(Updated 29 February 2024)

How to spot the signs of problem debt

Problem debt - brunette woman holding her head in worry, looking at a laptop

At times of financial uncertainty, tips on how to stop spending can help you avoid ending up in difficulty. However, for some, problem debt can still creep up.

Here are five signs of problem debt that should alert you to a potential debt issue and help you access the support you need.

Worrying/losing sleep

Even if you’re not focussed on a specific payment, you may experience anxieties about your financial situation that affect you physically.

This could make it hard for you to concentrate on work and relationships, or even stop you from sleeping properly.

And even if it isn’t defined as a specific sum total, the ‘threat’ of debt can still affect your mental and physical wellbeing.

Living on overdraft/credit cards

If you’re noticing that as soon as money comes into your account, it seems to empty almost as quickly, don’t ignore it.

Living on or beyond your line of credit is unsustainable and also leaves you unable to make longer term plans like build up savings.

And the embarrassment of a payment being declined at a point of sale isn’t something anybody wants to experience either.

Making minimum monthly payments

The whole point of a minimum payment, while it seems convenient, is to keep you in debt for longer.

If these amounts are all you can afford, you’ll ultimately end up paying much more than you borrowed originally.

Difficulty paying bills

If you’re struggling to pay bills, or waiting until final reminders, or not even opening your letters, these are all warning signs.

Problems with paying bills is a clear indicator that you could be heading for problem debt.

Even if you do pay but later than required, you could still be adversely affecting your credit score.

You lie to friends and family about spending

Whether you stick your head in the sand about energy bills, or hide purchases from a partner, this is another ominous sign.

It can be tempting to pretend the problem isn’t there by not being honest with others (or even yourself) but unfortunately that won’t remove it.

By seeking the right support from experienced advisors, you can correct your course before potentially ruining any relationships.

Do you need help with problem debt?

If some or all of these signs resonate with you then it may be best to seek debt help. While reaching out for help can be daunting, the sooner you seek help the sooner you can get your finances back on track.

At Angel Advance we can help you get on top of your problem debt by providing expert debt advice. Access our free debt advice tool here to start your debt help journey.

Don’t have an account with us and are looking for debt advice?

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Angel Advance provides online debt advice to get you back on track and make your finances more manageable.

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