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Are You in Financial Trouble? Find Out Now!

Are you one of the many Americans feeling overwhelmed by growing credit card balances, diminishing savings, and the increasing cost of everyday necessities? The first step toward a financially stable tomorrow is facing your situation today.

I suggest that you take the following quiz. The results will reveal whether or not you need to seek professional help to avoid falling into a deeper financial quagmire.

Answer True or False to the below questions, and then tally your score.

  1. I normally pay only the minimum amount due on my credit card bills.
  2. My credit card balances increase each month.
  3. There are arguments in my home about money.
  4. I sometimes hide purchases from my spouse.
  5. I frequently charge items that I used to pay for with cash.
  6. I have thought about filing for bankruptcy.
  7. I have begun using cash advances to meet my obligations.
  8. Most of my credit cards are near the limit, so I’ve begun applying for new lines of credit.
  9. I do not know the total amount that I owe.
  10. I skip paying my bills some months, or pay late.
  11. I have depleted my savings.
  12. I am consumed with thoughts of my debt.
  13. My debt interferes with my job and/or home life.
  14. Collectors have begun contacting me.
  15. I have taken money from my retirement account to satisfy debt obligations.
  16. If I lost my job, it would mean an immediate financial crisis in my life.
  17. I use balance transfers.
  18. I have no emergency savings account.
  19. Next month’s bills arrive before I’ve paid this month’s.
  20. I do not open my bills when they arrive, or soon thereafter.

If you answered True to more than three questions you may benefit from credit counseling.
Whether your problem stems from a lack of financial knowledge, changes in your income, concerns over an increasing mortgage payment, or if you’re considering bankruptcy, speaking with a trained and certified counselor can help you find your way out of financial trouble.

Published May 22, 2008.