It’s never a bad time to pay off your credit card debt, but Americans are borrowing more than usual.
According to the Federal Reserve’s most recent data, overall consumer borrowing jumped almost nine percent in November—the most in over two years. The category of debt made up mostly of credit cards increased by $11.2 billion to $1.02 trillion.
That’s right: $1.02 trillion in debt. It’s the highest level in U.S. history, without adjusting for inflation.
Take control of your debt now. USA Today shows you how:
Pick a plan
There are two common debt repayment strategies—avalanche and snowball.
The avalanche works by putting all your extra money toward your highest interest rate debt. Once that’s paid off, you start paying off the next most expensive debt until it’s all gone.
While the avalanche makes the most sense financially, sometimes the snowball method provides more motivation. With this strategy, you pay off the smallest debt first, to boost your spirits. Then you use that momentum to pay off the next biggest bill and so on, building your efforts like a snowball.
It doesn’t really matter which one you use, just that you do it, said Lauren Zangardi Haynes, a financial adviser. You also need to break the spending habits that got you into debt in the first place.
So don’t wait. Don’t make excuses. Pick a plan, and stick to it.