'Money: It's Personal' — Tips for paying off high-interest credit cards

SAN ANTONIO – Lots of us are guilty of putting a little too much on high-interest credit cards, accumulating more debt than we originally intended.

If you put on too much debt for an emergency or an impulsive, expensive purchase, there are some ways to get yourself out of that high-interest debt faster.

Let's say your interest rate goes high -- like 20 percent. Since virtually no investment will give you returns to match the 20 percent rate, you're better off paying off the card before investing in anything else and to save you money in the long run.

The first step is to avoid using your high-interest card unless you have the money to pay the bill when it arrives. It'll keep your from accumulating even more debt.

You'll want to know the exact amount you owe. If you can pay the balance in full, great! If you can't pay it all, figure out how much you can pay per month and how long it will take you to pay off the balance.

You'll want to pay off your debt sooner than later.

If you have several credit cards, find the one with the highest interest rate and pay as much as you can on that one until your pay it off, while still paying as much as you can on your other cards or loans.

While you can't prevent emergencies, it's important to save for a rainy day. You can put your money in a savings account or open a certificate of deposit account.

You can also choose to invest your money to earn more over longer periods of time. Just remember, some investments are riskier than others, which means you can also lose money that way.

For more information on paying down high-interest debt, click here.

“Money: It’s Personal” is a series on KSAT’s News at 9 that breaks down personal finance topics. If you have a suggestion or question on they types of topics you'd like us to explain, click here.

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