The 10 cities the place American households have essentially the most bank card debt

If you have debt, it’s important to take control of it, because details about your payment history, including late or missed payments, can affect your credit score. The better your score, the more likely you are to get a good deal on a car or house, or to save on rent.

Being in debt can affect other important parts of your life as well, keeping you from earning more and getting what you want, professionally, says personal finance expert Suze Orman. “When you are in debt, you feel it,” she says, and “your boss can feel that,” too. In essence, she says, “you render yourself powerless.”

If you’re having trouble keep up with your credit card payments, start by making a budget, WalletHub suggests. “It’s difficult to spend within reason or plan savings if you don’t know how your monthly spending compares to your take-home pay, or where that money is going,” the site reports. “That is why you should rank-order your expenses — including debt payments, emergency fund contributions and other savings — and trim the fat, if necessary.”

And, “once you develop your budget, make sure to stick to it or else you’ll have simply wasted your time.”

Here are some additional tips that can help you improve your credit and manage your expenses.

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