Credit card debt is very common in the United States and has even really become something that people just expect to have. They don’t think twice about paying for everything on credit and then getting the statement at the end of the month.

Done correctly, this can work. As long as you still only charge as much onto the card as you can afford, you can pay off that balance, and it doesn’t make a difference that you used the card. However, these spending habits can also lead to significant debt. Here are a few of the mistakes that people make:

  • Only making minimum payments, which can incur a lot of debt and will likely not ever pay off the balance.
  • Spending more than they actually earn every month, as noted above.
  • Making impulsive purchases and buying things they cannot afford because the card gives them the power to do so.
  • Getting cards that come with additional fees, such as an annual fee.
  • Spending the maximum amount allowed on the card, regardless of their own income level.
  • Deciding to get too many cards; one may have been affordable with a reasonable limit but spreading spending out over five cards may mean they can’t pay them all off at any point.

If you have made these mistakes, don’t dwell on it. These things happen to most people at some point. Instead of thinking about the past and wishing that you had done something differently, take the time to look into the options you have for your future. For some, that means turning to bankruptcy and getting a fresh start.