High-interest credit card debt can be tough to manage and can easily creep up to cause problems for your budget. As minimum payments increase, it can drain income causing you to live paycheck to paycheck while juggling bills to just barely stay afloat. It’s stressful and exhausting, but there are a variety of solutions you can use to regain control.

Which option you use really depends on your unique financial situation, how much debt you have to eliminate and where you stand with your credit. Choosing the right solution can restore balance to your budget and help you avoid collections and additional credit damage. On the other hand, the wrong solution can put you even further in the hole.

If you’re not sure which of the solutions we outline below is right for your situation, complete the application you see on any page in this section to request a free evaluation from a certified debt counselor. You can get an unbiased, expert opinion on your best option so you can move forward with confidence.

Spectrum of Solutions

Debt Reduction Strategies

In some cases you may be able to adjust your budget to eliminate your excess debt load on your own without any special tools. Learn how to set up your budget to get on the fast track to debt elimination. Compare two proven methods for debt reduction to see if one will work for you.

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Interest Rate Negotiation

If high interest charges are the source of your challenges with credit card debt, negotiating lower interest rates with your creditors may provide the edge you need to eliminate your debt. By lowering the interest rate, more of each payment you make goes to eliminating your debt, making it faster and easier. Find tips here on how to negotiate effectively.

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Credit Card Balance Transfers

This is a type of debt consolidation where you transfer the balances from your existing cards to a credit card that has a 0% APR introductory rate on balance transfers. This means for a period of time – usually 12 to 24 months – 100% of every payment you make goes to paying off your debt. This can be an effective method of elimination if you have $5,000 or less in credit card debt.

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Personal Debt Consolidation Loans

A personal debt consolidation loan provides funds you can use to pay off your credit card balances in-full, leaving only the loan to pay back. Loans tend to have much lower interest rates of 10% or less if you have the right credit score, so you can minimize interest charges and get your debt on a more manageable fixed payment schedule. With the right terms, you can get out of debt without a hassle in less than five years.

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Credit Counseling

Credit counseling is a free service that can help you zero in on the right debt solution for your needs. A certified credit counselor can help you assess your situation to identify the right solution to fit your needs and goals. If you’re eligible for a debt management program, they can also help you enroll directly, but they’re required to review all options so you can get an impartial expert’s perspective without any obligation.

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Debt Management Program

This is a form of assisted debt consolidation that works extremely well if you have a large volume of debt and a less-than-perfect credit score. You enroll in a program through a credit counseling agency, who works out a payment plan that works for your budget. Then they negotiate with your creditors on your behalf to reduce your interest rates. Total monthly payments are typically reduced by 30-50% and most people complete the program within 60 payments or less.

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Debt Settlement Program

This should really only be explored a last resort for debt relief before you file for bankruptcy. If you’ve tried everything else and haven’t had any success, then you can consider a debt settlement plan where you settle your debts for less than the full amount owed. This can cause significant damage to your credit score and results may vary, but it may be your best option if your situation is truly critical.

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* http://www.cnbc.com/2017/02/17/credit-card-users-rack-up-over-1-trillion-in-debt.html

† https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/average-credit-card-debt-household/

This website is intended for informational purposes and as a reference tool to match consumers with companies that may be able to assist them. Additional Advertising Disclosures are here

DISCLAIMER - Debt.com does not provide direct debt adjustment services, but, upon request, acts as a locator service for BBB registered companies. It is ultimately up to you to determine whether the companies that we may introduce you to are appropriate for your situation. For debt consolidation programs, where permissible by law, companies may charge a one-time enrollment fee typically from $25 up to $75 for account establishment and for debt relief proposals submitted on your behalf to each of your creditors. Monthly program administration fees will vary from $5 but no greater than $75 depending on your state of residence and/or the number of creditors who agree to accept proposals and become enrolled in the program. Fees subject to change if permissible by law. For debt settlement programs, by law, you may not be charged any fee until a debt settlement is arranged on your behalf, you approve the settlement, and at least one payment is made towards the settlement. Each program offered by independent financial service providers is unique so ask them for their complete details of the program and fees.

Not all consumers are able to complete debt relief programs for various reasons, including their ability to save sufficient funds. The use of debt resolution services could negatively impact your credit and may result in legal action on the part of creditors or collectors for unpaid balances. Consumers enrolled in debt consolidation programs who fail to adhere to the terms of their debt management plan (DMP) may forfeit the benefits of debt relief and revert to the terms of their original creditor agreements. Read and understand all program materials prior to enrollment. Please contact a debt relief specialist for complete program details.

Your debt relief analysis and savings estimate is free, will not affect your credit, and you are under no obligation to enroll in, or purchase, any product or service.

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