There is so much shame around credit card debt and yet so many people have it. A new report from NerdWallet found that two in five Americans believe that credit card debt is embarrassing and that shame is translating into financial secrecy – one third of married Americans with card debt haven’t told their spouse what they owe.

Furthermore, this tendency is even more pronounced for younger Americans, who are more likely to keep financial secrets from a partner: 63% of Gen Zers and 58% of millennials said they had lied to or withheld financial details from a significant other. Money problems are the root of most relationship issues!

If you’re embarrassed about credit card debt, don’t be. Most people have it, and releasing shame will help you come up with a plan of attack for paying off your debt. That said, you may want to look into a cash back card to use for monthly expenses – just be sure to pay it off every single month so you don’t accrue interest. For example, you can choose the best 2% cash back card for your needs and get some money for purchases you would’ve made anyway, which will offer a bit of reprieve as you embark on a debt-free journey.

Why debt shame is counterproductive

Shame is a counterproductive emotion for paying down debt because it can lead to a negative mindset and hinder progress. Shame creates feelings of inadequacy and self-blame, which can demotivate individuals from taking positive actions to address their debt. It may prevent them from seeking help or exploring effective strategies.

Overwhelming shame may also lead to avoidance or denial, making it difficult to confront the debt issue head-on. Instead, adopting a proactive and positive mindset, focusing on financial goals, and seeking support can be more effective in addressing and paying down debt. Self-compassion and determination are key to overcoming debt challenges.

Leveraging a cash back credit card

To leverage cash back credit cards smartly, follow these tips. First, choose a card that aligns with your spending habits and offers high rewards on your most frequent purchases. Maximize your rewards by using the card for everyday expenses, such as groceries, gas, and dining.

Take advantage of bonus categories to earn higher cash back rates. Paying off your credit card balance in full each month is crucial to avoid interest charges. Regularly monitor promotions and special offers from your card issuer to maximize your cash back earnings. Finally, consider pairing your cash back credit card with other rewards programs or loyalty programs to amplify your benefits. With careful planning and responsible usage, cash back credit cards can provide valuable savings and rewards.

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