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Watching You Wallet: Start paying down debt

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Published: Jun. 3, 2020 at 3:47 PM EDT
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A lot of people are racking up credit card debt during the pandemic and eventually they will need to pay it all back.

It's normal to turn to credit cards in an emergency. I know it may be stressing you out too, but personal finance expert Kim Palmer with NerdWallet says-- you can't let it get to you.

"Now if you need to turn to your credit cards to buy essentials and you run up your credit card balance more than normal and you can't pay the full balance off that's not something to stress about too much right now because later on when you have income coming in again you can rebuild your credit you can pay off that debt," said Palmer.

Now is the time to revisit your budget. Our spending has changed a lot recently — less on going out, more on groceries and supplies. Adjusting your budget can help you free up cash to apply toward debt payments.

Make at least the minimum payments on your credit cards on time. This keeps your accounts in good standing. Pick one debt to pay down as aggressively as possible, and then move onto another debt once the first is paid off.

It's ok to ask for help if you need it. Do not just stop paying your bills if you can't afford them. That can hurt your credit score.

Talk to your credit card issuers to see what hardship programs are available.

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