Debt, which can include credit card balances, lines of home equity and student loans, has been identified as one of the main reasons why many Americans are unable to save. Ohio residents should know the five signs that indicate an individual needs a credit counselor.

Individuals who spend more than they make to tackle their debt should seek advice on how to better handle their finances. An unanticipated financial emergency can place one’s personal finances in an unsustainable situation.

Consistently making late payments is also another significant clue. Not only can it negatively affect credit ratings, being late on a payment for more than 60 days can reduce the possibility that the credit card debt will be paid back. Credit card issuers can assess $27 for the first payment that is late and then $37 for any additional late payments that occur within six months of the first late payment.

Apprehension about contact with debt collectors is another sign an individual should seek credit counseling. The anxiety about being called and mailed notices by debt collectors can adversely affect one’s peace of mind.

An individual’s inability to contribute to his or her retirement account is also an indication that financial counseling is needed. Allocating a few hundred dollars each month for 35 years in a retirement account with a favorable rate of annual return can result in a sizable nest egg for retirement.

Every individual should know where his or her money is going. The lack of a budget will not aid in paying down debt and is a strong clue that credit counseling is needed.

Being overwhelmed with financial debt can take a toll on an individual’s finances. If someone is contemplating bankruptcy, he or she should consider contacting an attorney.