Taking charge of your debt

Eight out of 10 Americans are in debt -- with a total of nearly $12 trillion -- and older Americans are now carrying more debt into retirement. But according to CBS News business analyst Jill Schlesinger, some debts are better than others.

"Most people would like to enter their retirement debt-free obviously, but a lot of people don't have that choice," Schlesinger said on "CBS This Morning" Tuesday. "They got really harmed in the recession because they have debt going into their sixties... they're working longer. That's not good for younger kids who are trying to advance in their career."

Schlesinger distinguished between "good debt" - mortgage and student loans - and "bad debt" from cars and credit cards, and offered tips on how to manage them.

"Try not to borrow your total amount of borrowing more than you'll earn in your first year of employment," Schlesinger advised students. "When it comes to consumer debt, we want you to be very careful about those credit cards and really make an effort to get those paid down."

In order to eliminate "bad debt," Schlesinger said to "look at your budget, look at how much you're spending," and pay them off starting with those with the highest interest loans.

Calling it a "juggling act," Schlesinger also urged people to pay off loans and invest in their retirement savings simultaneously.

"If you have a match, try to put as much as you can to get that matching component in your retirement plan, while you're paying down those student loans," she said. "You will get out of debt, I promise. Just focus on it."