5 Ways to Get Out Of Credit Card Debt
Minimum payment due, reads the box on your credit card statement. What an enticing idea: Pay a small amount and you're off the hook for the whole bill—for a while, anyway. Alas, as the 54 percent of Americans who carry a balance every month know, that rotating charge usually comes back to bite you, and figuring out how to get out of credit card debt is no small thing. The average amount of revolving credit card debt (balance carried month to month) per American household as of 2021 is $6,006, according to a study by NerdWallet.
You may have had a very good reason for running up high-interest debt: Maybe you had to make some unexpected big-ticket purchases, or lost a job, or endured an illness. Or maybe you have formed some unhealthy spending habits, such as impulse buying.
Regardless of the cause, ridding yourself of that balance should be your top financial priority—credit card debt and a low credit score can have serious consequences for your overall financial security. "You need an action plan to help you work at reducing and eventually eliminating what you owe," says Gail Cunningham, a spokesperson for the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, a nonprofit organization. Here are several ways to create one for yourself.