Credit card debt has a way of spiraling out of control when you’re not looking. One day, you feel good about your ability to stay current with your payments and eventually pay off your balance. But soon enough, you realize you’re in too deep and you may need to take drastic measures to regain stability.

If your current credit card debt load is more than you can comfortably handle, given your current financial circumstances, it’s time to take action. The sooner you do so, the sooner you can get your finances back in a good place.

Here are the steps you should take:

  • Understand your credit card debt: In addition to the balance on each card, pay close attention to the current standing of the account, interest rate and minimum payment. All of these details will help you when deciding what to do next.
  • Review your budget: Now, turn your attention to your budget to determine if you have enough money to make the minimum payment, at the very least, every month. Ideally, you’d be able to pay more than the minimum, to speed up the process.
  • Contact your credit card company: Let them know that you’re struggling to pay your balance and ask them if there’s anything they can do. It will take some work, including the completion of some paperwork, but you may be able to work out an agreement that works for both sides.
  • Consider bankruptcy: It’s a last resort for most individuals, but it’s something to strongly consider if you have no other way to improve your financial circumstances. For example, if you file for Chapter 7, you can wipe out most of your debts, while also obtaining a fresh start. In many cases, it’s the quickest solution.

If you’re swimming in credit card debt and unsure of what to do next, these steps will bring clarity to your situation. You can then decide how to proceed, with the goal of making progress that eliminates this stress from your life.

Credit card debt is concerning, but there is always another strategy you can employ to make progress in your fight.