicky.