“People end up being trapped in the credit card cycle, where they are constantly catching up,” said Capalad.
Breaking out requires a concerted effort. First step: Curtail new credit card debt.
Shift recurring purchases to a debit card or checking account, she said. Do the same with discretionary purchases that can add up fast, such as ride-sharing or takeout delivery.
Then come up with a plan for tackling your existing debt.
Focusing on your most expensive debts first can help you pay less in interest and speed repayment, said Meehan. But pay attention to timelines, too, such as an end to balance-transfer or deferred-interest offers. A looming deadline can make those debts a higher priority.