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Maybe you charged a few more things than you should have on your credit card. Perhaps you needed to take out student loans to help pay for college. Or it could be that your bum transmission totally caught you and your budget off guard. You’ve got some debt to pay off — and that’s okay.

Truth is, most Americans deal with debt: According to the 2018 Northwestern Mutual Planning and Progress study, 77 percent of Americans have it, and those that do carry an average of $38,000 in personal debt.  

Quote 77% of Americans have an average of $38,000 in personal debt.

The good news: You’re committed to chipping away at your balances, and this guide can help. Here are a few simple steps on how to get out of debt without throwing your budget out of whack.