Speaking with an attorney about your financial situation may feel like a big step to take. As a result, you may be unsure of whether or not your financial situation has risen to the level that warrants an attorney’s guidance. In general, the earlier you seek assistance, the more options remain available to you. But if you are still concerned that you may be calling an attorney “too soon,” it is important to consider your entire financial situation. If your circumstances exhibit any of the following red flags, it may not be too soon to speak to a lawyer experienced in matters of bankruptcy, debt relief and other financial matters.

For example, if you are nearing or have exceeded limits on your lines of credit, it may be important to consult an attorney. If you have maxed out your credit or are near to maxing out your credit, you may be headed for trouble. No matter how carefully you monitor your income and debt from this moment forward, you may be struck with an unexpected expense that sets you over the edge. It is generally better to negotiate with creditors before you cannot manage your bills at all anymore.

In addition, if you are feeling tempted to borrow from your retirement savings or to use a payday service, you may be in a dire enough situation that a trip to an attorney may do you a world of good. Taking these financial risks can often hurt you more than they can help you. Seeking out alternative options may help to stabilize your financial present and ground your financial future.

Source: Daily Finance, “10 Signs You Are Headed Toward Financial Ruin,” Ellen Chang, Sept. 19, 2014