SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Credit card debt in the U.S. is at a record of nearly $1 trillion, and higher interest rates are making it even more expensive to carry that debt.

Darren James, Financial Advisor at Northwestern Mutual explains to 22News that as the country continues to battle inflation and consumer price increases, more and more Americans are leaning on this resource to make ends meet.

To pay down the debt, he says people should draft a budget and determine what their monthly fixed expenses are, what they would like their discretionary expenses to look like, and what is available for them to help expedite the debt payoff.

James says, “Consider looking at a consolidation loan, because if you can get lower interest product instead of paying the credit card company 24 percent interest, “hey I am at a fixed rate of 9 or 10 percent. That really helps mitigate how much you’ll spend in interest and how quickly you’ll get out of that debt.”

Consumers with good credit can think about doing 0 percent balance transfers to help minimize the impact of long-term, high-interest consumer debt.