Getting yourself into a large amount of credit card debt can be overwhelming. Things really look bleak when it gets to the point where you feel like the only way out is filing for bankruptcy. Before you throw in the towel and file for bankruptcy, which will have long lasting negative effects on your credit rating, there are a few steps you should take.

First of all, you need to make up your mind to work your way out of debt. Just like with an alcoholic, the first step is admitting that you have a problem. Take a hard look at your financial situation and come to terms with the fact that you have a problem and that it is time to make a change. Until you resolve to make this change, you will continue to accrue debt and you will never get out of the situation,

You also need to accept that getting out of debt – and staying out of debt – is going to take hard work and commitment on your part. You will also likely need to make a few lifestyle changes in order to break some of the bad habits you have developed.

After you make up your mind to make a change, you need to sit down and really assess your financial situation. Keep track of how much you are spending and on what. You may be surprised to find that you are making small purchases that really add up. For example, you might be stopping off for a cup of coffee every morning. If you make the coffee yourself, you might just find that you save a good amount of money each month and you can send that money off to your credit card to help get yourself out of debt.

You should also take a look at the interest rate on the credit cards on which you are carrying debt. If you have a high interest rate, look into moving the debt to another card with a lower interest rate. The money you save on finance charges alone can help you substantially.

Armed with this information, begin to devise a plan to get out of debt. Be realistic when you make this plan. Otherwise, you will never be able to stick with it. If you know that it is simply impossible for you to give up that cup of coffee in the morning, then work it into your financial plan. Most importantly, stop adding more debt to your card. If you can’t afford to pay for it now, then put it off until the day when you can – your financial situation and credit rating will thank you.