If you realize you are faced with a large amount of credit card debt, you know that you don’t have any time to waste. Instead of sitting around and hoping for the best, you need to understand your situation and implement a plan for getting back on track.

First things first, add up all of your credit card debt. This may span several credit cards, so it’s important that you take your time when doing so.

From there, make note of the debt with the highest balance and the highest rate of interest. This will give you a clear idea of what you are spending each month to simply carry the debt.

If you find that you are in over your head, if you realize that paying down your debt is impossible, you need to think about your other options. To start, you can contact your credit card company to discuss your situation. They may be able to work with you in some way.

Don’t overlook the benefits of credit counseling. If all else fails, you may not have any choice but to consider bankruptcy. Although it’s a last resort, it could be the best move you ever make.

Now that you have a clear idea of how to better understand your credit card debt, you can decide which steps to take and how to work towards a final solution.

No two people are the same, so you really need to focus on your personal situation if you’re going to make any real progress in the months to come. An attorney can help you determine a course of action that can provide you with the financial relief you need.

Source: NerdWallet, “Dealing with Credit Card Debt: How to Get Debt-Free,” accessed Aug. 25, 2016