How to make good on your resolution to pay off debt in 2021

FILE - In this July 18, 2012, file photo, a pedestrian passes credit card logos posted on a downtown storefront in Atlanta. Many consumers want to pay off their debt in 2021 but are unsure how to navigate the COVID-19 economy. Experts recommend listing all your debts and contacting each lender to see if it will reduce your interest rate, lower your monthly payment or waive late fees. (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)

If you have high-interest consumer debt, getting control of your money in the new year might sound overwhelming.

Most Americans say the COVID-19 outbreak has caused financial stress, according to a survey released in October by the National Endowment for Financial Education, with 30% listing debt as their top stressor.

Despite the pandemic, you can still pay down your debt with the right plan. Here's how.

CONFRONT YOUR DEBT

The first step is simple, but it can be the hardest: You have to face the problem.

Angela Moore, a Miami-based certified financial planner and founder of Modern Money Advisor, which offers virtual advising and education for consumers, says it's common for her clients to know they're in debt but not know how much.

She recommends compiling your debt onto one document or spreadsheet, listing all balances, minimum payments and interest rates.

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