Like many other Americans, some Florida readers probably owe on various kinds of debts. However, not all debts are created equal. Some, like mortgages, are considered to be good debts. Others, like credit card bills, are not. So when it comes to paying off debts, it may be a good idea to focus first on getting credit card balances down to zero.

Chances are, many people who use credit cards purchase unnecessary products and services. The average interest rate on credit cards is 15 percent, and some can go as high as 28 percent. Compare this to a mortgage, which generally has a much lower interest rate, a set monthly payment and offers a return on an investment as long as the house builds equity.

Regardless of what debt it is and whether it is good or bad, the important thing is to keep it manageable. Refinancing at a lower interest rate may be one option. For credit card debt, this means transferring the balance to a card that offers zero interest for a certain period and low fees. However, consumers generally have to have good credit in the first place to take advantage of refinancing offers.

Some in Florida may be in too deep already to get a handle on their credit card bills and other debts. Individuals who find themselves in this situation may benefit from looking into available debt relief options. For some, consumer bankruptcy may offer the best way to manage or eliminate unsecured debt such as credit cards. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows consumers to discharge many of their debts, essentially wiping the slate clean. For others, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy offers the chance to make good on their financial obligations through a court-approved debt repayment plan.

Source: ABC News, Good Debt, Bad Debt: How to Tell the Difference, Ted Schwartz, Feb. 3, 2014