What's the best way to manage credit card debt? First-time cardholders should think of their new card as a vehicle for building a positive credit history, said Diahann Lassus, president and CIO of Lassus Wherley. Make short-term purchases, and pay those charges off over several months.
"Over time, that helps build your credibility so that people are willing to lend to you," she said.
It's easy for credit card debt to pile up quickly.
"It's really fun to charge things, because you're not thinking about the fact that that's real money," said Lassus, but "you need to pay that [balance] off when the bill comes in." Otherwise, you're not only spending today's dollars but tomorrow's as well.