Despite emerging from the Great Recession and the recent upturn in the economy, American consumers still owe nearly $12 trillion on their home mortgages, student loans, credit cards and other debts. In this exclusive four-part series, we present infographics that show how great the credit problem is, both at home and abroad.
"Your emergency savings, whatever you're able to stash away – that's the buffer between you and high interest rate debt," says Bankrate.com Chief Financial Analyst Greg McBride. "Set money aside with every paycheck."
If you want to reduce your interest payments and lower your debt, try the free Debt Optimizer by MoneyTips.