If you are like many California residents, you may feel choked by the balances on your credit cards. Somehow, you have accumulated more debt than you ever intended, and are having trouble making the minimum payments each month. You may also be wondering if you are ever going to be free from this burden. How can you best handle your credit card debt? 

According to Forbes, in 2018 Americans exceeded $1 trillion in credit card debt. And, in the one-year period leading up to August 2018, $104 billion was paid in interest and fees for credit cards by that same population. One byproduct of Americans being over-leveraged is that they do not have enough available money when they need it. In fact, almost half of the people in this country do not have a $400 emergency fund. 

When you are being hit each month with high credit card bills and interest payments, you should make it a priority to pay them off as soon as possible. First contact your credit card companies to see if they are willing to lower your interest rate. Next, make a plan to tackle your debt as quickly as possible. You might choose the avalanche or snowball methods, where you make minimum payments on all your cards while focusing on paying off one card in full before attacking the next in line. Sometimes, filing for bankruptcy is your best option because it helps reorganize your debts, thus offering you some fiscal relief so you can get your finances in order. 

This information is here for educational purposes only and should not be taken as legal advice.