Get out of debt — melt your plastic

Advice on cutting down what you owe on credit cards

Credit cards are both a blessing and a curse. For those who spend responsibly, they can help build credit. For those who don’t, they just rack up debt. In these financially unstable times, many people have zipped up their pocket books in favor of staying in and playing it safe. Suze Orman, one of the most well-known financial advisers around (on TV, anyway), has this advice for paying down credit-card debt:

• Cut up your credit cards, but keep one for emergencies—just don’t carry it in your wallet!

• Pay more than the minimum payment each month so as not to prolong your debt.

• Understand how your credit cards work, from charges and fees to grace periods.

• Negotiate for a lower interest rate.

• Pay off the card with the highest interest rate first, then apply that money to the one with the second highest rate, and so on.

• When debt is paid off, put the money you were using to pay off your cards into savings.

• Don’t let it happen again!

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