Ohio residents who are struggling to pay down debt are not alone. According to data published by WalletHub, credit card debts for consumers in the United States are nearing their pre-2008 levels. As interest rates continue to rise, more and more people are turning their focus to paying off their obligations. The primary mistakes people make when trying to pay off debt are ignoring the root cause of the problem, continuing to use credit cards, creating new debts on new cards, worrying about credit scores and failing to stick to a plan.

People get into debt in many ways, but the cause always boils down to spending more than is earned. Before they can effectively pay off debts, they must establish an emergency fund and begin to live within their financial means. It is then important to stop using credit cards entirely. Paying off credit card debt is exponentially more difficult if the cards are still being used.

Making use of promotional, low-interest balance transfer rates is a good idea when implemented correctly. The problem is that many consumers transfer their balances and then create new debts on the new card. It takes time to pay debts off, but it is important not to focus on credit scores too much during the process. Consumers should establish a plan and stick to it without letting their scores distract them.

Consumers who make payments according to a well-thought-out plan have a higher likelihood of success in paying off debts. Advice from an attorney can be helpful. An attorney may be able to suggest different avenues of debt relief or, in some cases, draft and file a petition for bankruptcy protection. An attorney may be able to negotiate with creditors or otherwise help the client reorganize debt.