How to pay down credit card debt and avoid it completely

Average households that do carry debt, have an balance of 16 thousand dollars

(CNN) – For many, debt is an ugly four letter word. It can cripple college students and working families. The country’s debt has also become a dominate theme to the presidential election, but there are things you can do now to pay down your debt.

The average American is 36 hundred dollars in credit card debt, says the Motley Fool. That number doesn’t really explain the full debt depiction. Here’s the good news, more than 60 percent of American households carry no credit card debt. If they do swipe that card, the balance is paid off every month.

Now for the bad news. Valuepenguin crunched the numbers and found those households that do carry debt, have an average balance of 16 thousand dollars. That’s ten percent higher than what it was three years ago.

If you add credit card interest into the mix, the number skyrockets. To help you pay down debt, the experts at Motley Fool have handy tips.

Stop using credit cards. Instead, pay in cash or use a debit card. If you do need to go with a card compare offers. Look for zero percent introductory A.P.R. offers, or zero balance transfer fees. Make sure you know when the A.P.R. goes up and try to pay your balance down before then.

Also opening up a new card can ding your credit report. Pay often and pay more than the minimum balance. Chip away at your debt one dollar at a time. It will add up.

If you can put more money towards your card, do it. You don’t want to be stuck with more debt because of interest fees.