How to Manage your Credit Card Debt

How to Manage your Credit Card Debt

Core Facts

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Credit Card debt is something that a huge majority of American households deal with. In 2016, American Credit Card Debt Statistics show that the average American household debt is over $5,500. The average for balance-carrying households is over $16,000, with a total outstanding U.S. consumer debt of $3.4 trillion. 


Even though America’s economy is in better condition now, studies show that credit card debt took a dip after the recession, but has risen again since then. This indicates that consumers are reverting to pre-recession spending patterns.  


A rise in credit card debt usually signals an improving economy. It shows that Americans think the economy is doing better, more people are working and earning a salary, and have more money to spend. However, this mind-set also affects how they save. 




Good credit card management boils down to:

  1. Making payments on time
  2. Paying more than the minimum payment due
  3. Keeping balances low
  4. Having a portfolio of cards with good rates

While it may seem to be the wisest course of action to make every effort to pay down your credit cards at the expense of other financial goals, experts advise that you focus on increasing emergency savings, taking advantage of the employer match in a 401(k) plan, and investing while paying down debt.

If paying down your credit card debt is something that you are trying to do, here are some tips:

Don’t make any new purchases. Commit yourself to paying cash for all future purchases or using a debit card. If necessary, shred your credit cards. 

Pay down the balances. If you have multiple cards with balances, prioritize by paying off the card with the highest interest rate or highest balance first, and then move on to the next highest-rate card, etc. Paying off a card in full can be very encouraging and can help motivate you to stick with your overall debt reduction plan.

Set goals. Determine to pay off all of your credit card debt by a certain date. Make the goal realistic—the sooner the better, of course, but if your goal isn’t realistic, you may become discouraged if you don’t achieve it.




Material contained in this article is provided for information purposes only and is not intended to be used in connection with the evaluation of any investments offered by David Lerner Associates, Inc. This material does not constitute an offer or recommendation to buy or sell securities and should not be considered in connection with the purchase or sale of securities. 

To the extent that this material concerns tax matters, it is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by a taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed by law. 

Each taxpayer should seek independent advice from a tax professional based on his or her individual circumstances.

These materials are provided for general information and educational purposes based upon publicly available information from sources believed to be reliable-- we cannot assure the accuracy or completeness of these materials. The information in these materials may change at any time and without notice.

David Lerner Associates does not provide tax or legal advice. The information presented here is not specific to any individual's personal circumstances. Member FINRA & SIPC


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Founded in 1976, David Lerner Associates is a privately-held broker/dealer with headquarters in Syosset, New York and branch offices in Westport, CT; Boca Raton, FL; Teaneck and Princeton, NJ; and White Plains, NY. For more information contact David Lerner Associates Call 516-921-4200 Visit our website:

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Jake Mendlinger
Account Manager
516.829.8374 X 232

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