Photo: ThinkstockBy Suze Orman
Assess the purchases that put you in the hole. Are they "needs," like utilities or medical bills, or "wants"? Simply reviewing your statement honestly can make you realize how easily the "wants" creep up--and help you curb your spending going forward.
Pay more than the minimum, even if it's just an extra $20 a month. Otherwise you're playing right into the card company's hands--the less you pay per month, the longer you're indebted to them.
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Read the fine print. In the past, it was a no-brainer to transfer a balance to a new card with a promotional low (or zero) introductory rate, usually for a fee of up to 75 bucks. But now, as you'll learn by inspecting the promo terms, the fee is often 3 percent of the amount being transferred.
RELATED: How to Avoid Hidden Fees
Get help. The Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies can connect you with a reputable counselor who will guide you through your payment options and even, when appropriate, negotiate a repayment plan with your creditors.
RELATED: Suze Orman's 10 Tips for a Fresh Financial Start
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