3. Assign real numbers to your debt. Again, this is no time for guesstimating. You need to know exactly what you owe and who you owe it to, down to the last creditor, as well as the interest rates you're paying on each balance owed. This is the first step to coming up with a real debt reduction strategy. You can't come up with a plan to eliminate debt if you really don't know what you owe.