The reports on the national economy for the last several months have been mostly positive. However, there is always one big issue that could be a potential wrecking-ball: debt. Millions of Americans are dealing with debt of all kinds: student loan debt, mortgage debt and, perhaps most important of all, credit card debt. For those Illinois residents who are facing thousands of dollars in credit card debt, a recent article had a few tips on how to dig out from this hole.

The first tip might seem obvious: stop adding to the problem. When it comes to credit cards, that means stop using credit cards to pay bills or buy items. It can help to think of credit card debt as borrowing money; you aren’t using a cash-based financial system when you use a credit card to make a purchase. Stopping the credit card use is the first and most important step.

From there, the next step is to make monthly payments that exceed the minimum payments. Slowly but surely, you will begin to chip away at the total amount you owe if you are paying back more than the minimum required amount. Lastly, rethink your overall approach to finances by saving money to spend later, instead of spending now and paying it off later.

Getting out of credit card debt can be done with the right approach. Unfortunately, there are many people who may be in a hole that is too great to conquer. For those individuals, it might be a good idea to consider the pros and cons of filing for bankruptcy to eliminate credit card debt.

Source: Forbes, “3 Simple Steps Can Get You Out Of Credit Card Debt This Year,” Nancy L. Anderson, Feb. 19, 2017