Debt can land your finances in trouble. U.S. consumer credit is at a record high $2.17 trillion and growing at its fastest clip in a year, according to the Federal Reserve. Credit card debt, in particular, is destructive because it can easily balloon out of control. Examine all that you owe and pay off highest-rate debt first. Develop a plan to pay down credit card bills, loans and car payments as quickly as possible so that in the long run you have more to invest. Next select your financial goals. Choose short- and long-term targets so it doesn’t seem like an endless treadmill. Write everything down and reassess progress every six months.