If you have a high balance on a credit card and are only making minimum payments, start paying down the balance. It's important to pay down (or even better, pay off) revolving accounts such as credit cards. This will lower your credit-to-debt ratio (what you have borrowed in relation to what you could borrow), and is one way to improve your credit score. Paying off installment loans such as auto loans, student loans, etc. won't improve your credit score as dramatically.
You can get rid of credit card debt in several different ways. Debt consolidation loans are one way. You can also take out a home equity loan (or a cash-out refinance) fromĀ your mortgageĀ lender, or you can open a new credit card and transfer the balances over. The latter might come with a zero percent introductory interest rate, giving you several months or more to pay down your balance interest-free.

Next, estimate your monthly spending habits for other expenses such as gas, groceries and entertainment. Create a limit, based on your income, of what you can spend in each of the different categories of expenses. For example, if you tend to spend $400 a month on groceries, try to stick to $300 a month on groceries by making changes like buying generic brands, using coupons, and resisting impulse purchases.
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