It is Halloween this weekend, so we had to share something scary here on the blog… and this time, we are sharing 4 Scary Ways to Damage Your Debt. Let’s face it – nothing is scarier than overwhelming debt that spirals out of control.
If you are not careful about how you spend your hard-earned money, and even how you conduct transactions online, you can easily start down the path to crushing debt. Today’s post is going to examine the 4 most horrifying ways you can head down a scary financial path.
1. Hackers and scammers
Digital thieves have become incredibly creative – you need to be extremely careful whenever you provide your credit card number to ANY online service. Charities are a common ploy, so make sure you do research on a charity before you make a donation – especially if you are solicited at your front door or over the phone.
Fake debt settlement companies are also far too common. We have heard far too many horror stories from past clients – do not let yourself get roped in!
Malware and viruses have also become a common source of financial woe. Hackers can load software onto your computer that logs your keystrokes, and voila! They have access to your credit cards and bank accounts.
2. Identity Theft
We talk to more and more Dallas area residents every year who are victims of identity theft – it is much more common than you would think. We have talked to clients who woke up one morning to watch their car get repossessed or cell phone shut off for late payment. Some people have even been turned down for a potential job because a background check revealed a warrant for financial crimes that were never committed!
According to recent studies, there is a new identity theft victim every 2 seconds in the United States. The best way to avoid identity theft is awareness. Don’t leave credit card bills in your car. Shred any bills you don’t need anymore, as well as junk mail soliciting credit cards. If you think you have become a victim, contact your bank and credit card companies immediately – and be sure to alert the national credit agencies as well.
3. Co-signed loans
If you co-sign for a loan and the other person defaults, you are responsible for paying off the debt. Sure, you want to help a family member or friend, but you are putting your own financial future, credit, and credibility at risk. If you canot pay the loan off, you could get your bank account frozen or wages garnished – not to mention the drop in your credit score.
We have mentioned this in nearly every blog post mentioning financial advice – ultimately, you have to be responsible for your own finances. If you are not sticking to a budget, or if you are continually charging purchases to credit cards that you do not have the money to pay off, your debt is quickly going to spiral out of control. Pay attention to your monthly statements, and create a plan for paying off your credit cards. Be careful with what you spend, and live within your means – that is the safest road to financial freedom.
If you are struggling with out-of-control debt, call us at 214-760-7777 and set up a free debt consultation. We’ll listen to the details about your financial situation and explain the options available to you so you’re able to make the right choice for your future.