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Almost everyone at some point carries a credit card balance or misses a bill payment. But how do you know when the sum of those lapses has left you on financial thin ice? These four signs can help you spot danger ahead.

Number 1, you have no emergency savings. Having no cash stashed for a medical emergency or a car accident may force you to borrow just to cover your basic financial obligations, like rent and food. Research has shown 24% of Americans have more credit card debt than emergency savings, and 28% have no savings at all. Put away at least six months of living expenses, just in case.

2, you took out a payday loan. These short-term loans are a bad idea. If you annualize the interest and fees that come with such loans, the annual rate ranges from 400 to 500%. Bank or credit card loans are better options.

3, you’re only making the minimum monthly payments on your debts. Lenders keep minimum monthly requirements low in the hopes your balance will pile up interest. For example, consider a credit card with a $1,000 balance, an 18% annual interest rate, and a minimum monthly payment of interest plus 1% of the balance. If you just pay the minimum, it will take you 113 months and $923 in interest to pay it off.

And 4, you stopped saving for retirement. After meeting your daily obligations, put what you can in your retirement fund. That gives your money time to grow so you can enjoy your golden years.

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