Paying Off High-Interest Debt Might Be Your Best “Investment” Strategy

By the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy

No investment strategy pays off as well as, or with less risk than, eliminating high interest debt.

Most credit cards charge high interest rates – as much as 18% or more – If you don’t pay off your balance in full each month. If you owe money on your credit cards, the wisest thing you can do is pay off the balance in full as quickly as possible. Virtually no investment will give you returns to match an 18% interest rate on your credit card. That’s why you’re better off eliminating all credit card debt before investing. Once you’ve paid off your credit cards, you can budget your money and begin to save and invest.

Here are some tips for avoiding credit card debt:

Learn more about saving and investing at, the SEC’s website for individual investors. Members of the military can also find additional resources at the Military page.