If your monthly credit card balance is contributing to that $808 billion debt, don’t lose hope. Instead, take action to ease the burden.
First, pick up the phone and call your credit card company. These companies will typically agree to a lower interest rate if you simply ask for one, potentially saving you hundreds of dollars in the long run.
If you’re still spending on your cards, track your costs, create a budget and eliminate the expenses that you can do without. That means you might have to go without your theater season tickets and start brewing your coffee at home this year — but it’ll be worth it.
If you need more help, reach out to a nonprofit consumer credit counseling organization to develop a debt management plan. Once you’re back on track, commit to the cardinal rule of credit cards: Pay your entire balance every month. Otherwise, you’ll be paying much more in interest charges.