Depends, read through this and pick up where your situation applies:
6 steps I did to go from deep in debt to on the way to being a millionaire on a modest income:
1) Call your creditors. Inform them you intend to make good on the debts. Make any good faith payment you can. Creditors would rather you eventually make good, rather than selling your debt off for a pittance to a debt collector.
2) Play offense - time to get to work, work overtime, work weekends, work a second job, a third job if you have to. Keep reminding yourself this is temporary, you’re tough, this is your “the tough get going moment.”
3) Play defense - cut your expenses, you are going to be working so much you won't need cable, or a fancy sports car or a smartphone... get your life back to basics. Then review and find more things to cut.
4) Start paying off your debts. Make the minimum payment on each debt, except one. Focus on getting rid of one debt first... this is a bit of judgment call, practically you want to focus on the highest interest rate one first (or the one closest to default). But if your highest is large, but you have a small one at a lower rate, there can be some argument to getting that one done first... I can't tell you how good it feels to eliminate one debt forever, even if you have others to deal with. Plus with one less payment to deal with you’re starting to build financial flexibility. Repeat focusing on the next debt. As soon as you can afford to, start contributing enough in any 401K or similar plans at work to capture any matching they have. This is golden free bonus money, get it.
5) OK, once you’re still in debt, but not drowning in it, it’s time to "spreadsheet your life". Start a spreadsheet with your debts and your assets and review them monthly to start. Start budgeting. Keep paying down debt, but it’s time to start a savings fund for emergencies. Sure, you could throw that extra $50 per month at your student debt at 6%, but then when your car's alternator blows, if you don't have any savings, you’re going to have to put it on a high rate credit card because you can't re-borrow on the student loan. On your spreadsheet calculate your Net Worth every month... make a game outta making that Net Worth number grow each month by increasing your assets and reducing your debts.
6) Your debts are winding down, your emergency savings are growing and you still have extra each month. Time to start setting some goals, and start Acquiring Appreciating Assets... or as most people call it Investing. Mutual funds are a good starting spot (especially to fund Roths and IRAs or specific medium term goals), or the new “robo” investment advisers like Wealthfront or Betterment, or Index ETFs if you have a brokerage account.
If you want you can go the individual stock route, which if you have the aptitude to do (but don’t fret if you don’t most people don’t), I would as there is an advantage to controlling your own tax situation with an individual stock portfolio. You can use a low cost broker like TD Ameritrade, Robinhood or Schwab. Invest, regularly and often, embrace market sell offs as long term buying opportunities. Start with a few solid blue chip companies, and add until you have about 10 of these in different industries before trying your hand at anything more speculative. Embrace the compounding power of dividends and dividend growers.
-Every paycheck I put some in investments, some in savings, some towards early debt retirement and a last bit to one of those three based on judgement (am I close to hitting a savings goal, or paying off another debt, did the market selloff and its cheaper now, etc.). You want to have your debts under control, and be in a reliable employment situation before embarking on an investment plan. Emphasis on PLAN.