Many people are reluctant to let people know when they have money problems because it is somewhat embarrassing to admit that you can’t handle your finances properly. However, staying silent when having financial troubles could make things go from bad to worse and you could lose the valuable window of opportunity to leverage relief such debt consolidation services. However, even though people would be reluctant to talk about their financial problems, friends and family members are in a vantage position to identify people going through a financial rough patch. This piece provides five hints that someone is struggling with a debt problem so that you can encourage them to seek help.

1. A sudden move to stop/avoid talking about finances

Most people won’t be comfortable talking about their finances to strangers, but there’s a level of “money talks” that happen among friends and family members. Granted, such money talks may not always include all the specifics but people talk about when they get a raise, how much they saved last month, and whether or not they have enough money for the next mortgage payment. Hence, if friends and family members that usually join your money talks suddenly develop cold feet in discussing money matters; you may want to find out if they are in debt and if they need help.

2. Unexplained decision to spend less time socializing

Socializing with friends and family costs money – the amount spent might vary across a spectrum based on the preferences of the people in your network. However, when people start having money problems; they’ll typically withdraw into isolation in order to make their money problems “public” or they sink deeper into debt in order to keep up appearances. If your friends or family member start turning down multiple invitations to hang out to socialize unlike their past response to such invitations, you may want to find out if they are trying to become more frugal or they simply can’t afford to socialize.

3. Recent life events that require huge financial adjustments

Life events are very important – they can make or mar us depending on how the tide swings for or against us. People who have recently had a life event are prone to falling into financial pitfalls and getting into debt.  Life events such as getting married or divorced can put an added strain on your finances. Having a baby, losing a job, and retiring are other life events that could make people susceptible to get into bad debt.

4. A sudden increase in regular expenses

Many people get cash advances and credit cards when they are having money problems. You can suspect if someone is having money problems if there’s a sudden increase in their regular expenses because they suddenly have cash to spend. An increase in regular expenses such as buying the latest ‘must-have’ item might be an indication that all is not well on the financial front. You should pay special attention to younger folks who might be caught in the consumerism trap of buying the latest clothes or gadgets.

5. When they have a history of being in debt

Past events are not always representative of future events; yet, people who have fallen into debt in the past are likely to fall into debts going forward. For one thing, unless the underlying behavioral patterns that led them into debt have been modified, debt will always be an attractive option whenever they don’t have enough money to fund a need.  You may also want to check up on them to ensure that they are not getting into new debt as a seemingly smart move to get rid of old debt. Unless, they are using a professional debt management service, getting into new debt to get rid of old debt is a potentially disastrous financial decision.