LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — As inflation continues to make things more expensive, many are turning to credit cards to make ends meet, so 8 News Now asked a financial expert for tips for anyone struggling to lower their monthly payments. 

A study by ‘Self,’ said in August 2021, Nevada had the most credit card debt in the nation, with each person carrying an average balance of $3,200. 

Jill Shlesinger is one of those people, dealing with what she calls a ‘vicious cycle.’

“I just feel like I’m kind of in a debt hole,” she explained.

She opened her business, ‘Starburst Parlor Keto Bakery’ late last year, and since she was not able to obtain a business loan at the time, Shlesinger was forced to use personal credit cards to get things off the ground.

Now, she’s strapped with overwhelming payments every month. 
“I’m just thinking about, ‘oh this credit card is due, it’s a 420 minimum,”‘ Shlesinger said. 

In May, The Federal Reserve Bank of New York said the United States is carrying $841 billion in credit card debt. 

Mahesh Odhrani a financial advisor and president of Strategic Wealth Design said with inflation raging and the Federal Reserve raising interest rates by another 0.75% Wednesday, things could get a lot more difficult. 

“They may not have saved up a rainy-day fund,” Odhrani said. “Or have a saving account they can dip into, so where do they go? To credit cards.”

However, he said there are options to bounce back:

  • You can transfer your balance to a zero-interest or low-interest card
  • If you own a home, transfer the credit card balance to a lower interest, home equity line of credit
  • Call your bank or credit card company and try to negotiate a lower rate
  • Contact a credit counselor for financial advice 
  • Go through a debt consolidation company, but make sure the plan focuses on lowering the amount owed without missing payments and keeping your credit score intact

“It’s almost like spinning in a wheel,” Shlesinger explained. “That every time I think I’m going to get ahead, I have another bill that comes in.”

As for Shlesinger, she told 8 News Now she is doing her best to stay afloat by paying the monthly balances, while also serving the community she knows and loves. 

“Aside from like a dream or winning the lottery,” Shlesinger concluded. “There’s no end to it.”