Actually there's an earlier step. Don't have any.
You take on debt in order to enjoy a privilege or a gratification today that you cannot afford until tomorrow. And you'll pay for that enjoyment not just for the period of the loan. Because when you get to tomorrow you'll have less money than you would have done if you'd deferred your enjoyment in the first place. So, because of the magic of investment return and compounding (see later!) you'll have less money for ever.
So don't get into debt. (Financing your house is different: you have to live somewhere. So are student loans - just take our word for it!)
There are a number charities and advisory services available to prevent people getting into debt difficulties and to help them get out of it. Advice is usually free. Contact with any of them would be a good start. Citizens Advice has a good reputation.