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Debt recovery is possible by paying down credit card debt

Today's consumers in Washington D.C. and around the country are more strapped for cash than ever before. In fact, according to nerdwallet.com, the average American household carries a total balance of $15,191 in credit card debt. Paying down that debt is difficult -- of that there is little doubt. However, with the following tips, you may be able to get those balances on your credit cards down and increase your credit score as well.

It's best to remember that you can't really "game the system." In other words, simply transferring balances between credit cards won't work. It's best to instead work on paying the balances off on those cards.

Your credit score heavily depends on your debt-to-credit ratio. Bringing that down below even 50 percent could bring your credit score up. That is not to say, though, that transferring one high-interest credit card to a zero annual percentage rate card is not a good idea. It can both help you get out of debt and increase your credit score. However, it's not going to be a significant help in every situation.

Focus on paying down the credit cards that have a high debt-to-credit ratio. A credit card that has a balance of $5,000 and a limit of $10,000 has a debt-to-credit ratio of 50 percent. You may be able to increase your credit score by paying down the highest debt-to-credit ratio card first.

Finally, remember that credit card and other revolving debt affects your credit score more than a car loan or a mortgage. If your credit cards are maxed out or you have cards that you can't make the monthly payments on, it could be time to speak with someone about your other legal options, including bankruptcy. While you may feel that you can handle your credit card debt, you might find that bankruptcy offers you a chance at financial freedom that you may not be able to attain on your own.

Source: Daily Finance, "How to Pay Down Credit Cards to Boost Your Credit Score" Abby Hayes, May. 13, 2014

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