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Are you getting in over your head with debt? Ask yourself this question first: Can you pay off all of your debt (except for your mortgage) in 18 to 24 months? If the answer is no, you may be over-extended, says BankCard Holders of America, a non-profit consumer advocate group. If you cannot pay off your debt within two years, ask yourself the following questions -- a "yes" to two or more of the questions may mean you have a debt problem and should seek help:

Are you an impulse buyer?

Do you routinely pay only the minimum payments to all creditors?

Have you responded to an offer for additional credit cards because all of your current credit accounts are charged up to their limit?

Do you sometimes have to choose which bills to pay?

Do you take cash advances on your credit cards to pay other bills, or to purchase staples such as food, gas or utilities?

If you answered yes to a lot of these questions, it is time to face up to your problem, and stop using credit, says BankCard Holders. Cut up or lock away your credit cards, and adopt a pay-as-you-go philosophy until your debt is repaid. You may have to consider debt consolidation or seek help from a non-profit consumer credit counseling organization.

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