Many people living in New York use credit cards responsibly. Unfortunately, there are situations in which credit card debt can get out of control. This may be due to poor spending habits as well as external circumstances, such as an illness or unexpected job loss.

Experts advise debtors to take action as soon as possible to keep debt at a manageable level. One technique for understanding debt levels is to review spending over the past year. If it is obvious that spending spikes at a certain time of the year, such as around the holidays, the debtor may decide to institute a monthly savings plan that can allow him or her to accumulate cash needed for holiday purchases.

If a debtor is struggling to pay off debt that continues to increase due to high interest rates, he or she may want to approach the credit card company and ask for a rate reduction. If that doesn’t work, transferring a card balance to another one with a lower interest rate can help reduce costs. However, it’s also important to pay off the balance on the new card rather than continuing to rack up more debt.

In situations when reducing the card’s interest rate isn’t possible, debtors may benefit from prioritizing debt repayments on that one card to reduce long-term liability. Unfortunately, this doesn’t work for everyone, particularly if the debtor simply does not have the funds needed to accelerate debt repayment.

Couples and individuals who have not been able to effectively use standard debt management strategies may benefit from speaking with an experienced bankruptcy attorney. A lawyer may be able to evaluate a client’s circumstances and make recommendations regarding debt relief options, including Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy.