If you are struggling with credit card debt in Louisiana, you know that keeping your finances in order can be quite difficult. There are methods you can utilize to successfully manage credit card debt however, which will help you improve your financial status while also cutting back on harmful debt that can imperil your future.

Consumer Reports offers a number of useful common sense tips to help keep credit card debt under control. For instance, if you owe money to several different creditors, consider consolidating your debt into one monthly payment. This can be a smart way to negotiate a lower interest rate, which will ensure that more of your payment goes towards the actual debt amount. Even if you’re unable to consolidate, you may be able to work with creditors directly to negotiate a lower interest rate.

You should also have a plan in place when it comes to paying off credit card debt. Making minimum payments means that settling your debt will take place on a much longer time line. Conversely, increasing the amount you pay each month can result in a settling debt at a much faster rate. While this can be difficult if you are currently strapped for cash, creating a budget can often go a long way towards getting your finances back on track. In the same token, you can even prioritize the payments you are currently making.

If all else fails, you may need to consider filing for bankruptcy. Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 are usually the standard for individuals filing for bankruptcy, and each offers specific benefits to those in debt. Those with lower incomes typically opt for Chapter 7 (which liquidates assets to pay off debt), while people with higher incomes choose Chapter 13 (which creates a repayment plan for debt that usually spans from three to five years).