For most people in Tennessee and throughout the United States, financial struggles are a normal part of life to some degree or another. Sometimes, however, money problems can become so severe that it is necessary to consider taking serious steps to resolve them, for instance by filing for bankruptcy. Unfortunately, many people wait too long before asking for help, which can ultimately harm their long-term financial wellbeing. If you experience any of the following three warning signs, it may be time to re-evaluate your financial situation and get help from a professional if necessary.

Having no savings

A sure warning sign that you may be teetering on the edge of financial ruin is if you find yourself living paycheck to paycheck. Although far from uncommon, a paycheck-to-paycheck lifestyle puts you at risk of a serious financial fall if an unexpected setback should occur, such as a major illness, injury or loss of a job. Even an unanticipated car or home repair can be enough to push things over the limit when you are living without a savings cushion.

Being uninsured

When money is tight, expenses like car and health insurance can seem like non-essential luxuries. Unfortunately, going without insurance can be a far more expensive prospect in the long run if something should go wrong. Unpaid medical bills have now surpassed credit card debt as the leading cause of bankruptcy in the United States, according to a 2013 CNBC report. Even if you are insured, high deductibles and copayments can often result in unmanageable debt loads when a hospitalization, surgery or other major medical expense occurs.

Growing credit card debt

If medical expenses, job loss or other financial setbacks make it impossible to make ends meet, you may feel you have no choice but to turn to credits cards as a stop-gap measure. All too often, however, the credit cards become yet another unmanageable bill each month. Missing credit card payments or making only the minimum payment each month can be another warning sign that your financial situation is not sustainable.

Help is available

Fortunately, if you are experiencing financial distress as a result of unpaid debts, there is help available. One option, depending on your circumstances, may be to file for bankruptcy. By filing for bankruptcy, you may be able to wipe out some or all of your debts and start over with a clean slate. However, as with any debt solution, there are pros and cons to consider. If you would like more information about bankruptcy and whether it could be right for your specific situation, set up a consultation with Chattanooga bankruptcy lawyer Kenneth C. Rannick, P.C.

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