The average American household more than $15,000 in credit card debt. Fortunately, there are effective strategies to deal with this.

First, come up with a payment plan which includes paying more than the monthly minimum to lower interest payments. Or utilize the snowball plan where you prioritize loan payments by their amounts starting with the smallest loan. After that loan is paid off, you roll that payment into the payments being made for the next smallest loan. Payments become bigger as the debt is paid off.

Debt avalanche is the third plan which is the opposite approach of the snowball method because you pay off the cards with the highest interest first. The fourth payment plan, the automate method, is making automated payments to avoid late fees but it requires more attention if it is being used with the snowball or avalanche plan.

Debt consolidation may be an effective strategy if debt payments become overwhelming and you have good credit. There are two payment methods.

A zero percent balance transfer card can be used to pay off consolidated debt with single monthly payments. These are typically interest free for a 15 to 18- month introductory period. Next, a fixed rate debt consolidation loan usually has lower interest rates than credit cards.

Negotiating payment terms with creditors is another strategy. You can seek a lower minimum payment or smaller APR. Creditors may be willing to work with longtime customers with good payment histories. Be sure to explain your situation and how you intend to resolve your debt.

Finally, you may take more serious steps if the total debt exceeds what you can pay each month and is difficult to control. Under a debt management plan, credit counseling agency counselors negotiate new terms and consolidate credit card debt. The agency receives a monthly fixed fee, some accounts may be closed, and new accounts may be unavailable for some time.

In debt settlement, creditors agree to a lower amount than what is owed. This requires the hiring of a debt settlement company and has risks like accruing penalties and interest, additional fees, taxes and negative credit reports.

Chapter 7 wipes out debt and Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows restructuring. These have different requirements and impact on credit and assets.

Attorneys can provide options to deal with debt. They can help protect your rights.