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• Understanding your debt is the first step to managing it.

• Consider how debt works so you can make informed decisions about it.

• Develop a plan to reduce your debt and get help if needed, such as from a trained credit counselor.

• Don’t ignore a debt collector. Make sure any debt you are asked to pay is valid as soon as possible. Get help if you need it.

• When it’s time to pay back your student loans, consider your options and understand what will happen if you are late with payments. Your loan servicer can help you explore repayment plans.

• If you receive a medical bill, make sure it is valid. If you can’t afford to pay it, try to set up a payment plan.

• Understand how high cost debt works. Identify lower cost options for the future.

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