If you have credit card debt that you are struggling to pay off, there are some very important facts you need to know. This information largely relates to how Fort Lauderdale residents can better manage their debt to stay out of financial trouble.

First, you need to face that fact that getting into credit card debt was probably your fault. Even if your credit card debt appeared because of a financial emergency, you need to ask yourself: What if you had saved your money and had a little bit of financial padding for a rainy day? Would you have needed to go into debt to pay off that sudden and unexpected bill?

Second, don’t be fooled by short-term loans. A credit card purchase is nothing more than a short-term loan — one that comes with an extremely high interest rate. The longer you hold onto that loan, the more expensive it will be. Therefore, it is important to see credit cards for what they are: short-term loans. When you try to stretch your credit card payments over years instead of months, that’s when debt snowballs and a $50 finance fee turns into hundreds of dollars in interest payments.

Third, if you’re having trouble with your finances, and you’re trying to decide if you should use your cash to pay your credit card bill and buy groceries with your credit card, or skip the credit card bill and buy your groceries with cash, you might want to keep in mind that you will not be put in jail for failing to pay your credit card. However, legal repercussions do exist, and people who owe back-payments on credit cards could end up getting their wages garnished.

Fort Lauderdale residents suffering from unpaid credit card bills and individuals who are having their wages garnished, may have legal options available that can help — like filing for bankruptcy. A bankruptcy attorney can evaluate the debt situation of a borrower to determine if — and what kind of — bankruptcy may be right for a particular individual’s situation and need.

Source: creditcards.com, “8 things you must know about credit card debt,” accessed Sep. 09, 2016