Are you financially prepared for the year ahead?

 

This article provided by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC).

As the holiday spending bills begin arriving, many consumers choose to bury their heads in the financial sand, ignoring the fact that their credit card balances are growing and their savings account balances are diminishing. The National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC) suggests that consumers begin 2015 by taking the following quiz to see where they stand financially, thus allowing them to promptly address any problems that are revealed.

“If financial assistance is indicated, consumers should feel confident reaching out to an NFCC member agency where they will find a certified credit counselor ready to address their concerns,” said Gail Cunningham, spokesperson for the NFCC. “Whether the problem stems from a lack of financial education, financial mismanagement, concerns over meeting the mortgage payment, or if bankruptcy is being considered, sitting down with a trained third party will add insight to the situation.”

The first step toward a financially stable tomorrow is facing the situation today. Answer True or False to the following questions, and then tally the score. See the suggested scoring beneath the quiz to determine whether or not you may be a candidate for financial counseling.

  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. 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 worries about 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.

Most people answer True to only two or three of the above questions. If you found yourself answering True more often than that, financial counseling might be in order. Call 866.889.9347 to speak to a certified financial counselor today.

Jesse Campbell is the Content Manager at MMI, focused on creating and delivering valuable educational materials that help families through everyday and extraordinary financial challenges.

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